Akuma na Eros by SHINJO Mayu

In my quest to somewhat reviltalize this world (by actually posting in it), I've decided to take another look at one of my first incursions into the shoujo smut genre, Akuma na Eros, and mercilessly take it apart. It's a story of moping teenagers, pervert demons and tightass archangels, with a lot of smut and cheese. So, as Scar used to put it, "be prepared!". Huge review/rant ahead.
Note: although I added spoilers, you won't miss anything if you don't read them. They're just my personal pet peeves regarding parts of the manga which are more or less related to the ending.

External Image

English title: Virgin Crisis, Satanical Eros
Author: SHINJO Mayu
Genres: drama, romance, school life, shoujo, smut, supernatural (religious)
Length // Status: 4 volumes // complete
Warnings: a lot of explicit sex scenes and figurative cheese (but mostly cheese)

Miu Sakurai has been in love with Shion Amamiya, the school's idol, for a long time but is too shy to confess to him. When she does gather the courage and speaks to him, he admits he doesn't think of her as anything other than a friend, which leaves Miu dejected. One day while walking home from school, Miu enters a book store and finds an old book of spells, which she buys. At home, she performs a ritual and accidentally summons Satan himself! He vows to make Shion fall in love with her, but demands a special kind of payment in return: Miu's virginity.
(stolen from Minitokyo and adapted, because I'm the one who wrote it anyway)

Plot and character development
Backstory time! OK guys, you may or may not be familiar with Mayu Shinjo's works, but they can be summed up safely in two words: "schoolgirl smut". All of her works feature protagonists who either go to high school or are of that age (and dropped out). Those virginal and virgin protagonists then meet a hot guy who is experienced in le love making and which is inexplicably attracted to them. Cue awkwardness as the guy basically assaults said girl as often as he can until she ultimately agrees that she's in love with him and they have le steamy sex.

Akuma na Eros is no exception from this rule - because when you find a formula which brings in the cash, why change it? Miu can be considered the stereotypically "normal" and innocent teenage girl, in that she blushes at the very mention of the word "sex" and, sort of contradictory, is only interested in getting the object of her lust and obsessive attention, Shion Amamiya, as a boyfriend. In my honest opinion, Miu is shallow and, at times, has the stupidest lines; for example, when Satan disguises himself and attends school as her "brother" in order to help her get her boyfriend, she still wonders if that person could be Satan, even though he only puts away the wings and horns, cuts his hair short and gets a change of clothes *faceslap* Since the story is told from her perspective, we get a lot of internal monologue that's quite repetitive, which can grate on someone's nerves after a while.

Satan himself is that guy - the one who, although he has high standards and is known to be a womanizer, inexplicably goes for the innocent and dumb sexually uneducated virgin. I for one would think that a demon who's existed, well, since freakin' forever, would have a better taste when choosing women. Shion serves as his foil and offers the more "pure" alternative of love. Obviously, he's rejected in favor of demon sex.

However, AnE is arguably one of Mayu Shinjo's best works, in my opinion. She doesn't try to stretch the plot too far, like in Haou Airen, where she (poorly) attempts to describe the Chinese mafia. OK, having Satan battle an archangel isn't exactly lightweight material either, but the amount of smut and cheese in AnE is so big that the religious aspect is just a convenient plot device used in order to get a boring, love-obsessed high school girl to bone the Devil.

External Image
Miu, Satan, Shion

Art style
As any popular mangaka, Mayu Shinjo's girl protagonists look very similar, varying only in hairstyle. If you put Miu, Aine (Kaikan Phrase) and Kurumi (Haou Airen) next to each other and had Kurumi undo her pigtails, you couldn't tell them apart from each other. The art is obviously shoujo; Miu has huge, watery eyes and blushes almost every other page, not to mention she seems to have her clothes ripped a lot. Lots of flowery backgrounds, especially when Miu is talking to herself, and lots of closeups focusing on her eyes and Satan's sleazy grin.

External Image
A comparison of the three: Miu, Kurumi and Aine.

If the girls have somewhat of a difference between them, look-wise, all the guys look almost the same, save for hair color/style. Same body shape, same expressions, same manner of speaking. Broad shoulders, piercing stare, sly and perverted smile and overconfident, I'm-gonna-screw-you-whether-you-want-it-or-not personality. Fortunately, the sex is (mostly) consensual in Mayu Shinjo's works in general, and definitely consensual in AnE. I'm not going to bother with a comparison pic between Satan and the protagonists from Shinjo's other mangas because it's the same as with the girls.

External Image

Final verdict
For me, re-reading AnE after a few years (and a lot of manga) was like slapping myself repeatedly: it did nothing to help me and, when I was done, my head hurt a lot. Ultimately, you can take it as a parody of the shoujo smut genre, since it throws so many cliches of the genre at you that you'll need a few moments for everything to sink in; I have no clue if the cheesiness was intentional or not, but it's there. It's definitely there. Read it after drinking a glass of alcohol and I guarantee you'll be laughing yourself silly; sober - not so much, you'll most likely get a headache.

Originality + creativity: 0.3 / 1 points - the "girl falls in love with a demon" plot is overdone and this brings nothing new to the table
Characters: 0.3 / 2 points - standard shoujo love triangle, "girl/bad boy/good boy", side characters don't act as anything other than cheap devices to move the plot along and are basically cardboard cutouts
Realism/believability: 0.4 / 1 points - barring the angels and demons, Miu is sort of believable - there are teenagers that dumb out there
Art: 1.3 / 2 points - not too bad style-wise, but the characters look very stiff sometimes and wear almost the same expressions
Flow: 1 / 1 points - it's linear and not at all difficult to understand what's going on
How much I enjoyed it: 1.2 / 3 points - can be guilty pleasure material but it's no pedestal fodder

My final rating: External Image (4.5, rounded to 4 out of 10)

Where to read it: MangaFox | AnimeA
Where to download it: MangaTraders