Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World Volume 1 Review

Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World Volume 1 Review

I don’t remember how I stumbled onto Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World. But I do remember something about the artwork telling me that this would be a sweet, wholesome title. And I was right. Thankfully, Seven Seas licensed the series and have released volume 1.

The Story in Brief

Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World Volume 1Volume 1 of Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World has six chapters. Each chapter contains a self-contained story. Chapter 1 has the human witch girl Nicola and her elf-looking “demon” guardian Simon on the run from law enforcement in the Demon World (Makai). They seek refuge in an underground Bazaar, where Nicola ends up protecting the people. Chapter 2 sees Nicola make a bet with Simon to find a brave Popay being. For chapter 3, Simon peddles his wares to a noble while Nicola plays with the noble’s daughter, Rosetta.

The 4th chapter has Nicola save a fairy creature called a Clough (Kröv). This act of charity causes the tiny critter to reward Nicola with a ultra rare mushroom that Simon is looking for. In chapter 5, Nicola and Simon stay at a haunted hotel. Nicola is the only one who can see the ghosts, but becomes friends with them. For chapter 6, Nicola accidentally enters a magic tournament.

Nicola Awesomeness

One of the things I love about Nicola is how brave she is. There was a throw away line Nicola makes regarding coming to Makai (Demon’s World as it is translated) to learn magic. That was something I missed in my chapter reads. But her coming to an alien world where humans are officially not welcome to try to learn magic is an act of bravery. Stupid bravery, but bravery.

Unlike typical shounen MCs, Nicola’s bravery isn’t annoying as it doesn’t come across as cliched. So many shounen MCs leap before they look and are just irritating. Nicola leaping in isn’t irritating as her motivations are different. She’s not some battle witch, but she wants to save or help others in trouble. She has a good heart and is charming, but a tad naive. And that is part of her charm.

Finally, Nicola comes off as a real girl. I get she’s a witch, which is a fantasy character type. But within that context, she’s very grounded in reality. She’s young, has a lot to learn, but has good instincts. And as I stated, she’s brave, more so when it comes to doing the right thing. And that’s what makes her awesome.

Nicola’s Story

While the chapters of Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World volume 1 are episodic in nature, there is a slight overall arc centering around Nicola. This first volume only briefly touches those elements. We know that Nicola is a young witch who was raised by her grandmother. Nicola’s grandmother would not teach her magic, likely out of fear for Nicola’s safety. As such, Nicola’s only spell is one she learned on accident, whereby she can produce a flower (or flowers) on demand.

But as volume 1 shows, Nicola is likely insanely powerful. In chapter 6, a “demon” (I hate the term ’cause these are no demons in the Judaeo-Christian sense of the term) magic teacher notes how Nicola’s spell to create flowers is done without incantation or other magic inducing elements. And that amazed him.

In the first chapter, it is heavily suggested that Nicola subconciously placed a curse on a necklace to cause the soldiers chasing them to give up. Then we see in chapter 3, Nicola attempts to use a light spell, but while she fails at the actual spell, she unconsciously causes her body to glow intensely. And finally, when she was trying to get the Clough to stop, she shouted so loud that there was a physical reaction with the trees. I look forward to seeing more of this explored.

Seven Seas Release

Although Seven Seas is fairly friendly when it comes to the use of Japanese honorifics in their adaptations, sadly this does not apply to Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World volume 1. I’ve never read the raw, so I cannot say how much they are used in the Japanese. But there were times when I could sense a Japanese honorific was cut in favor of Westernized elements. I’ll never understand the mindset that thinks that just because a title is a fantasy title not set in Japan, it MUST follow Western rules of fantasy.

There are no extras in the volume. Each chapter has an omake “after” page, which may or may not have been added for the series when it went to book form. Again, this comes from y not seeing the raw chapters.

Finally, I felt the printing wasn’t sharp enough. As such, while the artwork looks OK, it doesn’t look as vibrant as I feel it should. The black ink is muted in the printed form. Due to the style of art, having the print be as vibrant as I’d like would probably cost more money.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

If you’d like a bit more of my thoughts on the series, I did a first-look article where I look at some additional elements I didn’t cover in my volume review. That aside, if you are looking for charming, wholesome manga with an art style that isn’t a traditional one, then look no further than Nicola Traveling Around the Demon’s World volume 1. And being a stickler for Japanese honorifics, you know this means a ton if I’m willing to buy the book even without the honorifics being included! 😉

 


 

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