As I mentioned in my previous post Loveless I recently went manga crazy at Barnes & Noble when they had their buy 2 get 1 free manga sale. I decided to buy only manga I’d never read before and one of the series I ended up picking up was Dictatorial Grimoire.
Dictatorial Grimoire was written and illustrated by Ayumi Kanou and I thought the summary on the back sounded pretty intriguing.
“Otogi Grimm, a far-flung descendant of the renowned Grimm Brothers, has always regarded the fairy tales his ancestors concocted as pure fiction. Now, the introverted half-Japanese teen is about to discover that the Grimm legacy is anything but pure.
Otogi finds a manuscript that reveals the dark truth about the Brothers Grimm and the secret deal they made with beings known as the Marchen Demons. With Cinderella as his guide, can Otogi Grimm unlock the power of the manuscript and save himself from a horde of living fairy tales gone wild?”
As you can tell from the title of this website I’m a pretty big Grimm fan so the idea of seeing them in manga form got me pretty pumped! Basically it turns out that all the fairy tales we know and love are based on the lives of these Marchen Demons, except with some big differences in plotlines. For instance, Snow White the beautiful princess is actually a male. According to Cinderella (also a guy) 200 years ago the brothers Grimm made a deal with the Marchen Demons to hear their stories and in exchange they would be able to eat the heart of their descendant. Dictatorial Grimm’s entire series is only three volumes long so I bought all three. Since there are three volumes here are three things you should know about the series!
The premise of the story is great, but I really wish it still was an ongoing series. Three volumes was just not enough time to flesh out all of the characters and their stories/personalities. You end the series wanting to know more about all of them! Not in a, “Wow! They were just so great!” sort of way either, but in a, “What the heck? Are they ever going to explain more about what happened in the original stories?” The stories that you do hear about are never fully explained either. You get a snapshot of it and then the book moves on to the next thing. I just feel that if this series was longer Kanou could have done more justice to the characters, because there are some great characters to work with!
I really enjoy Ayumi Kanou’s style of artwork! I love how each of the characters were drawn. Sometimes I find certain artists draw their characters to similarly and they’re hard to follow in the story. I do feel Kanou does a great job of creating unique aspects to each of the characters. I’m also a big fan of the clothing Kanou draws their characters in. The school uniforms are so cute! Snow White is also in a class of his own style-wise!
The series ends really abruptly! REALLY abruptly!! On one hand I guess I should be happy that it at least has an ending. There is nothing worse then when a series you’re really into gets dropped and you’re left forever wondering. That being said in in some ways I wouldn’t call it a proper ending with this story anyway. I certainly still have questions about a lot of the characters such Otogi and his father, what the heck the Grimm brothers really are, how was Cinderella turned into a demon, what’s the deal with Red Riding Hood, what happened to Snow White’s mother, and what is going to happen with the Grimoire now? Are demons still after Otogi? Is his cursed removed? UUUUGGGGHHHH! Frustrating! Again I really wish there were more volumes to this series because it really isn’t able to live up to its potential.
To sum my feeling up I enjoyed reading the series, but it could be better. I’m not mad I bought it, but if I had to do it over again I probably wouldn’t, simply because even though it has the potential to be amazing it falls short. In a way it’s just not memorable. That being said if I ever heard of it expanding I would check it out because I think given more time and development it could really become something wonderful.
Have you ever read Dictatorial Grimoire? What did you think?
* Thank you internet for the header photo *