Manga “Soredemo Sekai wo Kuzusunara” Is a Modernday Faust (But a Comedy)
Goethe’s “Faust” is a tragedy in which Faust struggles to obtain happiness, having made a contract with the devil, Mephistopheles.
One manga in modern Japan has similar contents.
It is “Soredemo Sekai wo Kuzusunara (If You Still Wish to Wreck the World)”, which depicts a shy girl and what happens to the contract she made withthe devil.
This difference between this manga and the novel “Faust” is that this manga is a comedy, not a tragedy.
But she is shy and timid without any friends at school or in her personal life.
She has grown up in a single-father household that is far from wealthy.
Kakuko leads such a dull life, but she has summoned the devil “No Nemu” at home.
Now that “No Nemu” has appeared, Kakuko tells her wish.
“I want to have the power to wreck the world.”
Kakuko insists almost insanely, and the devil suggests a condition to grant her wish.
He shall grant her wish if she succeeds in making friends.
Thus the shy high school girl Kakuko starts a life with the devil “No Nemu”.
1. Kakuko Kurono
As her appearance indicates, she is a lion at home a mouse abroad.
Furthermore, she keeps quibbling at the devil’s instructions.
She is talkative and bullish to the devil “No Nemu”, but the truth is she doesn’t feel comfortable talking with other people to the extent that she cannot even exchange casual greetings.
2. The Devil “No Nemu”
The devil is extremely pragmatic and rational.
The devil’s pastime is to play trivial nuisance on Kakuko for fun.
However the devil sometimes supports her in unknowing ways, being full of compassion uncharacteristically as a devil.
The devil is wearing a mask of “akabeko (red bull)”, a Japanese folk craft, and it never reveals its face.
The author is “Nijio Rikuno”, and he primarily publishes short-short stories. This is his first work that is long enough to be published as a book.
The story starts with the main character making a contract with the devil similar to the plot of “Faust”.
What differs from “Faust” is that the devil Mephistopheles tempts the protagonist Faust using various magic but the devil No Nemu in this story gives various tasks to the protagonist Kakuko and she has to complete tasks on her own without the help of others.
The tasks start with “greeting to any classmate” in one episode to “convincing parents to upgrade her cellular phone to a smart phone”, and none of them are difficult tasks for adults.
But these tasks are formidable challenges for boys and girls in high school, and at least one of them in the story may remind readers of an episode from an experience in their past.
Kakuko’s quibbling and jaunty, funny interaction between the two forms an attractive introduction, drawing readers naturally into the story. This author’s technique is very skillful.
And Kakuko, whose shyness hides self-centered tendency beneath and quibbles every time she opens her mouth, would be a nuisance if she existed in the real world.
But when you read this story, you won’t hate Kakuko despite her nasty personality.
The story cleverly expresses the truth that such personality of hers is an expression of self-defense and she is actually a sensitive and gentle girl.
As a result readers won’t dislike Kakuko, rather should start feeling to support her by seeing how hard she tries.
But other devils will start to appear, aiming at Kuroko’s magic abilities to be able to summon a devil, and they start tempting her with sweet words.
The latter half of the story depicts Kuroko who is troubled with her relationship with people around her. It amusingly depicts problems in youth that trouble everyone at least once.