Shojo Review: Gaba Kawa

Gaba Kawa
By Rie Takada
Published by: Shojo Beat Manga
ISBN13: 978-1-4215-2259-3
ISBN10: 1-4215-2259-4

Reviewed by Lauren Lapinski

When someone says “shojo manga”, the image that usually comes to mind is of high schools girls, pretty boys, and huge helpings of romance. Gaba Kawa is no exception to this rule, while adding a somewhat supernatural twist, another element becoming coming in the genre. The main character, Rara, is a demon who has come to the human world to wreak havoc, drag human souls down into the pits of darkness, and other lovely things like that. The last thing she’s supposed to do is fall in love with a human, which, anyone at all familiar with the shojo genre can guess, is exactly what happens.

The story does start off a bit cliché at first, but there are some creative touches to the story. For example, Retsu, Rara’s love interest, has the typical bad boy look you often see in anime and manga. The twist, however, is that he doesn’t act the buddy; he’s actually a decent person and is kind to the main character. And the romance does have a few sweet and “aww”-inducing moments. One issue that, for me, seems to detract from the story (and seems common to shojo) is the inclusion of a clichéd female character-type who acts as both “best friend” and bully/romantic rival for the female lead.

Since this is only a one-shot manga, many things are left unexplained and the story suffers slightly from the lack of detail. I personally believe this story has the potential to be a series, perhaps ten or more volumes, such an expansion would give the author the opportunity to add more depth to plot and character development. All in all, while the manga is your typical shojo fare, it is an adorable read and something fans of the genre would enjoy.