Artist Kamome Shirahama has been making waves in manga with her multi-award winning series Witch Hat Atelier. The DC and Marvel cover artist actually had a manga serial before Witch Hat Atelier, which is now being localized in English by Yen Press. Eniale and Dewiela Volume 1 (stylized: Eniale & Dewiela) is a beautifully illustrated odd-couple comedy, full of slapstick humor. The manga is translated into English by Caleb D. Cook and lettered by Abigail Blackman.
Eniale is an angel, and Dewiela a demon, but the two become friends over their love of fashion. However, the two often cause chaos even when they intend to help. When the two bicker over borrowed eyeliner, it is comically cataclysmic. Eniale is blissfully optimistic, often getting easily over-excited. She truly tries to see the best in everyone, even demon Dewiela. Dewiela, on the other hand, is confident but more subdued in her excitement. She cares for Eniale but is often hesitant to show so given the prejudices between their kinds. Even when trying to get payback, Dewiela doesn’t seem to be able to hate her cheery friend. The series is largely episodic. Eniale and Dewiela Volume 1 includes the two trying to find the mother of a lost child, a motorbike chase across Paris, and competitively assisting a young girl who summons both of them. Through the chaos, Detective Donovan on Earth believes all the chaos is connected. His secret job as an exorcist puts Dewiela in his sights.
Eniale and Dewiela Volume 1 is a light-hearted good time. The comedy is ridiculous, and sometimes raunchy. Shirahama’s detailed fantasy artwork is showcased well here. The chaotic action and often unexpected creatures will spellbind readers thanks to Shirahama’s linework. The series is also sexy. Not ecchi, and the art never leers or objectifies. It is sensual. Eniale and Dewiela are beautiful. It is refreshing to see a manga embrace the sensuality of its women without exploiting them.
There is nothing revolutionary about Eniale and Dewiela Volume 1, except maybe a comment made about healthcare on Earth. While the series borrows from religious lore, it isn’t in the same vein as the other popular buddy-comedy Saint Young Men. Instead, Eniale and Dewiela go from 0-100 quickly in every chapter. The scale of each adventure is near-apocalyptic. The series is confident in its characters and lets them speak for themselves. The friendship between Eniale and Dewiela isn’t heavily developed but shows rather than tells. Small moments of tenderness and understanding between the two give heart amid the antics. Hopefully in the future readers will get to see a more genuine conversation or discussion on how they met in later volumes.
Eniale and Dewiela Volume 1 gives readers a look into a much more slapstick side of mangaka Kamome Shirahama. Featuring two wonderfully drawn leading ladies, and an array of mythical beings, the series is just as magical as Witch Hat Atelier. A largely episodic plot structure greatly benefits from humor that doesn’t miss a step. It really is a manga that will keep readers smiling from beginning to end.
Eniale and Dewiela Volume 1 is available now wherever books are sold.