ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Devil’s Candy,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Devil’s Candy Volume 1 is written by Bikkuri, (aka Clint Bickham), with art by REM, (aka Priscilla Hamby, or Tsulala), and lettering by Erika Terriquez. Originally released as a webcomic, Devil’s Candy Volume 1 is published by VIZ Media.

Containing a prologue, the first three chapters of the series, cast bios, and bonus comics, Devil’s Candy Volume 1 contains plenty of content to introduce readers to the world and characters.

In between chapters, there are notes from Mr. B, (Bikkuri), that discuss various elements from the chapter. Written like they exist in-universe, these notes feel like the reader is actually taking classes at Hemlock Heart Academy. Additionally, it is a clever and immersive way to build the world without bogging down the actual storyline in each chapter.

Devil’s Candy Volume 1 opens with scientist Kazu Decker finishing up his biology project last minute. And what is his biology project?  She’s a devil, named Pandora, created and brought to life by Kazu in his lab. Moreover, while this does make Kazu sound like a mad scientist, he’s really not.

Kazu himself is actually a type of devil, an imp to be specific. And he attends a school for devils and other supernatural creatures, Hemlock Heart Academy. Creating an entire life for a school project? It’s not too out of the ordinary for his world. However, Hemlock Heart Academy isn’t completely without mad scientists; Kazu’s classmate Gyro easily fills that role.

In addition to Gyro, Kazu’s other classmates of note include his best friend Nemo Musterman, a half Grindylow devil, and Hitomi Ookumo, a cyclops/mist nymph with a huge crush on Kazu. A crush he is completely, comically oblivious to.

At the end of Devil’s Candy Volume 1, there are character profiles for Kazu, Pandora, Nemo, and even the headmaster of Hemlock Heart Academy, Elliot Hemlock. The inclusion of these profiles at the end of the book is a perfect placement. By this time, readers have already had time to get to know the characters through their interactions with each other and their environment. And while the biographical details aren’t essential to understanding what’s going on in the rest of the book, they are fun to know.

The relationships between Pandora and various other characters are at the heart of Devil’s Candy Volume 1.  All of the main characters see her differently. Firstly, there’s Kazu.  Regardless of what Nemo thinks, Kazu did not create her a as girlfriend. He created her out of a love for biology, to see what he was capable of.

But he does care for Pandora. Not romantically, but as a friend. And as her creator, he feels responsible for her happiness and well-being, wanting to make sure she has a good life.

In contrast, there’s Nemo. Nemo refers to Pandora as a pet or a project. Not maliciously,  but he definitely doesn’t see her as a fellow devil. But because Kazu is his friend, he does care about keeping Pandora safe and healthy.

Unlike Kazu and Nemo, Gyro has a darker interest in Pandora. Namely, he wants to harvest her body parts to be used for his own project. In fact, this is the first conflict that occurs in Devil’s Candy Volume 1.

Each chapter contains a different main conflict, but they build off of the conflict in the previous chapter, creating a linear storyline. For example, Gyro’s body harvesting plan compounds in chapter 2, when the Science Club, of which he was the President, wants to harvest Kazu’s brain. And that’s still not as wild as it gets.

There’s a huge variety of designs that can be created since there are no human characters. And REM takes advantage of this. The designs are fun, unique, and very expressive. Personally, Kazu is my favorite. He’s adorable. He’s clearly an imp, but he still has this soft look that matches his earnestness and extremely positive outlook on life.

Devil’s Candy Volume 1 takes tropes like the boy-genius scientist and high school drama and puts unique twists on them. And that makes this book an absolute blast to read.

Devil’s Candy Volume 1 will be available wherever books are sold on July 13th, 2021.

Devil's Candy Volume 1
5

TL;DR

Devil’s Candy Volume 1 takes tropes like the boy-genius scientist and high school drama and puts unique twists on them. And that makes this book an absolute blast to read.