A Devil and Her Love Song Volume Nine is a manga by Miyoshi Tomori, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. The series is rated “T” for teens; from I’ve read of the series so far, I would agree with this rating.
The main character of the series is Maria Kawaii, a girl who transferred to Totsuka High School after being expelled from St. Katria for beating up a teacher. At the beginning of the series, she was misunderstood and bullied by many of her classmates; however, she was still able to make friends with Yusuke Kanda, Shin Meguro, and Tomoyo Kousaka.
The third story arc introduces a new character named Shintaro Kurosu, a new freshman at school who has taken an interest in Maria. Maria does not reciprocate his feelings, but he keeps finding ways to try to hang around her. Maria is still in love with Shin, even if he doesn’t seem to be returning her feelings.
This volume begins with a weekend trip to Shin’s family’s beach house; along for the trip are Maria, Shin, Yusuke, Tomoyo, Ayu, and Shintaro. Right at the end of Volume Eight, Shintaro tried to kiss Maria. Volume Nine sees Shin intervening and punching Shintaro in the face. Maria defends Shintaro, but Shin still asks him to leave. Shintaro hides nearby, and he actually helps out when an emergency arises at the house. On the trip home, Shin realizes that he’s in love with Maria.
Back at school, Shintaro sets up bamboo for the Tanabata festival, and he asks everyone to write on slips of paper what they wish for. Amongst those wishes is one that Maria wrote down, wishing she could hear Shin perform on the piano in a concert hall. Shin, meanwhile, stands up to his father and demands to audition for a showcase his father is putting on that centers on the song “Ave Maria.”
Shin manages to secure a spot in the showcase, and gives Maria a ticket; he wants her to hear him play “Ave Maria.” On the day of the concert, Maria dresses up and gets her hair done, but something happens that causes her not to make it inside the concert hall. Near the end of the volume, Maria also begins to remember what happened when her mother died.
Volume Nine of A Devil and Her Love Song is actually a very powerful volume for the series. Shin goes through a couple of major changes, but they feel natural when you consider what’s happened over the past couple of volumes in the series. And having Maria finally beginning to remember what happened with her mother was very powerful, and this is due in large part to Tomori’s execution of the scene.
I don’t want to say what happens right at the end, because that would wander into major “spoiler” territory, but what I will say is that when I reached that part, I almost wanted to scream, “No, Maria! Don’t do that! No, no, no!” This ending is such a cliffhanger, and I hate having to wait until I can read Volume 10 to find out what will happen.
The weakest part of this arc is the character of Shintaro. While I understand that he was necessary in order for Shin to understand his feelings for Maria, I find him to be a rather annoying and weak character.
After being a little disappointed with Volume Eight, Volume Nine really makes up for that disappointment. I think I can safely say that if you’ve been faithfully reading A Devil and Her Love Song up to this point, you’ll really enjoy reading Volume Nine of the series.