There’s A Demon Lord on the Floor Vol. 1 by Hato: Familiar Flavors

There’s A Demon Lord on the Floor has all the right ingredients for a fun harem comedy set inside a quiet and quaint family restaurant. While this has been my favorite setting for a workplace comedy, the manga has a “been there, done that” feel because it runs against another series that pretty much has the same exact concept. It’s not a bad book at all, just a familiar one.

At the center of this screwy comedy is Iruma Kouichi, the only male employee at the Humming Dining restaurant. He works alongside Mutsu Igarashi and his boss, her name is simply  “Manager,” all of whom enjoy a fairly innocuous existence in the food service industry. That peace is disrupted by the appearance of a young woman claiming to be the powerful Demon Lord Amon Patricia who has returned years after her defeat against a righteous army (and inexplicably living underneath Humming Dining). Rather than take over humanity again, she approaches Kouichi for a job and food. As a fish out of the water, Amon has a lot to learn about customer service. Amon’s demonic nature leads her to yell, berate, and lord herself over customers and their food orders. Amon is not alone in her somewhat misguided endeavors. Her companions Nonko, a sort of mushroom monster/familiar, and the Dark Knight Kisaragi, also get jobs at the restaurant and their combined inexperience and rough around the edges personality makes training them a hilarious ordeal. Amon and her companions find ways to act up, much to Kouichi’s chagrin, be it the hunt for an exclusive children’s meal prize, running a booth at a food festival, getting into battle during a sentai stage show, and teaching Kisaragi to not be shy around customers. Manager doesn’t seem to mind the rambunctious behavior of her new staff–as long as she can admire her beautiful new hires, it’s all good.

The manga’s story of craziness in the kitchen is bolstered by Masaki Kawakami’s fine art style. While the setting and emphasis on Kouichi’s ability to make delicious meals made me hope for pages of glorious food porn, a la Food Wars!, Kawakami’s emphasis lies in making the female characters look totally cute. I’m sad that there are no food spreads but Kawakami success in making people like Mutsu, and Amon Patricia’s retinue look good in various outfits. A sprinkling of fanservice spices things up a bit, heightening certain scenes involving Amon and her demon minion’s transformations. For the better part of the book, Amon and Nonko look and act like young teens but when they’ve had their fill of food, they take a more mature and voluptuous form. The scenes that follow these transformations always feature the characters having difficulty with the small clothes that barely contain their larger breast sizes. Such situations lend themselves to accidental groping by the largely unaware humans. With no nudity to speak of in the comic, these scenes prove to be harmless, if cheap, fun.

There’s A Demon Lord on the Floor is funny, cute, and, at times, a little sexy. However, this is a story that’s already been told. The characters and the setting are incredibly similar to I Couldn’t Become A Hero So I Reluctantly Decided To Get A Job. Both stories feature a male character put upon by the presence of demon royalty who wants to live, work, and love alongside humans. Both Amon Patricia and Phino Bloodstone are characterized as overeager demigods lacking finesse and manners that rely on the male hero to get their bearings. Both Amon and Phino indulge their demonic personalities on occasion and the results are often chaotically fun.

There’s A Demon Lord on the Floor is full of entertaining moments and fun characters. Amon Patricia’s exaggerated interactions with humans are where most of the comedy comes from as she struggles to disassociate her demon lord tendencies in every situation. While it reminded me too much of I Couldn’t Become A Hero, I’m hoping that later volumes will find ways to differentiate itself from the other series.

Title: There’s A Demon Lord on the Floor volume 1
Author: Masaki Kawakami
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Media: Print
Genre: Comedy, Monster Girls, Paranormal
Release Date: 02/28/2017
Purchased Or Received For Review? Purchased
Where to buy: RightStuf, Amazon

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