Demon Defense Agency is a dark, demonic manga that tells the story of an elite task force created to deal with attacks by demons. The manga was created by Laurel Pursuit Studios and was released earlier this year.
The story takes place in a world where demons have mysteriously appeared and begun terrorizing society. In response to the threat, an elite task force formed called the Demon Defense Agency. And the demon-hunting agents call themselves Defenders.
Defenders employ special weapons called Imperiums to fight demons. And Imperiums are crafted from the infernal cores of the hunted demons. The manga follows Atlas, who is considered to be the world’s greatest Defender. But after discovering a dark secret about the Demon Defense Agency, Atlas goes on the run.
The World is In Peril
A quick prologue introduces the world of Demon Defense Agency and gives a brief account of the demonic invasion. Then it shows off three DDA agents we come to know in the first few episodes. The world is set 40+ years into the future and much of the action takes place in a metropolitan setting.
It’s not a post-apocalyptic setting, but the demons have caused devastation in cities around the world. And the Demon Defense Agency is the only thing standing in the way of humanity’s extinction.
The Fugitive Protagonist Has My Vote
The story introduces us to the protagonist, Atlas, as he is running from armed officers of the Demon Defense Agency. We overhear a conversation between a couple of the officers. They discuss why they’re chasing a DDA agent who is supposed to be on their side.
Right off the bat, Atlas wins me over.
Throughout history, governments have used propaganda and labels to turn the masses against anyone who tries to challenge those in power.
Terrorist, traitor, radical, extremist, fascist, communist, white supremacist, racist, bigot, etc… These labels and many more are thrown around by those with influence to stigmatize individuals and scare away the average person from even listening to what they have to say.
Demons in Our Midst
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover considered Martin Luther King, Jr. a radical and made him a target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, a covert operation aimed at neutralizing political entities deemed “subversive.” The FBI spied on King, investigated him for communist ties, and secretly recorded him. The FBI even mailed him a threatening letter that many interpret as implying King should take his own life.
Am I saying the action hero of Demon Defense Agency is the manga equivalent of one of the greatest civil rights activists in history?
I’m saying I find him instantly more likable because he’s trying to bring a dirty secret about his former organization to light and they can’t let that happen. So in order to do that, they label him as having “succumbed” to the demonic energy in his weapons. Now he’s the enemy because of that label.
Suddenly, he is too dangerous to be free.
And instantly more likeable!
Satisfying Plot and Balanced Pacing
The first season of Demon Defense Agency follows Atlas on the run. If you side with the protagonist early on, the plot of season one is straightforward and satisfying.
Well, mostly straightforward.
The plot takes a twist toward the end when you realize the implications of the secret Atlas uncovered. No spoilers here, however.
Most of the time Atlas is either running or confronting an antagonizing force in his way. So there is plenty of movement and action to maintain the momentum between brief exchanges of dialogue. The pace accelerates during fight scenes and then lets off the gas to add weight to the exchanges between characters. Even the flashback episodes used to flesh out the characters and world move at an engaging pace.
The Demonic Art Style
Ninfadora did an excellent job with the artwork in Demon Defense Agency. The characters are drawn well to convey the mood of a scene and the emotions of the characters. And I appreciate the aesthetic of the demons. They look sinister and demonic without being over-the-top.
Ju Rodrigues nailed the background art. The art style makes me feel like I’m in a big city on a rainy night. It’s dark, gritty, and a bit depressing. And the contrast with the bright neon signs makes the city feel lived in. People are still going about their lives when demons could attack at any moment. It fits the tone of the manga perfectly.
The use of color is also quite good. There is a healthy mix of light and dark colors. The characters and demons are easily identified with a single color. Atlas is purple, Jason is light blue, and Sasha is green. As a result, the distinct colors create a pleasing dance of vibrant colors when the Defenders and demons engage in battle.
Good Use of Words
The writing is solid. The dialogue moves the plot along and provides for some hard hitting lines throughout the story. Enough to give me goosebumps a few times. And that’s a win for me because it’s a sign of a creator putting his or her heart into the work.
Griffin Walsh knows when to use words for effect and when to let the artwork speak for itself. Some of the panels are wordless and they’re all the better for it. I can feel the tension between characters in certain scenes without them saying anything.
Manga with… Audio?
I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire five years ago. I’ve never watched Game of Thrones, but for whatever reason I decided to play the soundtrack from season one while I was reading the book. That was a game changer for me because the audio was a perfect companion to the visuals conjured by my imagination. It was the sensorial equivalent of 1 + 1 = 4.
Ever since then, I love to find music that flows with what I’m reading.
So imagine my surprise when I found out Laurel Pursuit created a soundtrack for Demon Defense Agency! There is a track for every episode linked at the beginning of each episode. But if you’re reading Demon Defense Agency on your computer, there’s also button to turn the music on and off without needing to hit SoundCloud.
The music compliments the demonic art style and each track fits the episode it’s tied to. For example, in the first episode we meet Atlas on the run from DDA officers and we hear police sirens in the opening of the track for episode one.
The Creators Behind Demon Defense Agency
- Story: Taro Nakagawa, Griffin Walsh
- Script: Griffin Walsh
- Lead Artist: Ninfadora
- Storyboard: Momo Sanse
- Painter: Ovo the Artist
- Base Colorist: Ju Rodrigues
- Background Artist: Ju Rodrigues
- Letterist: VTS, Taitin
VoyceMe is the Home of Demon Defense Agency
Go to the VoyceMe website or download the VoyceMe app (Google and iOS) if you want to check this manhwa out! Season one just finished last month and there are 12 episodes available on VoyceMe at the time of this writing.
Season two has been announced and is set to release this month so now is a great time to get caught up on season one!
Demon Defense Agency Is off to a Solid Start With Season One
Demon Defense Agency is a dark, demonic manga with an instantly likeable hero, a satisfying plot, and balanced pacing. The artwork is excellent and fits the tone of the story perfectly. And the studio responsible for Demon Defense Agency even put together a complimentary soundtrack, with a different track for each episode. This is the complete package! The only thing it’s missing is the ability to smell the demons, but no word on when that will implemented.
Hey! Before you go—have you seen our other reviews of VoyceMe Originals: