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by Rebecca Silverman,

Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!

GN 1

Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! GN 1
Once she was the second most powerful being in all the Dark Realms – Jahy, the Demon Lord's right-hand woman! But then came the magical girl, and in no longer than it takes to shatter a mana crystal, the world was destroyed and Jahy flung down from her perch. What's a demoness to do? Get stuck in a child's body, live in a crappy run-down apartment, and scour the human world for enough pieces of the mana crystal, obviously. But why didn't anyone tell her that it would be this hard?!

Did you ever wonder what happens to all those demons and villains that the heroes defeat? Probably not – because the assumption is always that the world is better off without them, so why should we care if they end up living in a cardboard box by the river? But be that as it may, The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! is still here to answer your questions about what becomes of the defeated villains…and the answer is a fish-out-of-water comedy that takes The Devil Is a Part-Timer!'s premise and makes it more difficult for its protagonist.

That protagonist, who was of course the antagonist of an unnamed magical girl tale, is Jahy. Back in the Dark Realms, she was second only to the king himself, and spent her days in luxury as she commanded legions – oftentimes to do things like cook her food, prepare her baths, and other mundane things. Or at least, they seemed mundane until that thrice-damned magical girl shattered the mana crystal that apparently powered the entire demon world and robbed her of her power. Suddenly Jahy found herself in a child's body in the human world. Having only the tiny mana crystal she was somehow able to grab in the crisis, Jahy is almost entirely devoid of magical power. She can use the crystal to temporarily regain her adult body – which is a good thing, because not many reputable places hire apparent eight-year-olds – but otherwise she's really no different from your average human. To say that this sucks might be an understatement.

Most of Jahy's problems, little girl body aside, stem from the fact that she's been so powerful for so long that she has no idea how to do most of the basic, everyday life things. It's bad enough having to bathe in a tiny washtub without being reminded that once she luxuriated in rose-scented tubs of unmatched depth and comfort, and the fact that she now has to fill the tub herself really just feels like adding insult to injury. None of Jahy's minions appear to have made the transition with her (at first), so she's truly on her own and has to learn to do things from the ground up. Then when she finally does find another dark denizen, Druj, she's too embarrassed by how much better Druj seems to be doing to ask for help – and since Druj firmly believes in Jahy's greatness and extreme capability, she tends to put a rosy spin on everything Jahy says anyway, assuming that her former mistress is still living like a queen.

Although it's never really elaborated upon (we have no idea what Druj does for work in the human world, only that she's a “president” and very wealthy), part of the secret to Druj's success may be that she managed to retain her adult form. Jahy's child body is adorable, but also incredibly unhelpful, and when her boss at the bar where she becomes a waitress in her brief adult moments finds out her secret, all she wants to do is say how cute little Jahy is; her adorability doesn't even net her free room and board. In fact, the apartment she lives in belongs to the boss and her sister, but the sister is bound and determined that Jahy will pay rent, child or no. (Jahy, meanwhile, is equally stubborn about not paying. Jahy's really not helping herself here.)

As you might guess, the humor does verge on the mean side. Because we can see that Jahy is the author of many of her own setbacks, it mostly avoids coming off that way, but the later chapters with the landlady do come close to crossing that particular line. While it isn't necessarily fair to say that because she's in a child's body, Jahy deserves more consideration than if she, like Druj, retained adult form, it does make for some occasionally uncomfortable moments. On the other hand, Jahy is so laughably bad at meeting her goals in ways that have zero to do with how she looks that it almost doesn't matter.

The story is a bit redundant in this first volume. This is due to the fact that the pre-series short chapters are also included in the book, so territory covered in chapters .1 and .2 are also re-covered in chapters 1 and 2, albeit in extended form. It's a short volume anyway – a bit over 160 pages – but that works for the style of comedy. The art does enhance things nicely; the characters are all distinct and fun to look at (especially both forms of Jahy) and there's just enough detail to ground things without feeling overwhelming. (The magical girl also looks like a Cardcaptor Sakura reference, which is a nice touch.) There's one awkward bit of translation when Jahy's boss starts calling her “Sweet-hy” as a nickname, which just feels ungainly, but other than that, this is a well-put-together book.

The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! is a simple, fun comedy. It tries to make the most of its premise and largely succeeds, and if it does verge on mean humor, it generally doesn't cross the line. It's a good light read, and that's never a bad thing.

Overall : B
Story : B
Art : B+

+ Mostly funny, some good juxtaposition between Jahy's two lives. Attractive art with some good details.
Humor can border on mean, some redundancy at the start.

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Production Info:
Story & Art: Wakame Konbu
Licensed by: Square Enix Manga & Books

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Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! (manga)

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