Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer Volume 1 By Satoshi Mizukami

Wacky premise full of heartfelt emotions and Mizukami’s distinct art style

Satoshi Mizukami wrote a manga called Spirit Circle. It is one of the best manga’s I read in the last five or so year. So, when I heard that an anime based on his other manga was finally going to start airing, I decided to check it out.

Right from the outset you feel its his work. Mizukami has this really distant artwork, which feels cutesy, but he undercuts it with adult, witty banter humor. Don’t expect too much visually, especially when it comes to interiors, while he knows how to create an impactful big panel when he’s about to reveal something important. He does the same here, when we finally see the biscuit hammer.

Amamiya is your average college student. Then, one morning he wakes up and there’s a talking lizard on top of him. The lizard introduces himself as a knight, a servant to the amazing princess who needs more soldiers to fight her war against a colossal enemy. The Earth itself is in peril, and Amamiya is one of the chosen soldiers who will have to step it up. So, what does Amamiya do when hearing such incredible news. He keeps calm and just throws the lizard out the window. These few panels sold me on the manga already. The comedic timing is perfect, especially if you are into deadpan comedy as much as I am.

Anyway, the lizard comes back and after a shouting match between him and Amamiya announces he will be here to stay, and nobody else can see him but Amamiya, to which Amamiya replies that he better go and see a psychologist. The constant banter between Amamiya and the Lizard Knight is also one of the comedic highlights of the show. The lowlight – some cheap ecchi panties shots. Lizard gifts him a rim which lets him use telekinesis and create floating objects. Amamiya isn’t interested in any of that, especially when he realizes that his physical abilities mirror his psychic ones.

But, just like the lizard, the universe itself won’t let him alone. He is attacked by a bizarre looking human fish hybrid that the Lizard calls a Golem. Amamiya is crushed, and just before he is about the bite the big one, he is saved. His savior is non other but the famed princess he should be fighting side by side for. She punches the golem into smithereens. It turns out, she is also his next-door neighbor and the sister of his physics professor. Small world. Little by little he gets really impressed by this princess, Samidare. He pledges his loyalty to her, once she declares that she wants to crush the world after she saves it. The lizard says she is mad, and I agree, but Amamiya doesn’t listen to us… He might like crazy bi…es….

While we do not get a lot of development from Samidare, who just feels like this massive, unchanging force, there is plenty of interesting things going on with Amamiya. Throughout the first part of the volume, we get flashes of his past. There are chains around him, both in dream and in memory. When he was a young kid, his father died. The father was a good detective, but he was betrayed by his closest friend and died. Amamiya’s mother vanished soon after the funeral, which mean he had to go and live with his grandfather. The grandfather, his father’s father, didn’t take the death of his son well, at all. From that day on, he started to live with this motto: “Don’t make friends nor enemies. Enemies will stab you in the heart and friends will stab you in the back”. And he applied this motto to Amamiya as a kid. One time Amamiya brought a friend back home. As retribution for not following his grandfather’s motto he was chained and left in a small room for three days. After so much trauma in his early life, there is no wonder that he despises the world and everything on it. That is why he accepted to be Samidare’s knight. She will destroy the world and he can’t wait.

He thinks he is a complete back hole devoid of every kind emotion. But that isn’t true. Samidare changes him in ways he didn’t want to change, or at least wasn’t aware off. As they spend time together, he realizes he wants to be useful to her. But not just as a tool, he wants to be a pillar in her life and ambition. His strength becoming hers etc. She is the new light in his life, his breaker of traumatic chains, the first step towards a new, more complete life. He isn’t aware of it yet, but he will love her. The highlight of this change is when he toward the end of the first volume ask the lizard to heal his grandfather. Before that we get what seems an honest scene between the grandfather and Amamiya. The grandfather apologizes for what he did in the past, Amamiya erupts and tells him everything he always wished he could say.

All this is going on while a giant biscuit hammer is slowly descending towards Earth, ready to smash it to bits.

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