Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.
This time: Lample, by Aya Kotokawa
Lample revolves around the eponymous genie of the lamp, a demon who can only survive by making pacts with humans in exchange for their life force. He grants their wishes, but always for a fair price (or at least, what he deems to be a fair price). Of course, he’s still a genie and is therefore bound to the lamp, interacting with humans who are brave or foolish enough to seek out his services. A young couple happen to find his lamp sealed away in an old cathedral, and unleash Lample back into the world.
But, Lample can’t make a contract with Yasudora, the young owner of a local antique shop. He’s somehow protected by a spiritual barrier that prevents him from being affected by any form of spiritual or demonic power, for as long as he can remember. So even though he would be all about spending as much of his life force as it would take to heal his girlfriend Riu’s anime-style terminal illness, he simply can’t. Instead, Lample makes a strange deal with Riu: on the verge of falling into a coma, she trades away one year of life force for Lample to stay around the shop while she sleeps and make another contract when she wakes up.
And thus, Lample hangs around Yasudora’s antique shop, framing the episodic nature of the rest of the manga (which only lasts like 6 chapters, so whatever). Usually someone arrives at the shop searching for Lample to get their wish granted, and something or other happens that lets them get a nice, happy ending. Repeat until Riu wakes up from her sleep and makes her and Lample’s final contract. Blah, blah, blah…
This was okay. The ending made absolutely no sense, but overall the manga isn’t terrible – it just isn’t that great, either. There’s a bit of potential in the idea of a demon regularly sought out by humans, but Lample didn’t take the idea very far. Do you like seeing pretty boys standing around and pontificating? If so, you might like this more than I did.