The market is oversaturated with tales of superheroes. However, there is one manga that puts a new spin on the superhero-villain dynamic. Love After World Domination is a unique and thrilling story that includes action, romance, and even suspense. Just the first volume was enough to pull me in and hook me as an avid fan!
Written by Hiroshi Noda and illustrated by Takahiro Wakamatsu, Love After World Domination follows the blossoming love story between Red, whose real name is Fudo Aikawa, and the Reaper Princess, or Desumi Magahara. Fudo is the leader of Gelato 5, an elite fighting squad trying to protect the world’s civilians. At the same time, Desumi is a combat leader of Gekko; an evil secret organization bent on world destruction. Though the two are natural archenemies, a unique relationship develops between them. The first volume follows their inexperienced steps, following their feelings and exploring what it means to be together while, of course, hiding their emotions from everyone else.
Love After World Domination Volume 1 quickly unfolds the gripping story while also managing to be funny, cute, and full of action. Readers are immediately immersed in the world featured in the manga. While the details aren’t overwhelming, the world is still primarily developed thoroughly enough to feel like it fits into the storyline. Character development is thorough as well and paces throughout the novel after the initial introductions. Each character has developed enough that readers can see beyond their portrayed archetypes, creating unique personalities that readers can connect to and easily find endearing.
The action and romance in Love After World Domination volume 1 are expertly balanced to create a believable dynamic between the two main characters. One minute we see them stumbling to display their feelings towards each other, talking awkwardly and with full blushes, and the next minute a side character appears, and they have to pretend to be fighting each other. The action scenes also add to their character development, as we can see why they’re such big names within their respective organizations, making their forbidden love even more special.
To add a final perfecting touch to the series, the comedy within Love After World Domination volume 1 is also well-balanced with the more serious moments. The comedy style ranges from full-on guffaws to cute “awww” moments, offering another way for readers to connect to the characters and the storyline.
Despite all the positives this manga brings, I do have two gripes about it. Firstly, Fudo and Desumi are written as high schoolers, and we see Desumi briefly in her high school uniform when she’s headed home. This honestly doesn’t seem to fit the characters very well. When I initially read volume 1, I thought they were much older, closer to early adulthood. While I understand this is usually the age group for sentai-themed plotlines, it felt out of place with these characters. They both seemed much more mature than high school, even with their inexperience with relationships, and putting them in that age group seems odd and unnecessary.
The other issue is the development of the love story itself. I would have loved to see a scene or two of Fudo and Desumi fighting before they got in a relationship to see what kind of dynamic they had. We only briefly get to see that, but when the confession is happening, it quickly switches to a more intimate moment. I think a better back story on what they were before would have added to the uniqueness of their relationship and made it so much more of a shocker. However, this is just a massive preference of mine, as I like to see characters develop from before their relationship to throughout it.
Overall, Love After World Domination Volume 1 was a great introduction to what will surely be a cute and exciting storyline. I’m excited to read the subsequent volumes and can’t wait to see how they continue to develop their relationship. Currently, three volumes have been published, though the series is ongoing. In addition, in May of this year, an anime adaptation was announced to premiere in 2022, with Funimation licensing the series and Project No. 9 producing it. With how great the first volume was, I will be eagerly awaiting the anime premiere, but in the meantime, I will be reading the subsequent available volumes!