The end of the world as we know it

Hoshi no Samidare: Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, by Satoshi Mizukami, is conclusive proof of Hinano’s theory that cute girls with wimpy boy servants, violent tempers, superiority complexes, and flat chests are evil demons from hell.

At certain times during the Earth’s history, a gigantic hammer has appeared in the sky, and evil magi and their grotesque golem servants have walked the streets. During these times, magical talking animals have partnered up with special humans, known as knights. They have granted these knights super powers and compelled them to fight the magi, hoping to put an end to them before the hammer – known by the ominous name of “The Biscuit Hammer” – descends to Earth and shatters the planet to pieces. And these knights are also charged to protect and obey the Princess Anima, a special girl with super powers of her own, as she leads them in battle.

The dreaded Biscuit Hammer has appeared again. Yuuhi Amamiya, an 18-year-old boy in modern Japan, is granted the powers of a knight by Noi Crezant, a magical talking lizard. Each knight’s power varies; one knight charges her wooden sword with energy, while another can create a series of whirling platforms to step on. Yuuhi’s power is telekinesis, moving himself or remote objects with the power of his mind, but it is still weak and untrained. He is attacked by a golem, but is saved from death by Samidare Asahina, a 16-year-old girl who is none other than the Princess Anima.

Samidare was a sickly girl whose life was nearing its end. But when the Biscuit Hammer appeared in the sky, she became the Princess Anima, receiving perpetual health as well as superhuman strength that could literally split mountains. But unlike most super-heroines, Samidare obsessed over the fact that once she and the knights defeated the magi and stopped the Biscuit Hammer, she would lose her powers and health and die young. In secret, she resolved to become Lucifer – she would lead the knights against the magi to learn their abilities and increase her power, then use her power to destroy herself, and the whole world along with her.

And unlike most super-heroes, Yuuhi doesn’t care about saving the world. His father was murdered by his mother and the grandfather who had raised him after that taught him some very bad lessons. Yuuhi is as nihilistic as Lucifer herself. What does Yuuhi do when he finds out Samidare’s true intentions? He becomes Lucifer’s personal black knight. He agrees to help Lucifer destroy the world, and die together with her. Yuuhi and Samidare keep their plan a secret from the other knights, swearing to destroy anyone who finds out or who stands in their way.

Enter Hangetsu Shinonome, mightiest of the knights. Hangetsu is literally the Jesus Christ figure to Samidare’s Lucifer. He can sense Lucifer’s evil intent, but opposes her the way Jesus would: not through might, but by friendship, sacrifice, a dramatic sermon or two, ultimately bestowing a grace that the sinner does not deserve, and even, in a sense, returning from the dead. I swear I am not reading too much into this – read this manga yourself and you will understand. It’s because of Hangetsu that Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is elevated from a dark version of your standard “flat-chested girl with obedient boy slave” show to a story of redemption with considerable dramatic impact and literary merit.

Would you sell your soul for some DFC?

The story still has a way to go, but the main conflict has been set up. Will the black knight continue down the dark path to destruction that he is walking with Lucifer, or can he save himself, the world, and even Samidare through the gifts that Hangetsu left him? The happy ending is by no means a foregone conclusion. As noble and powerful as the grace of Jesus is, the seductive appeal of Lucifer is not to be underestimated. Samidare is a sweet and devoted girl who sincerely cares about Yuuhi, and her dere-dere mode is enough to make one sell their soul. Destruction doesn’t look like the demons from Diablo. If everything evil looked monstrous on the outside, there wouldn’t be as much evil in the world. Evil can be cute enough to fall in love with, and Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer proves it.

You may catch yourself cheering for the love between Lucifer and her black knight, then shivering from dread moments later.

It’s almost enough to make me second-guess my contract with J.C.Staff, and question the wisdom of my pledge to uphold cuteness, glasses, and flat chests till the end of time. It is enough to make me stop talking about fluff and moeblobs for a few hours and make a post with the words “grace”, “redemption”, and “Jesus Christ” in it. And that, people, takes some doing.

4 Responses to “The end of the world as we know it”

  1. I really hope that Sami and Yuuji don’t blow up The Earth when it’s all said and done.

  2. Snoopy says:

    I like your interpretation of Hangetsu’s character. He certainly was a catalyst that made a lot of changes in Yuuhi and Samidare. As to whether or not the changes will stick. it’s still up in the air for me.

  3. Sixten says:

    I also don’t think Hangetsu’s promise to oppose Samidare has ended with his death.

    Thank you for translating this. I haven’t been impressed with a story this much since I finished Haibane-Renmei last year. This manga’s on my buy list if it ever sets foot in the USA.

  4. […] you are still wondering about read this or not, take a glimpse of this review from H.C. Staff BTW, hopefuly tomorrow(22 hours from the moment I post this) a new chapter from HnS will be release […]

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