The Magia the Ninth series has a thoroughly ridiculous premise, which is why it’s so much fun. It’s also only 2 volumes which makes the end pretty open-ended. I found myself wishing for maybe one or two more volumes to fill in a few of the many gaps. Basically a high school student whose parents were killed by a demon runs into the head demon hunter of the Church of the Masterpiece, Ludwig von Beethoven (cranky, ambitious, powerful, but maybe nice too). Beethoven, along with Bach (a café proprietor), Schubert (uptight and standoffish student), Liszt (a Mr Popular student/gun-nut), and Tchaikovsky (an owl/girl), are exorcists who possess the souls of the composers whose names they use, and they destroy demons using the power of spells based on the major compositions of their namesakes; for example after one of Beethoven’s key attacks is “Masterpiece: Sinfonia Eroica!”. Our student, Takeru, ends up getting the soul of Brahms installed in him, but something goes wrong-ish and he can’t access the powers he should be able to. Takeru wants to apprentice with Beethoven in order to learn how to be an exorcist and hopefully get revenge for his parents’ murders. All of the characters are manga standards, but the combination and the addition of the music theme makes things entertaining.
The bridge between volumes 1-2 is the appearance of Mozart, a former exorcist who is now a summoner in the company of a major demon and ex-friend – now enemy of Beethoven. Mozart appears to be the most powerful of the group, who says he wants to save humanity with pure love and the power of demons. The abbreviated nature of the story makes things seem a little rushed, and yet the characters all do fit or at least appear compatible with their historical personalities. Given Mozart’s public reputation, it’s not too difficult to imagine him reincarnated as a former good guy who decides he wants to pursue his own desires and becomes obsessed with the world loving him. This is pretty true of the rest of the gang as well, although why Tchaikovsky is an owl most of the time is not clear.
After Mozart with his demon Belial beats the tar out of Beethoven, Takeru steps in to try and protect his friend and Belial suddenly back away, and Mozart leaves. Beethoven is bedridden for a while, forcing Bach to take over, and while he goes out, the rest of the gang takes on a client with a cursed Stradivarius. Once Beethoven, recovers, he suddenly kicks Takeru out. It turns out he did some research and figures out that Takeru’s parents had been clients of Mozart’s. Takeru meanwhile has no idea what’s going on and is picked up by one of Mozart’s associates, Schumann (goth type). Everything is explained when Takeru’s memories come back to him, and his powers suddenly flare up and go amok. Takeru’s parents had made a deal with Belial to exchange their lives for Takeru’s who had apparently died, and the trauma of waking up and witnessing the exchange had created a mental block that prevented Takeru from being able to fully use his Brahms powers. Beethoven and friends show up to help, and Beethoven defeats Mozart, and tries to save Takeru by removing Brahms, but Takeru struggles to hold on to the musician soul, and in the end, we’re back where we started with Takeru following Beethoven as an apprentice.
The entire plot is somewhat predictable and cliché, but the goofiness of the premise and the character twists that are both believable of the historical composers while being modern manga stereotypes makes the whole thing just fun. Even the conductor batons that look like magical girl wands.