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Literature / Tokyo Demons

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The heroine in her typical emotional state.

"You can turn into those…insects. I can feel people’s emotions through touch. Daniel-san has an Arabic friend who can do things to people from far away.” He took a step closer. “You’re not crazy. And you’re not alone."
Sachi to Ayase

Tokyo Demons is an English-language prose serial In the Style of... Japanese light novels. It is written by Lianne Sentar, edited by Rebecca Scoble, and contains one illustration per chapter by Priscilla Hamby (a.k.a. rem, illustrator for Devil's Candy). It follows the adventures of several supernatural individuals from the viewpoint of two teenagers, Ayase Watanabe and Jo Oda. The story follows them as they start high school, meet other super-powered individuals, and become embroiled in an underground gang war.

The series is a trilogy of books, starting in 2011 and wrapping up in late 2016. The series was originally found on and could be read for free, but eventually moved to Sparkler Monthly until the end of its original run. In addition, a fully dramatized audiobook is also available and currently covers Book 1. The light novel updated on a monthly basis.


There are two sequel series planned: Tokyo Ghosts, set some years later, and Tokyo Angels. Ghosts put up its prologue chapter in early 2017 after the completion of Tokyo Demons, and began serialization in February 2019. The first series, as well as the preview of the second, can still be read in its archived page.

With the dissolution of Sparkler Monthly in January 2021, the book series' fate is in limbo.



  • Accidental Kiss: In Book 1, when Ayase and Kiyoshi are trapped together in a broom closet, they do this while she's struggling to break free and while he's barely conscious.
  • Animal Eye Spies: The most common use of Ayase's power.
  • Addled Addict: What anyone who's had Pitch in their system is susceptible to. Kiyoshi was able to bypass this however by undergoing a lengthy process of getting rid of the stimulant that makes Pitch so addictive in the first place while still suffering the other side effects from it.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Ayase briefly loses her arm after some of her bugs were damaged during her encounter in the church during Book 1. She gets it back by the end of it.
    • In Book 3, Ayase gets trapped in bug form and gassed. She loses her hands, both legs, and all her hair as a result.
  • Badass Normal: Jo Oda. Despite being one of the protagonists and POV characters, he's really just a skilled pickpocket with moderate fighting talent and excellent survival instincts.
  • Badass Preacher/Cool Teacher: Priest Daniel Ozimek: Though not one of the empowered, he knows a lot about supernatural abilities in general and acts as a mentor to Sachi long before the events of Book 1.
    • Events at the start of Book 2 suggest that he may have a power, but as of the start of Book 3 it has yet to appear.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: Kado faces tremendous guilt for everything he's done, including becoming a tool for Touya. Half his dialogue includes apologies. Whether or not it's justified guilt is another matter.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Miki, basically taking up every duty that's supposed to go to their stone head of a leader and doing it himself.
  • Body Horror: The effects of Pitch aren't very pretty. Administered into your system, Pitch makes a person's veins go pitch black, and more commonly it's found around the arms where it's first injected. Touya has it so bad that his whole arms are covered in black.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Played With. Sachi appeared to be this to both Ayase and Kadoyuki during the beginning of and before the first book , often trying to talk to them constantly and learn more about them. Not only do they feel like he was coming onto them, they (as well as Jo in one instance) outright tell him that his behavior is creeping them out, and he's forced to reevaluate his approach towards them both. In reality, he was trying to help them by using his power to read their emotions, but it still came across as wannabe flirtatious.
  • Conveniently Coherent Thoughts: Just barely. Whenever Kadoyuki uses telepathy, he gets a stream of short sentences concentrated into whatever's most on the person's mind. If they're aware of his telepathy, they can at least concentrate their thoughts enough to block him out.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Ayase meets Kiyoshi on the first day of school.
  • Deuteragonist: Jo Oda, the street smart classmate of Ayase. His acquaintance pool has some of the same people as Ayase's (Kiyoshi being his roommate and Sachi and Kadoyuki being his classmates), and his eventual admission into Byakko help shed some light on the gang aspect of the series, which goes hand in hand with the supernatural elements. Especially so, as he's revealed to have a power of his own later on.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Miki gets "Twice" in Book 1, and Adam, Nick and Hatsumi get "Press Start" (Adam) and "Curiosity Killed the Cat" (Nick/Hatsumi) in Book 2.
  • Erotic Dream: Ayase has a brief one about Kiyoshi after the events of the first part of Book 1. She never quite looks at him the same way again after that.
  • Faking the Dead: In Book 3, Kadoyuki does this in order to keep pursuing Touya under Core's nose. But for all intents and purposes, he got the life choked out of him by Touya and left for dead.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Normally a makeout session would be welcome in this series (and there is plenty of that), but Book 3's session has a shirtless Kiyoshi doing the deed with a scarred, double-amputated and very unwilling Ayase. Luckily she stops him before things got really serious.
    • We get a naked Touya in Book 3 as well, but he's hopped up on Pitch, delirious, and mentally exhausted. We even see his arms almost covered in black veins from his Pitch intake.
  • Flashback: Some chapters begin with one of these, showing parts of the backstories of the main characters. In some cases, it actually gives insight into the current plot.
  • Girly Bruiser: Mitsuko, in spades. The picture for the second chapter of Book 2 shows her applying her lipstick while she flicks open a switchblade.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Inverted by the end of Book 1. After coming to the church in order to check up on Kiyoshi's situation, Sachi comes in with glasses that were previously unseen on him. He mentions that he wears contacts, and after a conversation, Ayase comments that he looks better with the glasses instead. He wears them from that point on, and is presented in most promotional material with them. Even on the dakimakura.
  • Hive Mind: Ayase when she breaks apart into The Swarm.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Byakko's base is attacked by Core, some of the members, including the kid that got Jo Oda into the gang, stay behind to defend it. Later on a TV report flashes the pictures of those who had died in the fight.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The Know What You Want collection of works taking place pre-story and during Book 2. Justified, since they were made for the "Cherry Bomb" smut series on Sparkler, so by their very nature there's way more makeouts, sexual discoveries, and outright sex than there ever was in the main story.
  • I Have Your Wife: More like "I Have Your Crush", but it still applies to Kiyoshi, with Core holding her hostage and threatening to kill her if he doesn't comply with their orders in the latter half of Book 1.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Kiyoshi is revealed to have this in Book 1, as he used to be a championship level archer when he was a child. This is part of the reason why Core wants him so badly, and they wish to use him as a sniper.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: After the worst of it is over in Book 3, Sachi finally lets out all of his pent up frustration with a big, long cry in the corner of the hospital. It's described as a startling cry at first, then a long steady stream of frustrated tears.
  • Japanese Christian: Kadoyuki's the most blatant of them.
  • Love Confession: Kadoyuki makes a couple to Sachi over the course of the story, but finally gives him a clear, honest one at the end of Book 3, complete with a kiss on the cheek. He's left speechless.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Kiyoshi, Kiyoshi, Kiyoshi. Out of the main school group, he's the most active in sports and has a good figure, which is only emphasized more when he gets Pitch forced into his system. Even Ayase had fantasized about him at a couple of points.
  • My Greatest Failure: Sachi considered it to be when he couldn't help one particular person with his problems— Kadoyuki.
  • The Napoleon: Miki, the bitter second in command of the Byakko gang.
  • Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters: The Byakko Gang.
  • Official Couple: Zayd and Aisha. Jo and Mitsuko are together by the second book as well.
  • Psycho Serum: Pitch.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Miki complains about Byakko becoming this during the beginning of Book 1, stating that after their former leader left the gang, his "stoner brother" was more lenient with rules and essentially made the gang into a group of potheads who don't do much 'gang' activity. It's part of the reason why Byakko's the laughing stock of the gang world by the time the story starts.
  • Psychic Powers: Obviously.
    • The Empath: Sachi, who can sense emotions with a touch, and Zayd, whose emotions leech into the people around him.
    • Telepathy: Kado can already do Mind Reading and Psychic Radar, much to his distress, but after exposure to Wipe he also gains Mind Manipulation.
    • Seers: Detective Ochi has retrocognition, while Touya has precognition.
      • By the end of Tokyo Demons, poor Kadoyuki has precognition on top of all the other powers making him unstable.

  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Not in the book, but in Miki's Audio Date CD, where he ends up making out with his date in the back of Mitsuko's car. He even teases her about all the things he did that the audience never got to hear.
  • Ship Tease: All over the place.
    • Miki and Mitsuko get a little bit in the story, given their closeness to each other. They even share a light while they're smoking in one of the promotional posters.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Miki.
    Miki: Motherfucking shit-licking horse cock fuckers!
  • Sleep Cute: Ayase and Kadoyuki have a moment like this in Book 2. It's become something of an iconic scene for the series, given that it's on many advertisements.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Subverted. Jo almost always has a cigarette, and the effects of his constant smoking nearly get him killed early in Book 2.
  • Super Serum: Pitch, a black substance used by Core to enhance their personnel to near superhuman levels. We swear the super addictive narcotics that keep you under Core's control are just unintended side effects.
  • Super Strength: After having Pitch administered into his system, Kiyoshi. See Adrenaline Makeover.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After Jo joins Byakko, he's instructed to get a 'sign' of sorts (specifically, something white on his right wrist) to show he's in the gang. He settles for a plain white wristwatch so it wouldn't look too suspicious. However, some local thugs, a couple of classmates, and a policeman are able to quickly assume his membership. Since the story takes place in a city with some pretty high gang activity, it would make sense for the public to recognize gang symbols.
    • Between the dead, injured, or missing students that popped up during the story and the disastrous funeral that injured more students, Fukuhashi High School ended up going one more week of classes before shutting down entirely. The narration even mentions that all of the students are at least a trimester behind on school.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Most of the narrative follows Ayase and Jo on their own separate adventures, but it does have the supporting cast get chapters to themselves as well.
  • The Syndicate: Core.
  • Threesome Subtext: Between Ayase, Sachi, and Kadoyuki. Ayase and Sachi have the most relationship development, Kado admires Ayase deeply over the course of the story, and Sachi and Kado had some history together before the main plot kicks off. Sachi and especially Ayase are both horribly upset and filled with rage respectively over Kadoyuki's faked death as well. Jo even jokes that the reason that Sachi and Ayase don't end up as a permanent item by the prologue for Ghosts is because Kado isn't there with them. The creators also often encourage this line of thought during the fan contests.
    • The fans also voted for the trio to be featured in Sparkler Monthly's 2015 couples' calendar. The extremely suggestive art was, at the time, available as an official poster in the store.
    • Outright made into a Polyamory in the Cherry Bomb shorts, with the release of the appropriately titled "All Coming Together" featuring them all trying a threesome.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The two main stories (gang wars and Core versus the Church) are split up across the books' narrative, having the Heroine and the Deuteragonist respectively split up and seeing those plots from their points of view.
  • Urban Fantasy: The fantastic psychic elements go hand in hand with technology and modern sensibilities with this series.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? / Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Sachi can sense others' emotions when he touches them. It's pretty useless in fights and leads to a lot of awkwardness, but it's handy in interrogations since it makes him a Living Lie Detector. However, when it comes to pathological liars like Kadoyuki, sensing the truth from them becomes a much harder job. According to Daniel, empathetic powers like this also frequently lead to "more sexual partners than the average." The prologue for Ghosts shows that's very, very true.
    • Ayase's power can be seen as this to some extent. Essentially, her stem cells become a swarm of insects, and if any large amount of her insects are injured in that form, it can manifest in her losing a limb (or if it's her brain cells, her skin). This doesn't seem all too great of an ability, but she can utilize it in creative ways, such as surveillance, getting in and out of tight spots, line of sight navigation, and even for simply biting the living hell out of her opponents to disarm them.
  • Yakuza: The Yakuza are apparently involved in the gang wars, although we see very little of them.
  • Younger Than They Look: Miki, thanks to his short height.


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