My love of all things Disgaea started with the artwork - those cute, evil little characters really made an impact with me, and to this day it remains one of my favourite aesthetic creations. So imagine my delight when I found the manga!
The book follows the story of the first game - with Dark Prince Laharlawoken (rudely!) from his slumber by his vassal, the demonic, fiery and rather-hot-in-a-loli way Etna. Laharl is a spoilt braggart who, upon learning of his father's death, decides to take the throne and vanquish any who seek to challenge him. Etna, always scheming, follows him with half-hearted loyalty and more cunning plans than an entire series of Blackadder.
Being a single volume, much is missed out of the book, including the entire human element of the games, and the series really deserved more. That said, the anime is available for those who want the full tale, and this condensed volume still reads well.
The artwork is a little on the dark side - I'm not sure if it's through choice or by accident, but it's a very muddy print, and looks a little like a doujinshi to my eye. The characters seem to shift between looking dead-on, to looking a bit misplaced and out of synch. It's a bit odd, but again it didn't massively detract from my enjoyment.
The only crime the book really commits is that something far better could have been done in its place. As such, this breezy read will entertain while it lasts, but is ultimately forgettable in the face of superior versions of this story, such as the anime and the second series of manga, Disagaea 2.