Possessed mannequins. Evil gingerbread men. Animate patchwork dolls. All these and more prowl the creepily cute landscape of Nari Kusakawa’s The Recipe for Gertrude. In this modern fantasy, an unlikely romance blossoms between high schooler Susugi Sahara and an unusual boy demon named Gertrude. Created from parts stolen from other demons and brought to life according to an ancient magical recipe, Gertrude is a misfit in the demonic world. He lives on the run, constantly under attack from demons demanding their body parts back, searching for the recipe that will explain what makes him tick. Drawn into Gertrude’s mad world, Sahara can’t resist the urge to try and help her newfound friend. As her cheery nature begins to soften Gertrude’s prickly exterior, it becomes clear that theirs was no chance meeting. Somehow, Sahara holds the key to the recipe. If only she could figure out how…and what she’s going to tell her family about her new boyfriend. The Recipe for Gertrude is an appealing combination of silliness, sweetness, and a touch of horror. Loveable characters and intriguing magic make up for a bumpy translation and cluttered layouts, and Kusakawa’s people and scenery have a quirky cool. The manga has a Harry Potter-meets-Howl’s Moving Castle (not to mention Fullmetal Alchemist) quality that should appeal to fans of the supernatural and the romantic.