Sunday, June 22, 2008

Red Angel vol. 1 by Makoto Tateno review

Red Angel vol. 1

Author/Artist: Makoto Tateno

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing

Rating: YA - ages 16 and up

Genre: Shojo, Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural

Grade: A+

*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.com/buzz/. Check it out! ***

According to the back of the book:

Demons walk among us.

From the streets of modern day New York and the hallways of a Japanese high school to the confines of a British boys' school dormitory, Mika and her twin persona, Eru, have stalked and hunted. The two are vampires - creatures driven by their thirst for blood.

A fateful encounter with the enigmatic Kinsei reveals a clue to a forgotten past. Mika remembers nothing, but Eru knows of a shared past with Kinsei. Though Kinsei seems like a vampire, he also hints at being something more. Are Mika and Eru merely creatures of darkness, or like Kinsei, are they something more ancient and powerful?

Mysteries, intrigues, and a hint of drama unravel in this two-volume masterpiece by Makoto Tateno.

It must be vampire season and it's not even Halloween yet. Oh well! Red Angel vol. 1 is the first of two books by the uncomparable Makoto Tateno-sama. It's the tale of Mika and her twin persona Eru and their exploits as vampires. But Mika and Eru aren't typical vampires. Instead of changing into bats or cats, they have a pair of crimson wings. Not only that, they seem to have somewhat of a conscience. Mika is drop dead gorgeous and is a bit intimidating at the Japanese high school that she attends. There is one girl who befriends her though. Sadly Mika betrays the friendship and feeds. She does have ettiquette though and only takes a small amount of blood and doesn't change her friend.

After hurting her friend she and Eru move to New York City. There is a reckless vampire who is draining all of the blood from his victims. Since Mika has a conscience, of sorts, she and Eru decide to try and figure out who might be the vampire who is misbehaving.

Once the mystery is solved they head to jolly olde England. Mika meets with two other vampires that she met while in New York and they head to a theatre. Mika, not knowing what is going on, finds out that it is a vampire gathering. A guest arrives and tells a terrible tale. Mika recognizes the goodness in the guest and chooses not to participate in the gathering.

Eru and Mika go back to Japan and here is where they meet Kinsei. Something is different about Kinsei.He doesn't seem to be your typical vampire. He also has a pair of crimson wings and seems to know Mika/Eru. Mika doesn't remember him but Eru knows something. Will Mika figure out who Kinsei is? Will she remember what her true identity is? Be sure to read it to find out.

Makoto Tateno-sama is one of my three favorite mangaka. Her art is so clean and tight. She has an amazing eye for detail. The style is truly original. Tateno-sama is amazing. I was so excited to read this story. Not only is it stunning to look at but the story keeps you riveted. I've never been much of a vampire story fan, but because this is Tateno-sama were talking about there is no way that I would miss it. I'm glad that read it. It is so gripping and there are so many twists and turns I don't think that I'll be able to wait until September for the second, and final, volume to come out. I am so anxious. As always Digital Manga does an excellent job. This isn't a yaoi story so anyone can read it, even though Tateno-sama is known for her awesome boys' love stories, her shoujo works are just as fantastic. I give this manga two thumbs up and if I had more thumbs they would go up too. This is one highly recommended manga even if you don't like vampire stories. If you choose not to read this work, you are really missing out on beautiful art and a gripping and interesting story.

***Review Copy provided by Publisher***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***

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