Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red Angel vol. 2 by Makoto Tateno review

Red Angel

Author/Artist: Makoto Tateno

Publisher: Juné

Rating: OT – 16 and up

Genre: Shojo, Drama, Supernatural, Fantasy

Grade: A+

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

Ah, the month of October. It's that time of year when we carve jack-o-lanterns. We deck the house out with ghost decorations and dress up like various monsters. What better time of year to curl up on the sofa with a season appropriate manga. Red Angel is a two volume vampire series by Makoto Tateno-sama. I have also reviewed Red Angel vol. 1, so don't hesitate to check it out as well.

Mika and Eru is/are a fallen angel. The male Eru and the female Mika are one in the same, two personalities and genders in one body. We also learn that Mika and Eru are the archangel Michael (Mikeru is the Japanese pronunciation of the name Michael). Fallen angels on earth are what we now know as vampires. The one who lords over them is Kinsei, also known as Lucifer.

In Red Angel vol. 2 more time of the story is spent on the fallen aspect of Mika and Eru. Eru knows that they are Michael, but Mika is still unaware. Eru also remembers that Kinsei is Lucifer, whereas Mika doesn't. Because Mika is unaware of who Kinsei is, they haven't completely fallen. Once Mika does remember they will fall completely and become true vampires. Eru doesn't want to forget their humanity, so he is bound and determined to not let Mika remember. Kinsei doesn't understand why Mika and Eru care for humans so much. He feels that they are only there to serve the vampires and are lower beings. Kinsei wants Mika and Eru to complete the fall so he tries everything in his power to help Mika remember. Will he succeed?

I found this volume to be interesting on so many different levels. The art is magnificent, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Tateno-sama. The story is gripping. But I found it weird that one of the characters was referred to as Beelzebub and it wasn't in reference to Kinsei/Lucifer. But since Japan isn't a Christian country, I'm able to overlook it. The main reason I found this to be an intriguing manga is the highly religious nature of it. Being a follower of Christ I found many interesting references that are taught in scripture. Now let it be known that there are no references made in regards to Jesus Christ and if you aren't a religious person you can still enjoy this series. But if you are religious, you might catch the subtle inferences.

This is a Digital Manga Publishing release. It is a larger trim size and comes wrapped in a dust jacket. It truly is a beautiful book. The colors and the art really set this volume apart from other titles with the same subject matter. It really is a stunning work of art sitting on the shelf.

I recommend this shojo comic to those who like vampire stories, those who don't like vampire stories (I fall into this category), or those who like stories in general. Which means I recommend this manga to one and all!

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

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