Red Angel Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-724-1
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Red Angel

Red Angel Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     May 26, 2008
Release Date: June 10, 2008


Red Angel Vol.#01
© Digital Manga Publishing


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Makoto Tateno
Translated by:Duane Johnson
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Mika, a transfer student, is a girl as beautiful as an angel. She invites her new friend Nana to her house, where Mika's brother Koryu fascinates her. But between these beautiful siblings lies a hidden secret. They are actually vampires with red wings attached to their backs. They have survived for eternity, yearning to live under the sun's rays and drinking the blood of humans.

The Review
Packaging:

DMP really does a nice looking job on this release, with an eye-catching red and purple cover (really, it works better than it sounds like it would) on the dustjacket. The imprint bar on the cover is also purple, which both blends well with the artwork and emphasizes that this is not one of their BL releases. The print quality is pretty good, with lines that are fairly sharp, although the blacks aren't as deep as they probably should be.

Art:

Tateno's art is lush and brooding, bringing to mind some of Kaori Yuki's work - which fits this particular story quite well. The elaborate flowing hair, intense close-ups, and emotive eyes all evoke the style of classic shoujo artwork, but without looking quite as dated as that might imply. Anatomy isn't really her strong suit - some of the full body shots look rather awkward, but she tends to limit those, so it never really becomes a distraction. Her backgrounds are really well done, especially when there's drapery or architecture. Overall, this book provides some nice eye-candy.

Text/SFX:

I wish I could say something nice about the overall translation, but it's definitely rough, feeling like it could have used another layer of adaptation between the original translation and the finished script. Sentences were choppy and awkwardly phrased, with structures that seemed to reflect more the Japanese original than English convention.

All sound effects are translated into English. Some are subtitiled on the page in a matching font, while others are simply replaced by the English translation.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Mika is the new girl in school, frail, beautiful, and not at all interested in compromising herself just to make herself more agreeable to others. Nana, though, has managed to get through her shell and has become close enough to Mika that she feels comfortable inviting her home. Nana is awed by Mika's huge, elegant house - and by Eru, Mika's hauntingly beautiful brother. While there, however, she sees something strange - a trick of the light makes it look as if Mika had a pair of red wings.

But is it really a trick of the light? When Mika is absent from school for a while, Nana returns to her house to find out what's wrong. She encounters Eru and his crows, and while there's nothing overt that seems wrong, something warns Nana that there's something very wrong in this house. To her detriment, she suppresses that little voice, and ends up falling prey to Mika and Eru's true natures.

As it turns out, they're vampires who feed on the blood of the living, constantly on the move to avoid detection. There are other vampires out there, too - ones who can transform into crows or bats, but Mika and Eru are different somehow. For one, they have beautiful red wings - and they share a body, switching back and forth at will. And while they may have forgotten their true origin, there are others who haven't. When an old enemy shows up, just living and avoiding detection may no longer be enough for them.

Comments
As vampire stories go, this doesn't feel too far from the norm, even counting the two strange twists that Tateno works into the story. While each chapter has a feel of the tragic, it's pretty light for horror, and there's even some humor worked in that keeps it from getting too dark. It's easy to sympathize with Mika's seeming desire to live an ordinary life, even in the face of constant change and darkness. I'd easily recommend this to fans of gothic titles like Godchild, or anyone in the mood for some winged vampire eyecandy.

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