Manga Reviews

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hells Angels

Hells Angels by Hiromoto Sin Ichi
Scanslated by Tama-Chan Scans and Manga Translation
IRC Channel: #tamascans @ and #manga-translations @
3 Volumes

Topics: Comedy (Twisted)

Amagane Rinne is a student who's just transfered into a new school in the city. On her way to school for the first day, she's hit by a truck while saving a cat. As a result, she ends up in Hell, where all souls go after they've died. It turns out that, even in Hell you have to go to school and so she begins to attend the River Styx Academy, run by Principal Hellvis.

But there are strange things afoot. Why does Rinne have no memory of being killed when everyone else does? And why does she have blood even though she's supposedly dead (all the other stdunts are bloodless). It slowly becomes apparent, there was some sort of mistake which sent her to Hell, and now it's up to Rinne to return to the world of the living, using any means possible. To help her on her way are the members of her class (though they all have their own motivations), as well as the members of the student council (who oddly enough also seem to possess blood). Will their combined forces be sufficient to overthrow Principal Hellvis? And why was Rinne really brought down to Hell?

This manga is rather dark though humerous in an unconventional sense. Rinne's eternal optimism (constantly declaring she's not dead), is a breath of fresh air into a Hell where everyone has accepted their fate. Her presence causes people to act unlike they used to, leading to entertaining discussions and situations. The overall plot is interesting, with plenty of Biblical ties (it turns out that Hellvis is actually Cain, the first murderer). Somehow Cain has caused an imbalance in the world and created Hell, and it's up to Rinne to fix it. The story moves along at a fast clip, leaving no room for exposition but remains very focused on the ultimate goal (getting out of Hell).

The characters aren't very well developed but that's not very important given that the strength of this manga revolves around the story itself, rather than it's interchangeable characters. Outside of Rinne, Hellvis, and possibly Steela (a literally heartless student), none of the characters stick out much or do anything memorable. They're all just along for the ride, to drive Rinne towards her goal of re-establishing balance in Hell and returning back to Earth.

The art for this series is possibly the most perculiar I've ever seen. The backgrounds aren't very well defined, and the characters are all inconsistent. From one frame to another any given character's proportions, clothing style, etc may change. This seems to be part of the mangaka's art style, which relies a lot on the impression a character gives rather than the actual look of a character. Some people may like the scattered look (which I have to admit fits well into the concept of Hell), but personally I'm not a fan. It's just a bit too trippy (for lack of a better word) for my tastes. I enjoy the plot but neither the characters nor art is memorable. I'll definitely finish reading Hells Angels, given that it's only 3 volumes and I encourage you to read one chapter and give it a try. It's most definitely not everyone's cup of tea.

Rating: 7.0/10.0


Post a Comment

<< Home