Ryu’s Musings – Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Vols 1- 6

Posted on April 3rd, 2011 by Ryu Sheng | 1 Comment

tetra_vol1_full Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
by: Ei Itou
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Type: Series
Genre: Seinen/Yuri

Synopsis:

When darkness falls on the foggy streets of London, demons and monsters emerge to prey on human life. But demons aren’t the only ones prowling the streets. Two women have picked up the fight as humanity’s frontline defense against the darkness–a young gun-toting nun named Sister Meg and her mysterious, eternally youthful partner Angela. Together, they have made it their life’s work to spend their nights hunting the vile demons that stalk mankind.

Character Musings:

Only going to cover the two main characters in this section, I’ll cover the other in the general musings bit.tetra_vol2_full

Margaret Cross (prefers the name Meg), a nun in a small church in the heart  of London. She’s bright, lively and always seems to be happy. However she’s not only a nun, he’s also a demon hunter. She takes her role very seriously and is determined to exterminate all of the demons. She works for the “Organization” a secret department of the Church of England. She’s a gun specialist, and also a specialist at using christian prayer rituals. However despite her dedication she holds a dark secret that could threaten to destroy her and those she loves.

tetra_vol3_full Angela, at first appearances she’s a young girl of around fourteen. She’s quiet, reserved, and almost always a bit gloomy. In fact she’s the polar opposite of Meg. She lives with Meg in the church, and also helps out in the demon hunting. Angela is actually over four-hundred and is neither dead or alive, and can not be killed. She doesn’t really care much about people, except for Meg, whom she’s totally devoted to. Like Meg she has a dark past that will eventually threaten the bond between them.

General Musings:

This manga had me in tears, twice, and left me a little confused. I love this series however, and have now read it through twice in a row. It starts off as a simple demon hunting story, in a lot of ways reminiscent of Chrono Crusade.

However the relationship between the two lead characters is different, as are the personalities and story progressions. tetra_vol4_full

The art for this series is amazing, Ei draws  some excellent art especially on the cover designs. The inner colour panels are equally stunning as well, and manage to convey a lot of feelings.

As the volumes progress the art comes off really well, ranging from the dark and cramped streets of London, to the open grasslands of Germany Ei pulls of some really stunning visuals that help to both entice and freak out the readers.

We get introduced to to two support characters early on, the first being Detective Wise. The way he’s introduced to us was a bit heart wrenching, and i did get a lump in my throat over it. Ei plays the story out perfectly, mixing the various elements of fear, love, anger and hate in perfect order. I was a bit sad to see him leave originally, but was glad to see him return later in the series. The way he was later on was just perfect, the way Ei drew out his emotions and the way he ended was just so perfect, and again a bit heart wrenching.

Hisame was also introduced early on, coming from Japan in search of stolen treasures. Initially she’s an enemy, and the battle between her, Meg and Angela, was a rather interesting battle. However i found it a little unsatisfying the way it ended. Though i do love the way she looked and acted.

Volume three was the first time i actually cried reading this series. This is the volume where we get the back story of Meg, how she met Angela, and how they ended up as partners. I found this part of the series to be amazing, and heart wrenching.

tetra_vol5_full It was also at this volume where things started to go a bit weird. After this volume both Detective Wise and Hisame return. Detective Wise is understandable, his return is easy to understand after what happened early on. However Hisame’s return is never really explained, and doesn’t really make much sense (but who cares, she looks damn sexy in that Miko outfit!!).

Volume four gets even weirder, since it changes the history we just learnt earlier on Meg and Angela, it’s handled really badly i feel. However it’s no where near as badly handled as the Kurtz sisters. Frankly i found them to be very disturbing and more than a little distasteful.

One of the weirdest things in the series however has got to be the main villain, Gilles de Rais’ motivations. I liked the twists since it changes the usual stuff of just an evil guy doing evil things. I also liked his relationship with Angela, and as this is explained a lot of things do click together.

The last volume of the series was basically one long fight culminating in the showdown between Angela, Meg and Gilles de Rais. I have to admit that i found this showdown to be handled amazingly well, and the ending to be stunning. This was also the second time i cried, the ending is just so cute and heart wrenching.tetra_vol6_full

Seven Seas for the most part did an excellent job with the series. They released it as an  oversized series, however after volume three they stopped using the colour panels inside the series, and bleached them. Which is a damn shame, my favourite has got to be a young Meg in volume three, she looks so darned cute!!

I also noticed a few missing words from sentences in some volumes. They weren’t major issues, but i do think they were easily spottable and should have been fixed. They do leave all the extras in the series, and damn do we get loads of them. They also provide a glossary of terms in each volume, which is always a good move.

Overall i love this series, problems and all, i highly recommend it. Oddly though there seems to be some debate over the demographic. According to seven Seas it’s a Yuri title, and that’s how it was sold to them, as a Yuri. However according to the websites I’ve researched the manga-ka classed it as seinen, and it was serialised in a seinen magazine. While there are subtle hints of the yuri aspect between Meg and Angela, it isn’t until the last volume that it becomes more open. Either way, this series is well worth reading!!

One Response

  1. Adam says:

    Volume 1 had a 2nd printing that corrected any grammar errors.