Ryu’s Musings – Angel Para Bellum Vol 01

Posted on October 11th, 2012 by Ryu Sheng |

angelparabellum_vol1_fullLanguage: English
Direction: Right to Left
by: Kent Minami (Story), Nozomu Tamaki (Manga)
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment 
Type: Series
Genre: Supernatural, Seinen, Fantasy

Synopsis:

A war between heaven and hell is brewing and only a young man named Mitsuru holds the key to prevent it. Yet Mitsuru is unaware of his secret birthright and his role in the battle between angels and demons. All he knows is that his family is dead and Kyrie, the kindly woman who cared for him in his time of mourning, is not what she seems. Now, with demon attackers seeking to destroy him at every turn, his only protection is two beautiful gun-wielding angels who kick ass like nobody’s business.

Apologies for this being late, it was supposed to be released last week. unfortunately my brand new laptop up and died on me so I’ve been waiting on the replacement which just turned up. Thankfully the company moved over all my stuff from the old one, so i didn’t lose anything. Any ways, on with the show!!

I picked this up purely by accident i was actually looking for Angelic Runes volume 3 and this came up on the recommended alternatives. When I first saw it I thought it was a new volume of Vampire Bund, which isn’t surprising as it’s by the same manga-ka, Nozumu Tamaki.

I’m torn on this series, on the one hand I love series; on the other hand i hate the fact that the characters are pretty much carbon copies from Vampire Bund. For me this was a big issue that took most of the volume to get over, I kept expecting Hime-san to appear.

I also found the art to be a bit sterile, the characters, namely the men, while being interesting, had no really artistic depth to them.  As I’ve come to expect the women and girls of the volume are the opposite, highly detailed and rather graphic.  The problem here is that the contrast between the varying characters causes it to look a bit weird, and just a little off-putting.

The other thing I found was that the art was very clean, as in there was no real sense of action or pace in the art. So when things are happening, at times it really does feel like a photograph with captions.  In this style of manga this is pretty bad, since there’s a lot of action in this volume.

The story does have potential, and I found I was intrigued by how the story was going to play out. I did fine the main lead a bit of a wimp, and wanted to give him a good slap to knock some sense into him. However i get the feeling he May toughen up over the course of the coming volumes, or at least i hope so.

This first volume does a good job of setting the stage Kent Minami has a good story here, and there’s a lot of potential to make a great story, even if it’s the generic angel versus demons. In fact there were a couple of great moments in the volume, one of my favourites is where a demon prays for success, I found that hilarious.

As you would expect from a Tamaki series there’s a lot of racy scenes, with partial nudity used extensively, and a smattering of lolita kids thrown into the mix.

As always with first volumes it’s hard to make a judgement call, but I do feel we have a good series here.

This was released by Seven Seas Entertainment, a publisher I’ve bought quite a few titles from of late and who do seem to do a decent job. However, one thing i noted in this release, and the other new release I’ve gotten from them, is that the paper quality seems to have dropped. The paper used in these two releases has a pretty horrid feel to it, almost oily. It also seem to attract finger prints and marks very easily. if this is their new quality of paper I’m not impressed, they need to go back to the previous quality.

I really don’t like the way they handle SFX’s though, the overlay of the English on the Japanese just doesn’t look right, and has a habit of crowding the panels. I would prefer them to have added small English translation notes around the side, or just do what Viz did with some of their releases, add a glossary of SFX at the end of their book. translation of SFX isn’t really needed a lot of the time, IF the story and art are doing their job.

Overall I have to admit i did enjoy the volume, and it is one I’ll be following for a few more volumes at least. Sadly though volume two isn’t released until November, so it’s a bit of a wait

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