Author: Makoto Tateno
Released: August 2009 by Digital Manga Publishing
# of Pages: 200
Summary: (from Goodreads)
A traveler in search of his father chances upon a pair of twins about to be buried by their village. The villagers claim the two are cursed, but he rescues them. He soon finds out what makes the villagers fear them: the siblings have the power of angels and demons! But he has his own secrets as well…
Sowil is on a mission to find his father. He is not sure what he looks like or even where he is. All he knows is that his father is the key to discovering the secrets of his past and powers. Early on in his mission, Sowil comes across a village which is suffering from drought and all sorts of problems. He soon discovers that the villagers blame this problems on two young twins. The villagers believe that by killing these children that the village will be spared of their plight. Sowil automatically realizes the wrong of this situation, rescues the children, and takes them under his wing. It is apparently to Sowil, however, that like him, these children have a special power. One that he believes will assist him in locating his father. As the group continue on Sowil’s mission, it is clear that there is more to these children than meets the eye.
Angelic Runes is an captivating mix of mythology and religious ideals blended with magic. While it seems that this may be a little much, Tateno does a splendid job of making it just enough of each element without making it overkill. It was fascinating to see each working together to help Sowil on his mission. Sowil, as a character, was interesting. I love the mystery surrounding his past. Within the first volume, the reader is given just enough information to keep the reader interested without giving to much away.
One element that I am on the fence with is the episodic feel of the chapters, or acts as it is called in this manga. Each act is set up almost like an episode of a show. There is a beginning, a middle with a monster appearing, and then the end with a fight and the problem being resolved. While there is an overlying story, each act almost always starts almost with a summary of the story thus far. Personally, I would not have minded it that much if it had been limited to once a volume, since sometimes it is nice to have a small refresher. But with a 200 page manga, it almost feels like they are wasted pages. Pages that could have added more to the story.
Despite a few issues, Angelic Runes is a nice, quick read. The story is absorbing and the characters with their differences made the story quite humorous at times. I love the idea of twin each representing one side of the angel/demon conflict, and Tateno pulled it off quite flawlessly. This is a great manga for reader wanting to ease themselves into this genre, or for diehards wanting a nice read with some interesting twists. For me, this is definitely a keeper, and I am looking forward to reading more of Sowil and the twin’s adventures.