Sometimes, there *is* cosmic justice and a marginal anime series is actually a damn fine manga. Bakuretsu Tenshi is one of those series.
After the dissapointments of series like Kannazuki no Miko and Uta-Kata, its a pleasure to read a manga that is really just a decently written and enjoyable story.
Enjoyable, you might remember from my review of Volume 1, if you like guns, girls, mutating undead half-zombie, half-Boomer creatures, etc.
(In fact, if you like Bubblegum Crisis, you will probably like this manga – they’ve got alot in common, with an added dose of more overt Yuri in BT.)
In Volume 1, we meet Jo and Meg, who live in a world of nearly inexplicable violence. In Volume 2, the girls (and us readers) get a hint that it may not be as inexplicable as all that. Sei and Emi, who appeared in the first volume, are established as being specifically after Jo…although we don’t yet know why. We don’t know yet because there’s an actual plot and we have to wait to find out what it is…we hope.
From what I can tell, the anime begins after the manga story resolves and all four women are working together. I will say that, having seen the anime, I think the prequel-esque manga is working quite well.
And then there’s the Yuri.
As I mentioned in my original review, the anime did a bang-up job of pretending that Meg was not interested in Jo, while poor Jo was forced to go about saving Meg’s butt all over the place for little more than “thanks” and a hug.
Not so the manga. The first chapter of Volume 2 has Meg renting a suspiciously cheap house for the two of them. Her first thoughts upon taking up residency is a not at all subtle fantasy in which a naked Jo leans over a naked Meg and says, (in a sexy voice, assumably,) “I won’t let you sleep tonight.” Meg’s out loud response to this internal fantasy is to say, “Please be gentle with me.” ^_^
Later, Jo and Meg learn that the house is haunted, but instead of bailing like all the previous residents, they discover that the ghost is merely a hologram and they confront the rental agent with the fact. Turns out that he is divorced and his alimony is killing him, so he’s set up this scam to keep the rental fees coming in on this dilapidated house.
Later that night, Meg is saddened by the thought of falling out of love with the person you love. She asks Jo, a little desperately, if they might ever separate. Jo responds by feeding Meg soba noodles and, quite romantically saying that the noodles represent the length of time they would be together. At which we cut away to Emi and Sei watching this on a monitor. We see Meg jump Jo, all huggy and snuggly and then Emi turning to Sei and asking, “Sei-‘nee, why are we recording this?” To which Sei replies, red-faced and embarrassed, “Kids shouldn’t watch some things!” (Thanks to Zyl for correcting my translation there.)
Later Sei meets with Meg and offers her money to break up with Jo. Meg refuses, violently and swears that whatever the truth about Jo is, they’ll face it together.
So that settles that. It’s not a one-way Yuri thing in the manga. It’s lurv. And lust, for which I am eminently thankful. In fact, the preview notes to the third volume mention that Meg will be beginning an ero-ki battle for Jo’s attention. Hmmm…how do I explain that? Think naked, come-hither looks being thrown in Jo’s direction, with determination. ^_^
Not surprisingly, I am actually looking forward to the next volume in a way I never did to the next anime episode. I sincerely hope that the manga continues past this arc into the anime and completes the story, because frankly, I think it’ll do it with more style, better writing and a lot more Yuri. ^_^
Art – 7
Characters – 7
Story – 7
Yuri – 7
Overall – 7
Worth a read, if you like this kind of action-adventure shounen thing.