Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Manga, Volume 2 (English)

February 14th, 2008

There were many reasons why I enjoyed Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Volume 2. The reproduction, the story, the action, the characters. But not the Yuri. Because there isn’t any.

The second volume of Tetragrammaton Labyrinth picks up in the middle of Angela’s struggle against the undead angel and her conquest of the bad juju from the scythe. Angela tells Meg about her real interest – getting revenge for having her humanity snatched from her, so the two head off to find the being who is responsible.

On the ship, they encounter a “vampire,” a person who is stealing people’s life energy to make himself virtually immortal. Angela defeats him, then takes on his demonic master, only to find that she has, at last, found her dream. For the first time in ages, Angela is happy. Her purpose solidifies as she sees a possible end to her half-existence.

The final chapter of the book recounts a little bit of how Meg and Angela came to be partnered. Meg learns that it was Angela who founded the organization they both work for. They have an emotional evening, as Angela recounts how she felt like an older sister to Meg in the early days, and how now Meg acts as an older sister to her. For this night they switch back. Angela holds Meg in her arms as the nun cries.

It’s a pretty good volume, with very pleasant reproduction, a nice color page and a number of interesting backstory points. The author’s note about the exceptionally creepy real-life circumstances behind the energy vampire story was the most interesting author’s note I’ve ever read.

The translation for this volume is very literal. Meg’s “Onee-san” is turned into “Big Sister Angela,” Angela’s use of “kono ko” for the scythe is rendered as “this kid”. Neither are in any way wrong. Any dissonance I feel is a product of my own fannish brain. :-)

The only thing that was missing, really, was any sign of Yuri. The final chapter made explicit what any discriminating reader could see from the beginning. The “love” here is that between two partners, friends, sisters. Not lovers. Not even friends with benefits. The back cover blurb calls this series a supernatural Yuri adventure. Tetragrammaton Labyrinth is definitely an adventure, but it most definitely *not* a Yuri one. (Check out Scape-God for a real occult Yuri adventure.)

Ratings:

Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 0
Service – 4

Overall – a solidly enjoyable 7

Although I won’t be reviewing any future volumes of Tetragrammaton Labyrinth, I’ll definitely keep reading it. I think it’s quite good as an action/occult manga. Arigatou to Daniel for providing this entertaining copy and sponsoring today’s review!

It just occurred to me that I probably should have reviewed something romantic, but you know, celebrating the martyrdom of a possibly fictitious early Christian by writing about lesbian love just isn’t my style. ^_^ In fact, other than Cherry Blossom this has almost been an anti-romance week. Guess I’d better find one more not-particularly-romantic thing to round out the week’s reviews.

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2 Responses

  1. Phil L. says:

    You may digress, but I’d give Seven Seas the benefit of the doubt in terms of the Yuri content. They tried doing their research carefully (according to their interviews), and wanted a Yuri title that appealed to anyone looking for something not taking place on a school campus. Maybe it’s friendly love as opposed to romantic love, but I think it’s more seeable than VVV, which they never put under their Strawberry label. You may digress even more on this, but it can be seen like Noir; it is/isn’t subtext if you do/don’t want it to be. But Yuri or not, like you said it’s still a fun title to read

  2. I could see what they saw in Volume 1, so I’m not arguing. Nonetheless, by *my* definition of Yuri, Vol. 2 ain’t it. :-)

    (Bear in mind too, that “research” for most American companies only extends to the first volume or so. That was part of the problem 7S had with Kodomo no Jikan, although not all of it.

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