Angelic Runes, Vol. 1
By Makoto Tateno
DMP, 168 pp.
Rating: YA (16 +)
Sowil is a man with no family. His mother died at birth and he has no memory whatsoever of his father. What he does have, however, is the unique ability to use runes to magical effect. With this power and a desire to find out where it comes from, Sowil sets out in search of his father. Along the way he runs across two twins, Allueh and Erudite, about to be buried alive for being hearing and channeling the voices of demons and angels. Quickly he trades some magic beans for them and the unlikely trio set off.
He is a young man in search of his past, attempting to discover who he is and why he’s the way he is, wandering from town to town and getting involved with whatever supernatural shenanigans happen to be occurring. It’s not terribly original on either accounts, but plenty of books, TV shows, manga and more have taken theses basic ideas and turned them into something memorable. Unfortunately Angelic Runes isn’t among them. For one thing Sowil comes across as bland as Wonder Bread. The most memorable thing about his character is his rune based magic. The twins don’t fare much better, but thankfully they make up for their lack of personalities by being the mouthpieces for a horde of demons and angels, all of which are catalogued by title, rank and dominion when they speak. It adds some light comedy to see two little girls rattling off instructions and attributing them to various entities, all while wearing rather blank expressions. Sadly it does start to wear thin after a while though.
The visuals match the story and are dead average. The twins look alike, which is to be expected, but unfortunately Sowil looks like several of the other long haired male characters who appear within the story. The women don’t look terribly unique or individual either. Add to this the rather sparse backgrounds and a fondness for slapping random toning all over the place and you end up with a book full of uninteresting and fairly forgettable visuals.
Angelic Runes isn’t a terribly good read, but it is a quick one. There is some potential and I did enjoy the way Makoto Tateno dumps creatures from various world cultures and mythology into the story at once, but it’s not really enough to make up for the books’ shortcomings. With a bland and boring protagonist, lackluster art, and powers that are more memorable than anything else that occurs within this volume, Angelic Runes is simply a forgettable and skippable read.
Angelic Runes, Vol. 1 is available now at Emanga.com. Digital review copy provided by the publisher.