Manga Review: Red Angel by Makoto Tateno

Red Angel is a masterfully drawn manga with an awesome color cover that gives just a hint at the gothic art inside. Author and manga artist, Makoto Tateno, brings to life the story of Mika & Eru who are brother and sister vampires.

For those of you who might have read her other works Happy Boys or Yellow and didn't like them, I believe that Red Angel deserves a chance.  You see, Mika & Eru are not like other vampire brothers and sisters. They have one unique quality that sets them away from the bunch. They just happen to reside in the same body.

Reminiscent of the novel, The Need by Andrew Neiderman, the brother and sister pair have a problem... whatever one of them does, the other has to live with. In Red Angel, this has to do with them moving constantly to keep their secret. Their crimson wings often leave mortals in a state of awe. Whether they feed or not, they usually cause death somehow and flee the scene.

Artwork in this book is beautiful with a nice dark feel throughout and gothic vignettes portraying a couple enjoying a kiss as massive wings shelter them or a flight of crows bordered by intricate crosses and lace. Tateno has a way of portraying action in the still shot so convincingly that the reader can almost feel the wind whip around them as wings flap, causing feathers to float by.

Each chapter is a different town and the vampire pair is not always the focus. We get to meet a couple of "bat men" who turn into bats but are not vampires, and Anney, who is holy and able to suck energy from vamps. Mika meets another vampire and finds out the hidden truth behind who she is and where she fits into creation.

There is a four-page extra in the back by the author, explaining the characters, ideas, and how the book was first published. Categorized as a Yaoi, I disagree. Perhaps it is just stuck into that category because of the woman and man in the same body. I find that the story is very unlike many Yaoi and the difference between the brother and sister is so definite, the reader really believes they are two different people simply sharing the same mortal-like shell.

You can find out more about Red Angel at