Hells Angels (manga) vol 1: Sin-Ichi Hiromoto

“Waah pandas!”


Storyline

Not very inspiring, but here we go…Amane Rinne is running to school, not looking where she’s going, has an accident and ends up in Hell. Hell is a school run by principal Hellvis, it’s full of other school kids yet only a handful of them resemble human beings. It turns out (spoiler) Hellvis is taking some humans to hell before they have died. Amane Rinne is determined to go home, constantly talks about her mother, and has developed a little crush on one of the human looking boys.

Review

This was so disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, some of the character artwork is fantastic, original, sexy and imaginative, but there are 3 characters I just can’t stand:

Amane Rinne: Her face bothers me, her eyes are too far apart, she has horrible clothes, ugly shoes, and not to mention those hair clips, *dies*. On top of that, she has the most dull, unintelligent, annoying personality. She never stops talking about her mother and is generally pathetic (although to be fair her attitude improves during the volleyball game in part 7).

Hellvis: *rolls eyes* so he was Cain, the first murderer ever, happens to dress like Elvis and says ‘Baby’, faaaaaaar too much. Hmm.

Kutou Sempai: he looks like a male version of Amane, far too similar, far too perfect, yuk.

Redeeming features?

The storyline…what storyline? In an entire volume, the most exciting thing that happens is winning a volleyball game which grants members of the winning team one wish which, in the end, surprise, surprise doesn’t allow Amane to get back home.

I kept turning the pages because it has a few innovative ideas (like the voodoo doll of every person in hell) and the artwork is superb in places (shame some of the side characters aren’t the focus of the story). I particularly like the half and half gate guards. The main downfall of the artwork for me was the categorised chracters like the witch, vampire, and stitch girl Steela…please let Steela be a lesbian and kiss Amane and make things complicated? Or maybe she could change her facial expression once?

I’m not really keen on seeing muscles or skulls everywhere, just a personal thing. I really didn’t like it when Steela grew that huge bulging arm! There also seems to be a lack of background in too many pictures which feels lazy. The pointy spires on things, gives it more of a Halloween feel than Hell, where’s Jack the Pumpkin King?

Favourite Pictures

The minor character images are the main reason I justify reading this, might not be to many people’s tastes though:







Mario: clearly more attractive than Kutou! Amane is clearly blind.

Just when I’d given up on interesting backgrounds, this appears!

If you really like this artwork you might want to check out the ‘STONe’ manga, by the same artist (I wonder if it contains a better storyline). The first two mangas are available from Tokypop. Sin-ichi Hiromoto has also created a manga version of Star Wars! Artist website here. You might also enjoy the comic, ‘Nightmares and Fairy Tales’ by Serena Valentino and FSc, or Jhonnen Vasquez’s ‘Johnny The Homicidal Maniac’.