NEPHILIM • Aurora • Anna Hanamaki • 16+
Deep in the jungle dwell the Nephilim, a feared and hated tribe who guard a secret: they switch gender, becoming male by day and female by night, or vice versa. But few have seen a Nephilim change sex and live, as they have taken a supernatural vow to kill anyone who discovers their secret. Guyfeis, a mercenary gunman passing through the jungle on a mission to rescue the emperor’s mistress, accidentally glimpses the true nighttime form of Abel, a Nephilim girl. Abel pursues Guyfeis swearing to kill him, but the cool mercenary treats Abel’s assassination attempts as a joke (”I told you, please don’t attack me in the bathroom or at meals. I’m gonna give you ’special’ punishment”). The relationship between the two–Guyfeis lets Abel tag along, confident in his/her inability to kill him–takes the form of Boy’s Love by day, shojo romance manga by night. I suppose some people may find this more unequal relationship more annoying than titillating, but luckily, Hanamaki doesn’t short-change the reader on the action-adventure side either. Connected by mutual attraction and Abel’s vow of revenge, the two heroes end up fighting for their lives against the evil Federation, while Guyfeis says suggestive things like “Shall we do it?” and Abel says things like “I’d rather freeze to death than sleep with you!” It’s a good ol’ bodice-ripping page-turner, one of the better non-yaoi Aurora titles. (This review by Jason Thompson originally appeared in Otaku USA magazine.)
** 1/2 (two and a half stars)
Today’s winner is Kendra M. of Florida. Congratulations, Kendra! I just got back from the post office where I sent out a ton of packages of manga, including yours, so I hope you like what you got!
It’s about time for lunch, which reminds me: I just wrote this article on Cooking Manga and the Actual Recipes You Can Learn From Them over at comixology. Check it out, and I hope you, too, can enjoy some green pepper beef a la Iron Wok Jan!