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Title: Angel Heart
Genres: Action, Seinen, Comedy, Romance, Drama
Author: Hojo Tsukasa
Artist: Hojo Tsukasa
Publication: Shinchosa (Comic Bunch)
Start Date: 2001
End Date: Ongoing
Number of chapters at review: 161
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 161
It is believed that there are other organs that can store memories other than the brain. This concept is known as cellular memory. There has even been documentation in the change of personality and even recollection of the donor's memory.
After, Number 27, code named Glass Heart, assassinated a man sitting upon a park bench. Then, the dead man's young daughter came running with two ice cream cones. Unbeknownst to the little girl, her father was just assassinated. Walking away, Glass Heart heard how excited the little girl. Unbeknowst to the girl, her father was dead and her gleefulness in vain. With the combined past guilt, this incident was the final crack to break the glass heart of #27.
Standing atop a tall building, Glass Heart received a congratulatory phone call. Casting her cell phone away in midst of the message, she plunged off hoping to finally clear herself of any conscientious guilt. A year later she woke up from a coma and found herself with a new heart. Not knowing where to go next, her heart took her to Shinjuku to look for Ryo Saeba, the City Hunter to find her answers.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Hojo Tsubasa's style is a wonderful Japanese realism. The layout of the manga was organized well making it easy to follow the story and know what's taking place.
I like his usage of lines to give the face a more realistic look. How he draws the folds of the clothings is just great. I think he's the best I've seen.
The body structure is also very well balanced. The poses are also great and looks natural. A person could learn a lot from studying and imitating Mr. Hojo's style.
Coloring and shading furthers his 2D drawings. When compared with some of his older works, Hojo Tsukasa style has really changed and improved. With that said, I really enjoy the art assets in Angel Heart.
The story revolves around the new heart which Glass Heart got. It is the focal point of the entire story. It's what drives the story in most instances.
The only downfall to the plot being centered upon Glass heart's new heart is that it makes it seems like a the story is about Disassociated Identity Disorder. In my opinion, at times, the author plays too much upon cellular memory making it seems to unbelievable.
A wonderful cast of characters that comes together to form an enjoyable interaction.
For Glass Heart, I think receiving a new heart and changing personality was really interesting. From reading a tidbit about cellular memories from organ transplant patients, it was fascinating how receiving a new organ could affect a person substantially.
Of course being a sequel to City Hunter, the amazing yet humorous Ryo Seaba is included. It seems that his age is slowing him a bit down. Although, when it comes to womanizing, his strength doesn't waver.
The rest of the cast adds variety to the story. Each one with their own past and unique personalities. Of course, their involvement is usually humorous. Colorful is one way to describe it.
An interesting theme of a person changing through an organ transplant and truly getting a second start in life. Just like the old saying of turning a new leaf.
It makes me ponder how many people wish that they too could change their own lives for the better. There is a way out but at times, it's usually hard to see it. One of the most profound things in life is who a person meets. By meeting these "key" individual, a person's fate could change. If a person didn't meet that "key" individual, his life may not have changed drastically. Of course, the same could be sad if a person were to met an evil "key" individual.
I'm not too sure of how many manga has such an interesting story element that seems to be the focal point of the story which is cellular memory. This tacks on an extremely deep emotional facet to the story.
Other than playing upon cellular memory, it's an action type manga.
Angel Heart was such an incredible read. The story doesn't always revolve around action. Hojo Tsukasa was sure to keep things interesting with different things. There were times when I could've seriously cried, but a man doesn't cry (or cry in public that is).
Last edited by segua; February 24, 2010 at 12:40 PM.
Awesome review. I also pretty much agree with everything you said and imo, the series is not an unputtable, exciting or addictive type also especially after the invasion at Shinjuku ended. It's pretty much an episodic series like most of the works by this mangaka and it could be considered as too unoriginal and a bit so-so if you've read City Hunter before. Some fans of City Hunter might dislike this series at the first glance as well for the lack of an important someone, but I agree with you Angel Heart is still an enjoyable read despite all that and Hojo's artwork on this series is really stunning.
I cannot tell if you've already read F. Compo before. It too is another work with interesting/colorful characters (+ very original plot never see being made before) by this mangaka.
(edit: btw, you've made a small mistake: it's Hojo Tsukasa not Tsubasa. ^^')
Back to Angel Heart, I don't know how long Hojo Tsukasa could play out cellular memory.