Transylvanian Rose, an angel who descends to Earth to cleanse souls so that they can enter heaven, is bored. Every day is the same and has been for all eternity. When she sees a cute guy kill himself she decides to keep him for a pet by giving him one of her wings, even though “those who take their own lives forsake heaven.” The Undertaker, as she nicknames him, doesn’t much want to be a pet and constantly tries to get away from Rose by trying to kill himself, impossible for an angel, until the two of them discover that he can purify the souls of suicides, something no other angel has ever been able to do. Will his newfound power lead to the mystery of why he killed himself and to a way for him to set his soul free at last?

Mihara’s books are known for both her Goth Lolita style and for her storylines which deal with weighty issues in an unusual fashion. Here she tackles both suicide and religion with humor, sensitivity, and love. Though some readers might balk at God being portrayed as a handsome, longhaired young man acting as father to a bickering group of hip young angels, you can’t help but be swayed by the Undertaker’s deep sadness. It is that sadness which forms the core of his powers, that and an understanding of why people kill themselves. Those reasons may seem trivial to outsiders, but Mihara uses her gentle angel to remind us that people who are depressed often see no other way out and to remind us that God loves us anyway. An excellent choice for fans of Mihara or Ai Yazawa or for manga/goth fans who want their religion thoughtful and thought provoking.

R.I.P.: Requiem in Phonybrian
By Mitsukazu Mihara
ISBN: 9781598165050
Tokyopop, 2006

  • Snow

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