Hayate Sakura, a normal high school student. Everything about him is normal except one thing: ghosts are attracted to him.
One day, someone saved him from all the ghosts he had attracted. His so-called hero introduced himself as Undertaker Riddle who sends spirits to peace. Sakura then asked him a favor if he could help him get rid of the ghosts, and in exchange he'll do anything. Undertaker Riddle then offered Sakura to work for him as an Undertaker too. Will he take the job and get rid of the ghosts, or decline the job and have the ghosts in his tail for the rest of his life??
"I shall play the funeral march that's right for you."
The Undertaker, Riddle, is an exorcist, of sorts. The kind that lays to rest evil spirits and discontented souls. After defeating them in battle, he will prepare their funeral rites, and seal them forever in a coffin...along with his deepest condolences.
Hayato had the misfortune of being appointed Riddles's apprentice. It was because he got his soul stolen by a hungry demon, and the Undertaker was kind enough to share some of his soul so that Hayato could continue living. But in exchange for the generosity, Hayato has to work for him.
Thus begins his new after-school life of fighting and defeating demons (which the Undertaker subsequently lays to rest on their eternal beds of roses). And Hayato all along hopes to retrieve the soul which was stolen from him.
I cannot say this series is original. The setup screams blatant ripoff from Monochrome Factor (heck, the Undertaker even looks like Shirogane, minus the braid). The style is obviously Gothic Victorian (yes, even though the setting is modern-day, the spirit world seems to be decorated with checkered flooring, chains, velvet curtains, and viney roses). I can almost see this being written by a Black Butler fan. (Although Riddle's personality is more like Xerxes Break than the undertaker from BB.) The undertaker overseer looks like a one of BB's megane shinigamis.
And there are some strong winks at shounen-ai. Overall, the gothic style and BL together are so strong, it's almost funny. Of COURSE Hayato's (amazingly handsome) little brother would be kidnapped and tied up with rose stems, and then be fawned over by the bad guy. You could almost see it coming. Of course the enigmatic Undertaker would gently take Hayato by the hand, and confess eternal loyalty to him.
Did I say I dislike this series? No! At times I take it seriously, but when the cliches start coming through strong, I have to laugh. For instance, there's one scene where somebody needs to touch Hayato's chest. So without any warning, Mr. Megane rips Hayato's shirt open, then they tie him up, and then they proceed with their ceremony. Really, all they needed to do was ask him to unbutton his shirt a little. Good grief.
But the scenes I like are the tender ones, like where Hayato takes seriously his role as an older brother. Or there might be a mystery with unexpected twists. And currently in the storyline, there is a promise of a new path opening up for Hayato. It looks like he has some hidden abilities that make him an ideal candidate for an important position in the world of the dead-keepers. It will be interesting to see if the series stays in a cliched rut, or becomes its own unique story.
The plot set-up is not original. So don't look for originality, at least for the first several chapters. You need to like the Gothic Victorian aesthetic to enjoy the art and overall style (Gothic Victorian is also seen in mangas like Black Butler, Pandora Hearts, Are You Alice?, and Number). And a lot of those series have nudges toward shounen-ai.
So if you like that style, and don't mind cliches (or at least can laugh at them) you should enjoy this series. read more
I like the art the most.it's not perfect,but nice.
i like the character Riddle.lovely personality.
i don't like that kiddo which Riddle is trying to rape or something. it's a boring character.
the woman,which pretends to be manly is a very stereotypical character and we can find such characters in real life. i think mangas should get rid of those sterotypical craps.
and there's this red haired pervert.he's interesting,and he's story is weird.but whatever,i like it.
i don't like that cry baby that's around the red haired pervert. reminds of gilbert from pandora hearts.
i like Faust.lovely lady.
and there's this weird eyed character roen or whatever.strange hairstyle.reminds of a homo,but whatever,i am not homophobic.
eh,should write more about this,but i'll do it later.read more
Other readers might notice this as well, but I found the title of this manga is taken in a different way than it is meant to which sort of confused me a little until I read the synopsis. Now, just to clarify, as I'm writing this, there are only 36 chapters of Undertaker Riddle currently out. Time for stats:
Undertaker Riddle again follows the "_____ is a regular high school student until [insert rest of synopsis that we all know is coming]" pattern. Still, while it has that boringly mainstream bit, it does have some of its own originality in the way it combines a whole bunch of more common elements. Like the undertakers. They're basically shinigami, but they are ruled over by the "King" of the Catacombs, the world outside heaven, hell, and the living world. The undertakers are souls who could not go to either heaven or hell, which is a bit of a cool idea right there. The author also portrays souls as butterflies, based on the Japanese legend that people's souls reside in butterflies once they die. Now, on to the story itself, I found the beginning seemed rushed, as in, 15 or so pages into the manga, an Undertaker called Riddle asks the main character if he'll make a contract with him and become an Undertaker to drive away the spirits that haunt him. I just read this going "why is he being so kind to him right away that's way too unrealistic!" but, in the author's defence, it is explained later (around chapter 34 ish, give or take a couple chapters). So, that was a bit vague, but otherwise, the story is entertaining.
Undertaker Riddle's art is kind of simple. All the characters basically have the same face shape, but with a few subtle differences, like chin shape or something along those lines, but not a lot of difference. What really separates all the characters are their hairstyles and their Undertaker outfits. Each outfit is similar, but unique in it's own way, which is good. But I've noticed that the majority of the cast consists of tall skinny guys, so I kind of wonder if the artist knows how to draw much beyond that...The backgrounds on the other hand are pretty good. Personally, I don't really pay much attention to the backgrounds when I read manga, but the elaborate funeral set ups and the make-believe worlds of the arcana are cool.
All the characters' personalities seem drastically one-sided except for Sakura and the King, but there isn't really much known about her at this point so I can't really judge her. All the characters' pasts are a bit of a mystery at this point except for Dante Farnese's, who was examined thoroughly. Like I said, though, it's a young manga yet, so I hope more of that comes. All the cast's personalities are off in one direction: Riddle seems kind and light-hearted, but he's actually a freaky sadist. Dante is a sexist, lazy alcoholic who's searching for the pleasures he never had in life. Hiren tries too hard to be child-like and simple so as not to reveal his cold-hearted nature. Lucian is an annoying bigot with an older sister complex, and Brad is the over-working secretary who hates for even the slightest thing to be out of line. I think I've said enough to make my point, but that said, while I was reading, the extremes of the characters' personalities didn't bother me. It almost seems as if it actually suits the story. Also, there are a manageable amount of characters; enough for a story, but not so many it's stupid. Although, I have to say, Noir was a completely POINTLESS character.
I actually really enjoyed Undertaker. I think its clichéd humour has charm and it's got a balance of seriousness and comedy. Seeing the extremes of the characters show when they mouth off and occasionally throw insults is amusing. The only thing I wish there was less of was carrying on the joke that Sakura looks like a girl because it got old after chapter 15.
Undertaker does have flaws that get on my nerves occasionally, but it is a decent manga and is worth your time if you like classic clichés, Victorian dress and you don't mind the occasional gory bit. read more
Sougiya Riddle commonly know as Undertaker Riddle is a good to read. I got interest in the story because of the graphic. Its was well drawn and the character development is quite good as well.
If you're not really into H scenes or yaois then this one is right for you. Its just characters with a lot of bishies, with just boy to boy pairing but not in a romantic way and I love Riddle and Hayato's relationship with each other the most.
I just wish there's more of it though the author seemed to rush it. It was already done but the translation aint finish yet. Not sure if they will still do.