Shingakkou - Noli me Tangere - tells a story of Michael Levi. His father, mother and younger sister were murdered by people who seem to be members of a satanic cult. Michael and his twin brother Gabriel (or Gabby) were students in a Seminary. They heard rumors that the cult members were in the same school, so they returned back there and with the help of their fellow students and friends tried to uncover the mystery surrounding their family's deaths. But some things were better left in the dark.
Another yaoi manga with a plot that could be something awesome, but ends up ending horribly. This manga started out pretty interesting, but overall was ruined by it's sudden rushed, half assed ending. I believe that if this manga was maybe fleshed out more and longer than it could have been something enjoyable, but in 2 volumes it ended up failing. The series spends probably 90% of it investigating and building up the reader for this big secret society thing. In the end, it gives a few page explanation (if you want to even call it that) which makes little to no sense, and then
goes off into some happily ever after thing. Another gripe of mine, is that it draws attention to there being two twins in the story, but the twin Gabby is more like a side character. He is at the school, and I'd assume he'd be sharing the same pain as his brother, so it makes no sense why he pops into the story line once in a blue moon. Read this only if you're a masochist who wants to put yourself through a painfully horrible plot.
If you're interested in murder mysteries & the occult, plus have an affinity for yaoi, then this manga is for you.
When I first started reading the manga, the first few pages made me wonder whether I should continue reading it. However MY GOD was I glad I didn't stop, because by the end of the first chapter you are smacked right in the face with blood, murder, and an unprecedented mystery to go along with it. For someone like me, this was nothing other than the perfect wet dream!
The manga starts off with having it's main focus on solving the mystery which have
religious and occultic undertones. It was interesting to see how the author played these two off each other, as the supposed "good" and "evil" but at the same time running the thread of how human both these emotions/institutions are. The manga illustrated how even though one may be considered "bad" they can still do good things, and those whom may be considerd "good" can still do bad things. It was also refreshing to see how this manga steadily brought the focus on the relationship as to give it time for the relationship and characters to grow along side it.
Another good thing about this manga was that it kept you guessing. Reading through this manga, I started to become paranoid for the MC. The author did a good job of planting within you doubts and not making it so obvious until the closing 2 chapters.
The only thing which I would have improved on was the ending which was a little bit lacking, however, it was still good.
So in conclusion this was a fantastic manga in my opinion and I would highly recommend to all mystery yaoi lovers.
Turning the famous yaoi, Shingakkou: Noli me Tangere, from a game adaptation to a manga or anime is never necessarily done well. There are always cuts and there will always be changes to the layout and story progression. This particular manga is a good example, as it only follows one of the many routes you can choose to romance from the game, focusing primarily on Neil. Therefore, you may be left with questions as to why you didn't get to delve deep into the other characters, and you won't really get to know anything more about them than what they are introduced as in the
beginning. If you don't want unsolved questions, this manga is probably not for you.
You'll want to have an open mind about religion, as it is based on God vs. Devil concept. It is set in a strict religion based school where students are to follow directions and obey the will of God. The whole "Thou shall not sin" kind of thing. But among that idea, I think the manga portrayed the idea that good can do bad and bad can also do good extremely well!
The plot was fairly enjoyable, and it didn't stray from what was intended, though at times it felt a bit rushed especially near the ending. Trying to fit a massive story into two volumes just didn't work out for the pacing, and I would have much preferred it to have delved into the other characters to get the full story picture, and then decide on the route (which would also have been fun to guess who he'd end up with). It provided good suspense and had me questioning things as I read, eager to find out what was happening or what was going to happen.
I also absolutely loved the fact the character's relationships took time to build and grow instead of jumping right into 'love at first sight' which I see in a lot of yaoi/shounen-ai manga, or the 'childhood friend' scenario.
I adored the art style and found it both adorable yet still held its masculinity for the characters. It was a simple style and, at the same time, beautiful too. There are no muscle men or thin twigs, but more shoujou-style drawn characters and backgrounds. The backgrounds themselves, I actually stopped to admire before I would continue the story, as they were so beautifully drawn and mesmerizing. Even the characters looked amazing with the scenery, and it was easy to tell them all apart for their unique designs despite having to wear the same uniform. Of course the character designs themselves really did match their personalities, which added in my opinion, to more of who they were and what they were based off of.
The tone was also done well throughout the volumes art. Moments where things took a turn for the worse, I could really feel the tension and the characters felt, or when happy moments took over, they really made me smile! I love being able to physically feel things as I'm reading instead of staring at it with a blank face and merely thinking it makes me happy or tense.
I'm quite happy they went with the character they did, as he is my personal favorite of the bunch to choose from anyways with his personality. Each of the characters are quite interesting and enjoyable despite their so little interactions, and though I wish we got to see more, I was fairly satisfied with them and wished that maybe they would make more volumes featuring the other routes based on how they made this one.
Each of the characters felt human to me. The decisions they made were rational and probably what I could see many people doing if they were in these types of situations. Of course some characters weren't known very well, but you still got a sense of who they were and how they grew to the outcome they got due to their actions. As such, there were no characters I sincerely disliked or disliked in general. I enjoyed them all and was intrigued by them all, even the intended 'villains' which each had their own motivations and obligations. Though not all memorable, there are a few that will stick with me, if ever faintly.
So in a wrap up, I thoroughly enjoyed this series and would recommend to those who like mild yaoi, mystery, suspense and mild horror.
I will definitely be re-reading this in the future and paying extra close attention to the art and dialogue to further evaluate this series in my own time and see if I can find anything I might have missed as to why I wasn't able to predict certain things. Even knowing the story now, I think it will merely be a fun read for future re-visits to this world having solved nearly everything.