Seiichirou Kitano is a naive and kind boy with the heart of an angel and the face of a devil. Upon entering his new school he is presumed to be a villainous heroin addict, and unwittingly becomes the leader of the schools thugs, all thanks to his frightening face.
His new "friends" have great expectations of him, seeing him as a frightful demon. Kitano himself on the other hand, loathes violence and is blissfully unaware of the situation he is in...
To be honest, I had avoided this manga like the plague when I first laid eyes upon it about a year ago. The artwork, in my eyes, was so non-appealing, that I always figured that even if this story was funny and exciting, I would never be able to fully enjoy it because of the art. I noticed that the ratings on MAL for Angel Densetsu were relatively high (~8.30 at the time) so I figured that I shouldn't judge a book by its cover. So a few days ago, on a whim, I decided to read the first few chapters to
see if it was anything special. Five days later, I had finished reading all eighty-four chapters with a satisfied feeling. Angel Denestu (translated as Legend of Angel) is your classic example of why its wrong to judge a book by its cover. Although the artwork may not look appealing, and a lot of the characters do not have eyebrows, Angel Densetsu is a relatively enjoyable comedy story about the encounters with devil-look alike, Kitano Seikichi.
Although born with an evil face that has been commonly compared to the devil's, Kitano Seikichi is a soft-hearted, caring teenager (hence where the "angel" word comes into play) who is constantly pegged as a thug because of that evil coutenance. Because of this, on first glance, everyone he meets instantly misunderstands him and more often than not, this leads to hilarious confrontations eventually ending up in fist fights. Although Kitano-kun is the featured main protagonist, the story more-so revolves around his friends, his teachers, his peers, his neighbors, and a plethora of other people and their encounters with Kitano-kun. As the mangaka (Yagi Norihiro) has stated, its more of a story of Hekikuu Town (the town Kitano-kun lives him) then about any particular character. Though the manga has an "episodic" feel to it, the mangaka nicely ties everything together quite well. The story is fueled by comedy and the first half the the manga, the comedy, although nothing new in this day and age, is quite entertaining. It does get a bit old towards the second half of the story, as the mangaka re-uses a lot of the puns and such, but still holds up relatively well.
As I have already mentioned, in my opinion, the artwork looks pretty horrid. This manga was essentially a one-shot to begin with, which might explain the simple character designs, but through a series of events, the mangaka was able to land a deal and thus we get our eighty-four chapter story. The art does improve once you hit the second half of the story, but it doesn't really take away from the fact that a lot of the characters are drawn pretty much the same with maybe one different feature. It feels like Norihiro-sensei was rather lazy with his drawings here. Especially when you compare this work to his other work, Claymore. Although I will admit there are some instances where he outdoes himself with character portraits in more of the bigger events. Once, and if your able to get past the art and take it for what it is, the story becomes so much more enjoyable to read. Taking the opposite point of view, the artwork is simple to understand what's happening in each panel and very consistent from start to finish.
As with these kinds of stories that are essentially a collection of one-shots or what not, its all about the characters. Here's the important point. Although the characters are drawn horribly, and essentially all of them are relatively simple in personality, its the character interactions with Kitano-kun on which the story hinges upon. Norihiro-sensei introduces all types of different characters, whether they are thugs from rival schools, innocent children, in-school peers, teachers and even other parents, he is able to create an exaggerated, yet quite amusing reaction and series of events with their encounter with Kitano-kun. Because all of them instantly compare Kitano-kun to the source of all evil, its pretty entertaining to see how they go about avoiding, fighting and talking and sometimes befriending, Kitano-kun.
Again, if you are able to get past the artwork and lazy character designs, Angel Densetsu is a more enjoyable read than one would like to believe at first glance. Its rather funny to watch Kitano-kun and a bunch of his friends as they actually get into real fist-fights with other thugs, and while all of the other thugs know exactly what is going on, Kitano-kun, without fail, is pretty much clueless on what exactly is happening to him. His friends will ask him to help "take out the trash," referring to other thugs loitering around town. On the other hand, Kitano-kun will fully believe that he is going to help to literally clean up trash and litter on the ground. Seeing how Kitano get himself into and out of these kinds of situation is quite amusing. On the other hand, those amusing situations do get repetitive after awhile. And people may not even be able to get past the artwork to begin with. At the end, if you're looking for an entertaining, comedic, turn-off-your-brain type of read, Angel Densetsu is something I would recommend trying to take up, as long as your able to get past the art and some of the designs.
Wow. I've never written a review on MAL before but I had to start for this particular manga. Reading Angel Densetsu was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Pure, comedic gold. I'm the type of person who loves comedy manga but had always generally stuck to the mainstream. THIS manga, however, needs more love and attention.
STORY: Episodic, but it works brilliantly for this manga. We see short, hilarious bits of Kitano's life as he meets (and battles) a list of oddball characters who each bring something important to Kitano's life, and vice versa. The story is entirely character driven, which was a
good choice on the author's part, as he was able to write some of the best characters I've ever read.
ART: Eh well, it does get better. Don't let the beginning chapters scare you away. I honestly had to ease my way into it, because I wasn't really used to a main character whose point is to be physically unattractive. But by the very last volume, I looked back and realized that I had learned to love Kitano regardless of how he looks. I know that sounds weird, but that's actually the point of the manga anyway. Plus, as a reader of Claymore, I know that this artist's potential is only just budding in Angel Densetsu.
CHARACTERS: Excellent. Perfect. I even loved the big, stupid guy who used to be the Guardian. By far the best characters are Ryoko and Ikuno. They surprised me by being strong female leads in a genre that isn't always fair to both genders. Males and females are pretty much on equal status in this series....and they are ALL funny. Each character brings a unique style of comedy to Angel Densetsu. And Kitano...there are NO words to describe this guy. One of a kind.
ENJOYMENT: I've never, ever read a manga with this type of comedy before. It's similar to that of Yankee-kun to Megane-chan, but it's much more refined and makes a lot more sense. Characters like Ikuno deliver classic lines at just the right time and the comedy never seems out of place at all. The fighting is even enjoyable, which is a lot coming from someone who generally finds fighting manga distasteful. I actually found myself taking screenshots of some of my favorote scenes, because the comedy needed to be immortalized on my computer.
OVERALL: Angel Densetsu is a gem of comedy and character development. I couldn't have asked for more out of this manga. There's no more to say. Just read it all the way through and you won't be disappointed.
This manga was the first published work of Yagi Norihiro's who went on to write the "Claymore" series. His art improves drastically as the story progresses but the manga remains utterly enjoyable throughout.
The story revolves around Seiichiro, a kind hearted teenager whose face and behavior, unfortunately, inspire the uttermost fear. I won't go into detail about the story because it would spoil your fun but do expect to be surprised. The reactions of some characters during their first encouter with Seiichiro might make you think about how one sometimes (very unfairly) judges a book by its cover.
One simply cannot help laughing when reading this
manga. Sure enough the stories are a little far fetched and never realistic but that is not the point. As bizarre as they may be, these stories carry positive messages of understanding and courage. All characters are interesting and Norihiro manages to make almost each and everyone of them endearing.
The author managed to stop before repeating himself so "Angel Densetsu" is a very complete work which absolutely anyone should enjoy. So read it people!
Is it possible to have a lead character that has a face that resembles the devil himself? In Angel Densetsu it is. Follow the life of Kitano Seiichiro, a transfer student who terrorizes everyone in his school unwillingly.
Angel Densetsu is a comedy/school manga where the main focus lies in the comedy. The story is pretty generic: Kitano transfers to Hekikuu highschool, where he is mistakenly believed to be a delinquent. This leads to encounters with the thugs of his own school, instantly overwhelming them, spreading the legend of the devil delinquent in the whole neighborhood. Consequently, all the delinquent bosses of other schools challenge Hekikuu's
boss, Kitano. This leads to hilarious situations and amusing fighting scenes; but this is of course only possible with his devil-like face, his exceptional fast reflexes and his misunderstandings of situations that inflict pure fear in all of his opponents. Who would be able to not feel any terror of a devil?
There is little story to tell besides the daily live of Kitano and the people of Hekikuu town and their silly actions. The jokes become somewhat predictable as the story develops, but the episodic nature and the introduction of new characters keeps the manga fresh and enjoyable. The misunderstandings that Kitano continues to make also leads to hilarious dialogues, making the other people to misunderstand him even more.
There is little character development to be found in Angel Densetsu. The lack of character development is however compensated with the constant introduction of new characters, each with its own charm and own ideas about Kitano, though most have two things in common: they regard the lead character as the devil and are mostly stereotypical.
The secondary characters play an important role in the manga, like Kitano's parents, fathers of the martial artists, Killer Bear, you name it. Without these, the manga would certainly be less amusing. Combined with the introduction of new characters, the comedy aspect of Angel Densetsu wouldn't be as good as it is. There is little romance to be found in the manga, though this will influence the behaviour of certain characters to take determined actions.
The style of the manga is old and simplistic with the typical faces and hairdo of a 90's manga. The art style gets better as the story progresses, but this mainly concerns better movements of characters as better facial expressions and more consistent drawings. This leads to a low diversity in character appearance, making it more difficult to tell characters apart. That being said, the art style may put some readers off to not read the manga; I however found that this was not a problem as the comedy aspect kept me interested in it.
Angel Densetsu was definitely a very enjoyable manga, with an interesting concept of having a devil faced main character, different from nowadays handsome protagonists. The exaggerated expressions and jokes may turn old and predictable, but it kept me nevertheless entertained throughout the whole series. If you enjoy the comedy genre, this may definitely be a manga for you.