Manga bites #002 – Angel Voice, Rikudou

Just some thoughts on some manga I’m reading.

Angel Voice ch. 47

Funny scene from the get-go

Funny scene from the get-go

Do you also have those times when you’re reading a manga–whose, art seems flat, repetitive, and overall the character anatomy just does not look good–but you always find yourself craving for more chapters? This is one of those times for me.

Angel Voice has that standard mature, sporty look of its set of characters, being a manga that ran in the 1990s when hooligan-type characters are commonplace, and the likes of Great Teacher Onizuka and Rookies found their place in Japanese shelves. Angel Voice is more the unnoticed title among the heaps of sports/shounen manga that utilize a figure of club/school-saving grace in the teacher-coach, just that the teacher-coach in Angel Voice, Kuroki-sensei, is nothing like Onizuka Eikichi-sensei. That may be because its story-telling is not that compelling. Until the previous chapter, there’s no scene that is really ground-breaking to be mentioned. I’m left with no real expectations, as it had done nothing to truly compel me. It’s like a raw fish cut only waiting to be seasoned at some point to be genuinely enjoyed. However, it’s exactly because it is almost raw and feels natural without unnecessary drama or effects to move the reader that I have been wanting to wait for the moment everything will be savory. Its rawness is what is good about it.

And just about in this chapter, something really interesting happened. It seems like I was proven wrong regarding what I wrote about the previous chapter yesterday. Due to the flatness of the art–without the overly dramatic emphasis and effects in character drawings (and even in the division of the pages into panels)–the apparent growth and improvement of Ichiran Soccer Team is somewhat convincing. The revelation two chapters ago regarding the condition for Kuroki-sensei to guide the team has led the team to feel more pressure than if there was no revelation made at all. That said, it’s ironically not that easy to be unmotivated. They’re a team playing a fast-paced sport. What the whole feels is felt by the parts. In the case of a high school match being depicted, the reverse doesn’t hold completely true. The team makes an impressive play, a chance has appeared, and the chapter closes with a total cliffhanger.

Also, it feels like Sakuragi (Narita) and Rukawa (Inui) all over again, just in a soccer manga.

Rikudou ch. 6


I mentioned last time that Riku has been through great pains in the past, and those experiences must have affected him in a deeper level. This manga is not just one having dark atmosphere and seemingly random violence. From the beginning, it has been building up its intention to show Riku as a human being with somehow twisted perspective on things while retaining the appearance of a sane person.

While I don’t want to regard him as a badass character, he is, indeed, too strong that he may as well be overpowered. Nonetheless, I want to see if he really makes it to the world professional boxing, as Riku himself is still hugely an intriguing character.

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