Thursday, September 28, 2017


Finding BL manga about angels is not a particularly hard feat to accomplish.  Now finding a GOOD BL manga about angels?  That's the tricky thing.

FALLEN MOON (Daten no Tsuki), by Toui Hasumi.  First published in 2004 and first published in North America in 2008.


In this collection of stories, a man cast out of his personal Eden finds himself trapped in the lavish household of a fallen angel, where he is held captive just as much by his captor's will as he is by the walls.  In another world, an artist and his patron turn out to have a far longer and far more divine history than at first glance.  Finally, a bounty hunter and his partner face off against demons, only to undergo transformations and revelations of their own.


Unlike most BL anthologies, there actually is a theme to tie all of these stories together.  All of these stories feature angels and devils in some form and while it's not completely clear, it is implied that these stories take place within the same timeline.  That is where my praise for Fallen Moon ends.

This theme is admirable in theory, but in practice it just leads to uncertainty about whether this is one continuous universe, especially since some names and faces keep reappearing in different places.  It also doesn't help that in addition to recycling those, she also keeps recycling the same sort of dynamic between her couples.  They always seem to revolve around naive young men with tragic pasts and lost loves who find themselves manipulated and captivated by cruel men.  It's all very suggestive and more than a little problematic, but not one of these stories ends with any sort of resolution.

It's true!  There's no sex, no declaration of love, and in most cases not even so much as a kiss.  They simply just end, leaving the reader with the narrative equivalent of blue balls.  Maybe I could have lived with that had the stories or the setting been compelling in their own right, but they are half-assed at best and barely sketched at worst.  What little explanation for anything tends to come from the mouths of random serving girls, and thanks to the aforementioned lack of resolution all that exposition doesn't add up to much.  This isn't so much a short story collection as it is a pile of half-finished story ideas that somehow made it to print.


Hasumi's characters tend to come in two flavors: long-haired, perpetually pissy dude and long-haired wide-eyed innocent ladies.  They all tend to have the same face, and if it belongs to a guy it's permanently stuck in an expression of pure constipation.  Not suprisingly, the lack of emotion undercuts a lot of whatever emotion or allure the story could offer.  Maybe she thought she could get away with it by hiding it under everyone's snake-like hair, always at the ready to drape itself across their prone frames or swirl dramatically about them.  Otherwise, her art is about as workman-like as you can find in BL.


Fallen Moon suffers from bland art and boring, half-finished storytelling.  There are countless other BL stories about angels and demons, and you'd be better off reading them instead of this.

This book was published by Tokyopop under their Blu imprint.  It is currently out of print.

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