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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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07/30/2008 Archived Entry: "Manga review: Nephilm Vol 2"

Nephilim: Vol 2.
Story and Art by Anna Hanamaki
Published by Aurora Publishing
ISBN-10: 1934496278
ISBN-13: 978-1934496275

Review by Linda Yau

Abel is a survivor from her/his heavily persecuted race. Her/his species is the Nephilim, which is a unique gender-changing race. During the daytime she/he is a strong 'pretty boy' man and at nighttime he/she is a delicate beautiful woman. When Guy a solider from the imperial army sees his/her true form one time at a night time bathing pool, Abel vows to kill him. Now, that was that was a recap from the first volume, the story continues and expands in the second volume. Without reading the first volume, it would be bad to start from the second volume, or that is my opinion.

Abel and Guy are separated at the end of volume one; so volume two continues with Abel trying to find the man that she vowed to kill in the first volume, but now wants as husband. She/he finds him and there is a bit of a problem, Abel realizes that the man that she/he finds is no longer the man that she fell in love with from the first book. Oh, he is willing to help liberate the remaining survivors of her/his people, but how much love does this solider/prince even hold for her/him anymore?

Now I truly don’t want to spoil the book, but what a wretched tormented love affair, I don’t know who to yell at (figuratively) to move on or what. There are no character dossier, no author notes, none of the extra stuff readers would normally find in a graphic novel as aid to the author's thoughts. The only synopsis to this volume is in the back. So pretty much, fans who want to read this book, has to read the first book first.

The art is quite pretty and the cover art kinda made the romantic side of me feel aflutter. This is a clear shoujo romance with many kissing scenes and sexy romantic poses, but there are even elements that would make the fujoshi side of me, cringe and wonder how dramatic can this get? There are no love sense in terms of men in this graphic novel. I believe that even Abel imagines herself/himself to be a woman, as she/he does use it to her/his skill. I found myself thinking of Boy Princess as I read the graphic novel, because of the dramatics of the plot and because of the gender changing aspect, Under the Full Moon by Sanami Matoh.

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