The following article has been written by Phoenix, a dear friend of us who and also our main editor for our first book, “Just a Little taste of Journey“.
“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”
As a writer, one has to deliver different stories, different characters and different sins. As an artist, the writer has to make the stories extraordinary, the characters believable and the sins mortal or venial.
What is a writer, though, that creates different stories, with sinful characters that the audience turns out to like and relate with?
I have read many of Kaori Yuki’s manga. I believe that she has that distinct and rather adept ability to create some of the most imperfect but real – actually real- characters out there.
I will start with two characters with a viable role in Angel Sanctuary. Although I do know that this one is the most discussed and over-analyzed out of Kaori Yuki’s works, I can’t help but refer to Zaphkiel and Sevotharte.
Zaphkiel was a man with no moral restrains. An angel, better say, that was doing the dirtiest job up in heaven. Killing children born from angels. And he liked it, until he fell in love with another angel. The most despicable of all sins in Heaven. Of course, to be a character with a dark past he had to actually have a child as a fruit of this love, to kill the woman he loved with his own hands, to lose his child and his light. In AS’s timeline, Zaphkiel is the leader of the terrorist organization that threatens Heaven. He is blind, and in the end he is killed by a man that seems to hate him with all his being. Sevotharte.
Sevi, as he is called numerous times, is the ruler of Heaven as the story goes after he usurped the place of the real Sevotharte. He is raising that sweet little bastard Metatron and although he seems impatient during the little boy’s outbursts, he is actually humouring him and taking care of him. Sevotharte of course had a rather dark agenda. He wanted to rule the Heaven, in his own perfect way. He wanted everything to be immaculate, to be pure. Perfect.
In the end, Sevotharte turns out to be Laila, a woman that at some point in the past was harassed by Zaphkiel’s darker self. Laila, too, has her own darker past, one painted with unfulfilled love and pain. One that shows us that Laila was one of those emotional creatures that when devastated could turn be reborn as monsters.
Zaphkiel’s torture and death in one of the most dramatic scenes I have ever seen in a manga. It is also the most beautifully drawn torture scene ever (highly personal opinion here).
Boys Next Door
Adrian is a teacher. He is a good person that loves kids and takes care of them, especially when they have a similar background as him; growning up without parents in foster families, facing prejudice and injustice. Well, this is one side him. Because Adrian is also a serial killer. He kills young boys that work as prostitutes. And he doesn’t seem to wanna stop.
Lawrence is a male prostitute. One night he witnesses Adrian killing somebody and when confronting him later, he asks with all his resoluteness for Adrian to save him from this kind of life. Because Lawrence doesn’t want to be a prostitute anymore. He hates it and he wants to be freed.
As the two of them fall in love, Lawrence’s existence seems to be Adrian’s forgiveness and atonement for his crimes in this world. For a while they live peacefully together until the day that Lawrence disappears.
It is a creepy but a well made story, its art always incredible. They both find their place in each other’s hands in the end, but the way they do can only draw a sad smile in our faces.
The dark, bastard kid of the king returns to take his revenge against a father that left him alone, send an assassin to kill his mother in front of his very eyes and had him spend years in an underground jail.
He kills his father with his own hands, locks his brother up in the same prison where he used to live by accusing him for treason and tries to takes his place as the legal successor.
Saga is the epitome of the character that was manipulated by the evil forces and misunderstood everything. Of course, he couldn’t do any different. There was never proof for the contrary. But he is also that character that when he talks justice, he means justice.
Sand and water, the key elements of the story, fight for prevalence. Yet, there is no good and evil fighting inside Saga. Only sadness, loneliness and hope in the face of his brother.
In all three of these manga, the five characters were more than imperfect. They could all be considered –at one point of their life- dirty and manipulative. Others were evil while others were purely twisted.
All these characters though, were steadily making space during their story, one way or the other, to fit into the heart of the readers. Every past was a sad one and every present was justifiable. Every death was a bitter one and every character could be me, you, him, or her because life isn’t always black or white, dark or light. There are these blurred lines in between that make humans imperfect. Kaori Yuki’s characters resemble this imperfection, mirroring in them a little part of ourselves.