Oh dear. Do I even have one of those? I am not so sure anymore. I don’t think I have ever bothered to claim a favourite author. What was the point? There were always many books I liked, many of them equal.
I’ll persevere. I’ll take an author of one of my favourite series, and tell you about her.
Kaori Yuki. I have a major mind-crush on her. I am in deeply love with her works. But since she only does manga, I think I will save her for my Anime 30 Day Challenge. So instead I will, let’s not say settle, for another wonderful lady, Fuyumi Ono.
Ah screw it. Kaori Yuki it is. I love this woman. Anything she has ever written I will gladly devour. I will not question. How did she win me over? Two words: Angel Sanctuary. Just the thought of that series makes me shiver. It was wonderful. Slightly confusing, by amazing. I must admit that when I first read the series the subject matter nearly put me off, but once you work past it, it’s not so bad. And you can even rationalize it in some weird way that I cannot explain without spoiling it. So I won’t explain. I apologize. I am talking about the incest plot element between Setsuna and his sister Sara. I know, I did that that thing where you bear your teeth and make a hissing sound as you inhale too.
To be honest, after reading Angel Sanctuary incest really isn’t so shocking anymore. Maybe it’s not just after reading Angel Sanctuary. I was in high school when I first read it, and hadn’t exactly strayed miles out of the teen section, so themes like that weren’t exactly old news to me. Angel Sanctuary isn’t the only story that I’m aware of anymore that uses incest as well; Game of Thrones being the most prominent example at the moment. My point being, if you keep reading past the first few volumes you barely notice the incest anymore. (Is that as bad as it sounds?)
What you do notice is the beautiful drawings by the author herself. They’re breath taking, even more so when you have read the story. Angel Sanctuary follows Setsuna Mudo, a boy who has always been different, and not just because he is in love with his sister. He is the reincarnation of Alexiel, an angel who rebelled against God and was punished. Her body was frozen and her soul was taken from her body, cursed to be reincarnate on earth to be mentally and physically tortured in each life. Thus Setsuna is born, tortured because of his own forbidden love. It doesn’t take long before Setsuna is sucked in the supernatural world of Heaven and Hell, caught in a plot of politics that have some pretty dire consequences if he steps a toe out of line.
There are so many amazing characters running in and out of the series. Characters we have never heard of like Zaphikiel, and characters we have heard of like Michael and Raphael the arch angels (whose relationship is perfect). And you can never forget Belial with her twisted love, or fuck-nuts Rosiel, Alexiel’s twin brother. And last but never least, Kira Sakuya.
My love for Kira goes beyond words, but I am saving him for another post in this challenge, so I will only say that man stole my heart. I don’t think I’m getting it back anytime soon.
Every character in this 20 volume series has a story that will break your heart. They are all unique and creative and they all contribute to a complex and unique plot in a way that will blow your mind. And as I mentioned before, the drawings are spectacular. I could spend hours just staring. Not only do I own the whole series but I also have both artbooks and several posters hanging on my wall.
And, to be sure, Angel Sanctuary is not a one hit wonder. Another favorite of mine is Ludwig Revolution. Odd title, I know. Ludwig Revolution is something a little different. Yuki retells many of the popular Grimm faerie tales in her own grim fashion. Her character Ludwig is an entertaining one as he wonders in and out of these stories, sometimes the catalyst for events, sometimes just an observer, but he also has his own plot arch that ends the series. Unfortunately it was never translated to English from the original Japanese so it must be read online, which is the only downside.
Other works that are widely (and I mean widely) regarded by Miss Kaori are Blood Hound, Earl Cain, and Godchild. I have yet to read them, but they are on my list and I don’t expect to be disappointed.
The best thing about her work is she doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff. She gets down into the grit of the themes she chooses, and while they can be dark (I think most of them are dark) they always have their own style and a good deal of depth to them. Nothing is as it seems, and not a lot about her characters are common (at least by Western standards).
If you have never heard of Kaori Yuki and you love any form of graphic novel I suggest you check her out. Her work is an experience.