Sponsored by [personal profile] erinlin.

A while back, I picked up a YA novel called Madapple because, based solely on the title, I thought it might be re-telling the story of the Garden of Eden in a modern American high school. It turned out to be about something else entirely, and I thought I would have liked my imaginary book better. Fallen doesn’t exactly retell Eden, but it does place reincarnations or descendants of Lucifer, etc, in a modern American high school. It is surprisingly boring. I still like my imaginary book better.

In a prologue in 1854, an emo guy mopes around and woefully tells a girl that they can never ever be together, apparently because every time they reincarnate and kiss, he or she or both of them explode or something, it’s not made clear. They kiss. Then they explode. Or something.

Cut to modern USA. Teenage Luce (short for Lucifer Lucinda) has been diagnosed as psychotic because she sees menacing shadows. Then she kisses a guy. He bursts into flames and dies, and she’s sent to Hell a reform boarding school, Sword & Cross, where many people have names like Gabbe (Gabriel, I assume) and Diante (Dante.) There she sees a hot guy, Daniel Grigori, to whom she is instantly drawn and who seems strangely familiar.

Over the next 100 pages, he flips her off, ignores her, tells her to go away, and tells her to stop stalking him. Then a statue of an angel almost falls on both of them. Meanwhile, another boy, Cam, actually interacts a bit with her, and gives her the highly symbolic gift of a bit of serpent snake skin. At this point I am rooting for Cam, insofar as I’m rooting for anyone, on the basis that Cam and Luce have had an actual conversation.

For the next 100 pages, Luce stares at Daniel, who ignores her, and flirts with Cam, who gives her a guitar pick. She is still menaced by shadows no one else can see. Then the school bursts into flames, and shadows apparently rescue Luce but kill the boy she was with. This apparently prompts Daniel to start flirting with her, or possibly that was coincidental. I’m still rooting for Cam, though clearly he is not The One and is possibly Sat-am, again because there has been actual interaction.

For the next 100 pages, Cam and Daniel flirt with Luce. Cam displays superhuman strength, and Daniel the ability to scare off the shadows which he denies that he can see. Then a girl, Gabbe, superhumanly beats up Cam, and Daniel FINALLY decides to tell Luce what’s going on. Sort of. He informs her that he is immortal, and every seventeen years, he meets Luce, and they fall in love, and somehow that kills her, whether or not they kiss. But this time, they kissed and she did not drop dead. Woo-hoo! Not sure why he doesn’t think it just hasn’t happened YET. Inexplicably, Luce does not question him further.

The school librarian (Sophia, wisdom) confirms that they’re both damned. Inexplicably, Luce does not question her further.

Then Luce remembers! ”You’re an angel,” she repeated slowly, surprised to see Daniel close his eyes and moan in pleasure, almost as if they were kissing. “I’m in love with an angel.”

In the last twenty pages, stuff finally starts to happen. There is a revelation I wasn’t expecting. Unfortunately, it’s a supremely stupid one. The climax and ending tip over from slow and dull into hilariously ridiculous, but it’s too little, too late. Though I did like the random introduction of a helpful Vietnam vet with a private plane with which to ferry around a winged angel.

Fallen
This is the most appropriate use of my cockatiel parakeet of D00M icon since I posted about the Bleach episode where it first appeared, for this series prominently features a cockatoo. And not just any cockatoo! A cockatoo with a secret.

Karasu is a scruffy blonde agnostic angel with glasses and a soul-patch. As seems to be usual in manga, Heaven is some cross between a totalitarian dictatorship and an uptight beaureaucracy. Karasu has been sent down to Earth to retrieve a devil who's been living with humans. This is forbidden, as is devil-angel sex and other fun stuff.

The devil, Shirasagi, is really cute, incredibly sweet, loves God, wants to do good, and is currently helping small children as a pastor. With a cockatoo. He has black hair and wears a cross.

Sparks fly. Karasu gets in trouble with Heaven. Shirasagi is kidnapped by Beelzebub, who used to keep him as a sex slave in a giant birdcage in Hell. Karasu gets knocked out trying to protect Shirasagi, and the cockatoo flutters around his unconscious body looking both mournful and strangely fierce.

Two miscellaneous notes of interest:

1. If you look closely at the last panel of the first page of chapter three, you will see that some anonymous dude is giving Beelzebub a blow-job.

2. Beelzebub is the Archduke of Hell. The typeface made me repeatedly read this as "Artichoke," ie, "The Artichoke is waiting for you underground."

Most hilarious spoilery reveal ever )
This is the most appropriate use of my cockatiel parakeet of D00M icon since I posted about the Bleach episode where it first appeared, for this series prominently features a cockatoo. And not just any cockatoo! A cockatoo with a secret.

Karasu is a scruffy blonde agnostic angel with glasses and a soul-patch. As seems to be usual in manga, Heaven is some cross between a totalitarian dictatorship and an uptight beaureaucracy. Karasu has been sent down to Earth to retrieve a devil who's been living with humans. This is forbidden, as is devil-angel sex and other fun stuff.

The devil, Shirasagi, is really cute, incredibly sweet, loves God, wants to do good, and is currently helping small children as a pastor. With a cockatoo. He has black hair and wears a cross.

Sparks fly. Karasu gets in trouble with Heaven. Shirasagi is kidnapped by Beelzebub, who used to keep him as a sex slave in a giant birdcage in Hell. Karasu gets knocked out trying to protect Shirasagi, and the cockatoo flutters around his unconscious body looking both mournful and strangely fierce.

Two miscellaneous notes of interest:

1. If you look closely at the last panel of the first page of chapter three, you will see that some anonymous dude is giving Beelzebub a blow-job.

2. Beelzebub is the Archduke of Hell. The typeface made me repeatedly read this as "Artichoke," ie, "The Artichoke is waiting for you underground."

Most hilarious spoilery reveal ever )
This is the sort of story where one can quite honestly write, "I forgot to mention that Heaven and Hell collided some volumes back."

It also features this exchange, which I believe can be appreciated out of context, and is probably the only time in the entire series when I liked Rosiel:

Sandalphon (creepy): Once I have my own body... I will devour you! I'll devour you all!

Rosiel (deadpan): Well, I'll look forward to that, Sandalphon.

You think that lump of flesh clinging to life in that tub is my true form?! )
This is the sort of story where one can quite honestly write, "I forgot to mention that Heaven and Hell collided some volumes back."

It also features this exchange, which I believe can be appreciated out of context, and is probably the only time in the entire series when I liked Rosiel:

Sandalphon (creepy): Once I have my own body... I will devour you! I'll devour you all!

Rosiel (deadpan): Well, I'll look forward to that, Sandalphon.

You think that lump of flesh clinging to life in that tub is my true form?! )
I finished this series a while ago, but was unable to write it up because every time I attempted a thoughtful, coherent analysis, the content I was trying to analyze was so deliciously demented, so carefully foreshadowed yet totally insane, that my head exploded.

So I will not analyze. Perhaps someone else can analyze in comments. I will merely provide a highlight reel. And, in case this persuades others to persevere beyond the awful and incoherent first volume, this is the kind of series where it's not all that spoilery to mention that a fleet of flying cannibal zombie angel embryos is sent out to destroy the universe. Also, the art is jaw-droppingly beautiful, especially on the covers.

Setsuna escapes on the back of a flying whale. )
I finished this series a while ago, but was unable to write it up because every time I attempted a thoughtful, coherent analysis, the content I was trying to analyze was so deliciously demented, so carefully foreshadowed yet totally insane, that my head exploded.

So I will not analyze. Perhaps someone else can analyze in comments. I will merely provide a highlight reel. And, in case this persuades others to persevere beyond the awful and incoherent first volume, this is the kind of series where it's not all that spoilery to mention that a fleet of flying cannibal zombie angel embryos is sent out to destroy the universe. Also, the art is jaw-droppingly beautiful, especially on the covers.

Setsuna escapes on the back of a flying whale. )
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