Oh my god, Aki is one of my favorite mangaka in all of the history of manga! If you go back to my earliest posts (almost 2 years ago), you will see I have a post on Olympos which is one of my most favorite manga ( http://www.espressocomsaudade.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/olympos-by-aki ). The Angel of Elhanburg is a beautifully drawn, and amazingly written, one volume story of two friends and an angel.
The Angel of Elhamburg is a short, but bittersweet story with a small (more insignificant plot) and major characterization. This is a common aspect of Aki’s writings, and actually, this story and Olympos have the most mixed review because some find it boring. I personally adore this sort of story, it takes a lot of thought and focus on the story to understand what is being said.
The story opens up on Lalvan and Madeth, two friends from childhood who are now moving into an old, but enchanted castle after taking down the previous king. Madeth is the new king, though he has no royal blood, no education, and no skills (other than really good people skills). Lalvan is his childhood friend and knight who has many skills and can see spirits and angels. And since he could remember, they have always blessed Madeth. For all of these reasons, Lalvan is extremely jealous of his friend, but his feelings constantly conflict with his loyalty causing him to be a little cowardly. King Madeth, who respects Lalvan, knows all of this (though he acts like he doesn’t), but their friendship quickly falls apart when Madeth accuse Lalvan of being the father of his first born son Perseus (Lalvan may be jealous, but he is not bad enough to do that, and on top of that Madeth probably knew the whole time, he just couldn’t understand why Lalvan was not willing to take credit for all of the things he did/his skills).
So Lalvan leaves and many years pass before they meet again. But the meeting is not a happy one, as Lalvan has finally come to face his problems and realize how much time he wasted and the friendship they threw away.
This is a story about a pair of friends who can see each others’s flaws, who sees that their ideals and values seem to be conflicting with each other, and who can’t seem to settle their own conflicting emotions until its to late. And its through the angel that they are all connected.
I loved the story and would recommend it 1000 times over. The art is absolutely amazing, as you would expect of Aki, and the colored images are also extremely stunning. Of course, her stories are short, but pack a mega-punch that leaves an ever lasting impact.
I know most people would probably start this and get frustrated/agitated/annoyed and not finish it, but I still suggest you try it.