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[Manga Talk] Angel no Kodo by MONDEN Akiko


(エンジェルの鼓動/ 天使的鼓動)



(もんでんあきこ 門田晶子)

Complete: One shot

Story: “Have you heard of ‘the heartbeat of an angel’? This is the love story of Kairi and Shigeru, a midwife and an obstetrician. The two destinies become one for their own ‘angel’…” (From Baka-Updates).

Kairi used to be a midwife nurse working for a large hospital in Tokyo. Being fed up with the hospital’s hierarchy politics, Kairi left and settled down in a small town of Sapporo and worked as a assistant nurse to a local doctor instead.

Unknown to anyone, Kairi had been having a same dream every night for a very long time. By now, she was used to wake up in the morning with tears, as she dreamt her lover of pervious life from the Sengoku period died sadly in her embrace….

As she finally met Dr Daidouji, they found their destinies entwined, again.

My say:  I have to say, a manga topic of reincarnation is not often my cup of tea, especially when there are tonnes of cheesiness involved in a story (e.g. along the lines of “OH~~~ I have found you at last, the love of my past life!!~~~~“, etc).  Luckily, the level of cheesiness in Angel no Kodō had been toned down by Monden, shifting the focus to other things of modern lives.

For instance, Kairi was used to the rigid midwifery system of the tokyo hospital, meaning doctors’ speed and efficiency were often put before patients’ care. It was however a completely different experience for Kairi, when she had to deal with a mother who insisted on natural birth as opposed to cesarean. It was then she began to understand, and experience for the first time, the true meaning of delivery of  a newborn life… and that, I suppose would be the motto of this story, i.e. the circle of life.

I have to admit, I was a little bit bothered by the story’s later chapter, where Dr Daidouji insisted on volunteering to join the military defense contractors, as he saw this was the (only?) way to protect his country and his loved ones (NB. By now, they were already married, and they just found out she was pregnant, just as he had made the decision to leave….)

I am not sure what Monden’s objective was, by leading the story to such direction. I suppose it was because in the past life, Daidouji died failing to protect his country and his loved ones? Or may be it was just another demonstration of the core theme of ‘circle of life’? Anyhow, I am not buying that, since by joining the military force was certainly NOT the ONLY way for a man to protect his loved ones…. but anyway.

As expected, the story did conclude with a happy ending…. thus, “circle of life” continues.

Overall, I would rate this series 3 stars out of 5.

For some odd reasons, despite of what I did not agree on, I often found myself re-reading the book again from time to time! (and that was not because I ran out of manga books to read, believe me! I have >1000 manga books sitting on the shelves shouting for my attention 24/7! ^^) So, one star for its retaining value, one star for an ok story, and another star to say well done for not falling the trap of being a cheesy story!

The story was re-published again in 2006 as one of Monden’s “Best Collection” series. Its new cover is shown in the picture above – THAT was Monden’s style of art that I was used to seeing and that I like. BUT the artwork inside was very different… Let’s just say, this story was created in the “earlier” days of Monden’s career… and one could clearly see that her style of arts has indeed improved significantly in Ryū no Kesshō….. 

Just to clarify, its artwork was by no mean an eyesore to me. But unfortunately, I was already getting too comfortable with the sexy and handsome dudes as per Monden’s Ryū no Kesshō (and thereafter) before I picked this series up… so, apologies to Dr Daidouji but nil point for you, and nil for the overall artwork.



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