Dying and going to hell is a real bitch, but at least it might not be so bad if you have a hot devil girl overseeing your torture!
Story/Art: Reiji Suzumaru
Translation: Jocelyne Allen
Adaptation: Libby Mitchell
What They Say
Rintaro Senkawa is a regular guy in his mid-20’s who got a little drunk one night and fell to his death. But that is just the beginning of Rintaro’s story, as he finds himself unexpectedly in Hell where he meets his guide, the painfully sexy devil Koyori. Can Rintaro take his situation seriously enough to repent for the sins of his former life, or is he fated to be eternally tempted, teased, and tortured by scantily-clad devils with iron spiked clubs?
The Review! (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The character designs for this book are fun with a mixture of humans and devils populating hell. The male characters are average looking and the females are very attractive with a lot of variety between them. Backgrounds are sparse, but this is hell, so there isn’t much to look at anyways. While there are plenty of cute naked girls, the author also seems to enjoy drawing ugly people and gruesome scenes of torture for a curious juxtaposition of images. The end of each chapter has “spoiler-free story notes” from the author which are a collection of early character designs and ideas of how the story was originally imagined. Original Japanese SFX are replaced with English SFX and the adaptation read just fine. That is always something I notice about a good translation/adaptation, when I don’t notice it.
This was an early electronic review copy, so I do not have any information about the upcoming releases’ print quality or any kind of extras.
This story is a comedic look at how life is in hell for a young guy named Rintaro, who never really did anything with his life. So, there is no time spent in the real world learning about him, just open scene with him staring down at his dead body. In fact, Rintaro’s life was so nondescript that even his death was lame; he got drunk and brained himself to death when he tripped. But all this is a good thing for the reader because Rintaro’s life of poor decisions is so ingrained into his being that he can’t help but continue making poor decisions once he reaches hell.
Initially, hell doesn’t seem like such a bad place, other than arriving naked and having a small package like Rintaro does. But, there are plenty of super hot devil chicks that only have little horns on their foreheads to distinguish them for human girls. Other than some embarrassing snickers by women looking at Rintaro’s junk, how can hell be so bad? Oh, that’s right, penance. It seems that in hell, you get hungry and need to eat, but there is also a regular society with jobs and things to do, albeit humans are second class citizens to the devils. The major problem with living in hell is making money and paying for your sins all involve the same thing; pain. Being tortured gets you both money to live on and pays for your sins until you have finished and can be transferred to heaven. No matter how painful the maiming, people in hell always wake up completely healed the next morning and ready to go through it again. To make matters worse, any fun or happiness you find in hell only adds to your sins and ultimately to the time you spend in hell.
To show you the ropes in hell, and torture you for your sins, you are assigned a devil who basically owns your ass. Luckily for Rintaro, his devil, Koyori, is a cute young girl and not some gross devil dude. Koyori is so young, in fact, that Rintaro is her first assignment, and he isn’t make her job easy for her. Rintaro is a self-centered guy mostly concerned with girls and finding hookups, but any additional sins he commits in hell are blamed on his devil and Koyori will ultimately get in trouble for his behavior. Or at least, she won’t get glowing reviews from her boss. Koyori may be in big trouble with Rintaro, both because I think she might like him and he’s a hopeless troublemaker.
Rintaro’s antics are fun to see, especially after he meets another guy that is a masochist, Matsubashi. Matsubashi is a funny guy that seems to have found himself the perfect place in hell. His devil overseer is super hot, and he loves being tortured so much that he even loans out his services for a price and gets tortured for other humans penance, making a lot of money along the way. So, it doesn’t take much manipulation on Matsubashi’s part to convince Rintaro to do stupid things, like spying on the she-devil bathhouse! Koyori’s life as a devil may be short-lived if she can’t reign in Rintaro’s bad habits!
‘Love in Hell’ is a welcome addition to the seinen series with American releases. No magical girls or tournament fights here, just an average guy trying to find his way through hell with plenty of mishaps along the way. There is plenty of nudity, adult jokes, and gory torture to fill many fanboys desires; unless you’re a mecha fanboy, then you’re out of luck. I enjoyed the premise and the potential setup of a love affair that can never be between the protagonist and his devil overseer; that is if he quits being a jerk to her. The situations Rintaro gets himself into are funny and somewhat cringe worthy; kind of like watching Michael from the ‘Office’. Rintaro just does and says things you don’t expect a sane person to do, only he doesn’t manage a group of misfits like Michael does in the T.V. show.
This series has potential to be funny and have a cute side to it, buried amid the naked she-devils and horrific torture scenes. I look forward to checking out a print copy when the series debuts in October. Recommended for fans of seinen manga, as ‘Love in Hell’ is kind of like ‘Sundome’ meets ‘Genshiken’ meets ‘Highschool of the Dead’, only without zombies, just lots of boobies and blood and guts!
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: N/A
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Seven Seas Entertainment
Release Date: October 22nd, 2013