I picked up my copy of Immortal Rain Volume #1 last year for $1.50. I finally decided to bust this bad boy out. Immortal Rain originally came out in 1999, came stateside in 2004 thanks to TokyoPop and ran for 11 Volumes.
Plot- Rain Jewlitt is immortal. He has lived for 624 years. He is now known as Methuselah, which to my understanding is the longest living person recorded in the bible. Needless to say, his body is highly desired by many because it holds the secret to immortality. However, the secret of immortality is not the motivation behind Machika Balfatin. A young want-to-be assassin. Rain is the one bounty her, her being Machika, grandfather could not slay. Her grandfather was known as the Grim Reaper. I could see some similarities to Rebirth (Read our review of Rebirth #1 here), a couple in fact. For starters, the male leads are immortal. The female leads want to kill the male leads to avenge their fallen family members. Both the male leads want to die. I’m sure there’s more, but those are the ones that jump out to me. Rain, for someone who is immortal, keeps getting taken captivate. Machika bails him out of his captivity twice, yet Rain saves Machika from potential assailants twice. By the end of the first volume they have formed a team in order to reverse Rain’s immortality. This would allow Rain to finally die and for Machika to be the one to kill him.
Characters– We really addressed the two main characters already, so I am not sure how much time we will spend here. I’ll dive a little deeper though. Machika’s character is rather simple, yet very admirable. She fights hard and has a big heart. She just wants to honor her grandfather. Rain, however, is a very deep, well written character. It is not that his character is really original, again he is the same as Deshwitat from Rebirth, but he is done to near perfection. He openly warns all the characters that want his immortality that they should dread the curse instead. This is a classic grass is not greener. So many characters are either scared of death or are looking to revive dead family members. Rain cautions that if they or their loved one gain immortality, that that person will live a lonely, bitter existence, implying they outlive their loved ones. Also, adding to the complexity, Machika’s grandfather and Rain also had a brotherly rivalry. When her grandfather passed, Rain would place flowers on his grave. At times this is a pretty surface level, typical shoenen level of mindless and fun adventure. At other times, there are deep, provoking dialogues, relationships, and moments that make it more memorable than the average adventure manga.
The World– The world is like Dragon Ball Z in that I cannot truly nail the setting. At parts, this feels like a premodern civilization manga and then there are fully realized cities. Outside of that, angels may play a part in the larger story. Which is atypical. Of course, one character is immortal. These are just a few outliers for an otherwise normal world.
This is a book I have to just suggest you read on your own. Warning, the language is the most harsh out of any manga we’ve reviewed so (If that is a concern for you or anyone you know.). It does have the F word and the B word which is bit more harsh than the usual D or H words. Outside of that, there is violence, but nothing graphic. There are certainly moments where the manga feels like just another fantasy novel. Sometimes the characters, the dialogue, and the settings feel uninspired. Other scenes really come together. I bought this book for less than 2 dollars and will gladly buy following issues for that much.
I give the book a 7.5 out of 10. The book lacks consist greatness nor is anything completely original. Still, it is done in an enjoyable manner that has very strong moments that redeem it as a whole. (It is kind of like this review.)