Title: はだしの天使 (Barefoot Angel)
Author: Nonomiya Ito
Release Date: June 10, 2021
Publisher: Libre (Be Boy Comics Deluxe)
The cover picture of this one caught my attention and after reading the synopsis and reviews, I decided to pick it up. This is the debut manga for this manga-ka. It is a beautiful story about a former angel who committed a sin and had his wings removed (and was expelled from heaven), and Turner a kind-hearted shoe maker.
The story takes place in England and starts on a cold winter day where 25-year-old Turner finds a young man sitting on a bench in light clothing and no shoes. After talking to him and lending his coat, Turner takes him home and gives him the name Benjamin (Bennie for short). He finds out that Bennie is looking for a place to stay and decides that he will then go on a journey to learn more about human culture. Turner offers him a place to stay and asks Bennie if he would let Turner make shoes for him. So their life under one roof begins.
The story is very gentle and it flows like a movie so this would make a perfect live action film. If you like a seme who takes good care of the uke, this is the perfect manga for you. And I guess it’s an age gap manga since Bennie is 106 years old (but looks like a youth). But he acts more like a learning child who does not know much since he is not accustomed to the human world and everything is new to him.
Turner is very caring but is gay so every time Bennie gets too close to him he freaks out a bit. Bennie on the other hand does not show much emotion and is completely new to the human world. With the help of Turner he learns about a lot of “firsts” including what love is in his new life before embarking on his journey. My favourite thing about this manga is that Bennie finds a place to return to and you do see him come back to Turner’s place after making a trip around England and acquiring new knowledge about the human world by experiencing it himself.
The drawings for this manga are absolutely beautiful and small details are even added. Yet, the one thing that caught my attention was that there are quite a few panels with a complete white background where more background drawings could have been added to equal out the whiteness of the pages. Still, this is the manga-ka’s first published work so there is quite a lot of potential for this artist. I am looking forward to her future works and I heard this manga is getting a sequel so I will definitely pick that up when it comes out.
Cover image from Amazon Japan.