Steel Angel Kurumi (鋼鉄天使くるみ) by Kaishaku
If you listened to the 18th episode of the Speakeasy about Kekkaishi you might remember the Interrogation Room question about what were titles the Reverse Thieves disagreed on. A manga like Steel Angel Kurumi is a perfect example of the sort of trash I like but Narutaki would never willingly read in million years. Steel Angel Kurumi is hardly high literature. In fact high literature weeps when in the same room with Steel Angel Kurumi. But it starts off as a fantastical historical piece in the Taisho era which makes it different than your normal shonen romance and slowly starts to go all over the place. It is a surprisingly fun little series with a decent amount of heart (and even more boobs and bum.)
Nakahito Kagura is a powerful mystic but a frail boy. So when he is being bullied by some boys from school he accidentally gets shoved into a seemly abandoned lab where he accidentally kisses a life sized doll. Due to his magical power his kiss awakens the android with an angel heart named Kurumi. Soon Nakahito meets Kurumi’s two other sisters Saki and Karinka who make things more complicated. At first they are on the run from the Japanese military but when other nations are revealed to have their own Steel Angels the story gets more complicated. Soon demons, curses, secret organizations, and time travel to the distant year of 2011 are added to the mix.
I’m not going to lie and say that Steel Angel Kurumi is a manga for everyone. It is filled with flaws. The plot despise its initial historical setting is hardly original. Also everything is very clearly being made up as the story goes along. The characters are all archetypical. And there is boobs (with nipples) and panty shots galore. But despite all of that the manga has manic energy and joy. While the story never has a clear focus it is always moving to a new fun idea and never letting a plot line drag on for too long. Boom. Their running from the military. Boom. They are participating in the Steel Fight. Boom. They travel to the future. Boom. They are fighting hidden demons. Never a dull moment. Also while the characters are extremely archetypical they are also pretty fun. I particularly like Karinka’s spunky attitude. The humor can be hit or miss. Some of the jokes are pieces of lazy harem humor but they really hit it out of the park sometimes. You also have to like that most of the random Steel Angles are actually reader submitted like it was Kinnikuman. I always felt like Kaishaku were having fun while making Steel Angel Kurumi and that is a powerful plus. Sadly this was an ADV manga title so they only ever published 9 out of 11 books. Maybe one day I will see where they finally ended this fun little manga.