Immortal Rain- part 1

alternate name: Meteor Methuselah

year of release: 1999

mangaka: Ozaki Kaori

characters: Balfaltin Machika, Jewlitt Rain

genre: shoujo

summary: Rain Jewlitt, known as the Methuselah, is a spaced-out, immortal, 624-year-old man dressed in priest’s clothes. He’s got eternal youth and a large price on his head … put there by those questing after the secret of his immortality.
Machika Balfaltin is a tomboyish, energetic 14-year-old girl who, upon the death of her grandfather, sets out to kill Methuselah, the one bounty her assassin grandfather, Zol the Grim Reaper, couldn’t kill. Instead, however, Machika ends up being saved by Rain again and again from other aspiring bounty hunters attacking them both.
Sound like the beginnings of an odd relationship? You won’t believe where their journey takes them… (tokyopop)

Immortal Rain for me is:

as all the manga I wrote and intend to write about for the time being, this manga really caught my attention. I can say with confidence that this manga is definitely one of the best things I have ever read, and by far the closest to perfection. for more information regarding the reasons I believe Immortal Rain is so unique, please read my previous post: Immortal Rain and Chrono Crusade- why so special?

Immortal Rain is a really deep manga about Rain, AKA Methuselah- a bounty head that is rummored to have lived for more than 600 years. it’s said on the “prequel” (which I will discuss in part 2) that  the price for his head is so high one will be able to buy an entire city with the money. for most bounty hunters Methuselah is just a myth, but for Machika he is the only bounty head her deceased grandfather the great assassin Balfaltin Zol, known as the “Grim Reaper”, couldn’t take down, and so as of a very young age Machika’s purpose in life was to kill the man her grandfather couldnt.
Rain is always wearing the same cloths of a priest and always carrying with him a violin the he poorly plays, and its obvious from the very beginning that this violin has great meaning in the eyes of Rain. and so, thanks to the never changed appearance of Rain that never gets old, Machika easily spots him once he came to her town, where he have met her grandfather before she was born.
Machika is so determined being the one to take his life that after he’s being captured by a group of young assassins that found out his identity, she’s helping him escape out of jail (though its obvious that if he wanted to get away and fight he would have easily won) and hide him away for some time from the bounty hunters that now target not only Rain, but also herself.
from that moment Machika is starting to tail Rain where ever he goes, though he tries with all his might to lose her and make her leave him alone and drift away from town to town as he did for the last 600 years, but Machika refuses. she insist that she will be his grim reaper, and so she has to follow him, but its clear that this young girl who has no one in the world and lost the only family she ever had has started to get attached to the peculiar man who not so long ago was supposed to be her victim. and so their journey starts.

this story touches a few things that made me, as a human, think. why do we always pursue what we don’t know? why does things we don’t understand trigger us so badly? why are we willing to annul one’s existence to our own benefit? and we can see those things happen every day. homosexuals are pursued even in this day and age, and their rights as human beings to marry and to live freely the way they see is best from them in peace is taken away, because people don’t like what they don’t know and understand from their point of view; people abuse animals (and in the past other humans too) to expand their knowledge; since humanity has been created it is manipulated by things people don’t understand like gods existence, creation of the world, nature disasters, fate and a lot more of other things. in Immortal Rain, Rain is the gay, the monkey, the volcano and god itself.
while reading I started wondering, right after he made his first appearance in the manga, “why would someone put a bounty on this man’s head?”. Rain is the purest most kind and wonderful person that could ever exist. so patient and compassionate, calm and loving man even though the entire world is willing to have him killed. Rain has the most sincere expression, it’s so soft I can really cry by just looking how childlike and warm this giant man’s face is. Rain has never done anything bad in his entire life, and yet he is pursued the same way murderers, thieves and rapists are. it’s really painful to look at it that way, a man who stays alive only for the sake of humanity he loves so much, humanity that abuse his pure soul and his beaten body so badly repeatedly. the only reason he’s being targeted by the entire world is his immortality that he never asked for. for humanity, immortality is something unknown, something desireable, something they want to understand, and because of those selfish desires he is treated so horribly. no one ever stopped to think there is a person, a living person with a beating heart and feelings behind this creature they want to take his life even though he never did anything that justify it. what makes it most clear that he has never been treated as a human his entire immortality is that no one, not even once, called his name before Machika. he has always been Methuselah, an object, a target. 
humanity in our world is this way too. we never look at the person, we look at what we want to see or what we think is there, and as long as we’re okay we don’t care what happens next door. humanity is cruel.

I really like reading manga that makes me think and has a meaning, and not just being there to entertain. it always touches me more and i feel like I’m being sucked in, it become a part of me. Immortal Rain, as i said in my “why so special?” post, is just wonderfully made. the characters are amazing, being it Rain, Machika or anyone else, even the evil ones are so well made. there’s innocence in this manga, desperation, sadness and cruelty but it also has great passion, friendship and love. the only reason I said this manga is almost perfect is that there isn’t anything perfect in this world. if there was- it would be Immortal Rain. its art, and not just the amazing artwork. it’s a master piece of all master pieces.

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~ by DandelionRH on January 19, 2010.

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