Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Dec 222014

I don’t read graphic novels or manga very often. I haven’t even read the Ace Attorney manga, an oversight I need to fix. But today I’m going to talk to you about a manga based on a game I praised very highly.

Yes, I’m going to talk about Absolute Zero.

The fantasy counterparts of Hatoful Boyfriend, in Absolute Zero (Anghel's world)

“The forbidden epic of the angel of Judecca”

If you haven’t played Hatoful Boyfriend, you might be very confused right now. Let me explain. While it’s true that Hatoful Boyfriend is a visual novel/dating sim about a human attending a school for gifted birds, it has many other elements.

For example, once you play through several routes, you’ll unlock the ability to pursue Anghel. Anghel has a unique view on life. In his mind, he is a fallen angel, you are Edel Blau, and there’s an evil sorcerer at work… If you’ve played Anghel’s route, you know it plays with fantasy RPG elements, and while it’s technically all explained in the BBL ending, Anghel’s world could easily be considered its own, separate story.

And that’s where this story comes in. Absolute Zero is an official manga by Moa Hato (the creator of Hatoful Boyfriend) and Damurushi, set in the fantasy universe imagined by Anghel.

It starts with the story of Anghel and Edel Blau, but visits several other characters in a collection of stories or chapters (or a “digest of scenes,” as the manga’s intro describes it). It also contains a gallery with information about each of the characters in this alternate universe. Like Anghel’s route, Absolute Zero is a combination of serious fantasy and goofy comedy.

For me the highlight has to be the part when naive alchemist Lute Infini accidentally summons the demon Wallenstein. Wallenstein attempts to make a Mephistopheles-esque pact with him… except Lute is just an adorably clueless dork.

The conversations that ensue are priceless.

Lute Infini (Ryuuji Kawara) and Wallenstein (Shuu Iwamine) in the Absolute Zero manga

Wallenstein may regret this more than Lute…

The only problem with Absolute Zero is that it’s quite short (but also quite cheap, only $1.99 on Amazon). These little snippets of stories are enough to get you interested and leave you wanting more. If there are more Anghel-verse stories out there in English, just point me in the right direction!

Overall, I’d recommend Absolute Zero to anyone who enjoyed Anghel’s route and wants a longer peek at his version of events. It might not mean as much to you if you haven’t played Hatoful Boyfriend–on the other hand, it might just make you more curious about what this game is all about!

By the way, Anghel fans, have you seen the missable Hatoful Boyfriend conversation between Anghel and Nageki? It includes some interesting bits of foreshadowing…

Curious, isn’t it?

Let me know your thoughts on Hatoful Boyfriend, Anghel, and Absolute Zero (and on how adorable Lute/Ryuuji’s cluelessness is) in the comments below! Who else is hoping for a Steam release of Holiday Star?

Buy Absolute Zero at Amazon.

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