Seraphim – Kon Satoshi Manga Book Review

Posted By yonghow on September 21st, 2013

Seraphim is the title of an unfinished manga illustrated by the late Kon Satoshi, (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, Paprika) and story by Mamoru Oshii (Patlabor II, Ghost In The Shell).

The comic was published (by Ryu Comics Special) for the first time as a Tankobon (a compiled volume) in early 2011; after Kon’s untimely passing in 2010 there was surge in interest for his earlier works.

With the story-writing handled by Mamoru Oshii, Kon Satoshi’s recurring themes of the fragile connection between the dream world and reality ( see his other manga Opus ) is evidently missing, replaced by Oshii’s usual fascination with Biblical themes. ( The title of the manga “Seraphim” refers to angels of the highest order. )

The story is set in a post apocalyptic world ravaged by “Tenshi-Byo” (Angel Disease), decimating the world’s population. To unravel the cause of this deadly disease, a young girl named Sera must journey into the heart of Asia.

The quality of art work in Seraphim is consistently high and very detailed; surely we can expect no less from a former apprentice of Otomo Katsuhiro. It’s also of little surprise that Kon’s drawing style bears an unmistakable resemblance to his mentor, in addition his compositions are highly cinematographic and the action scenes charged with vigorous energy, just like Otomo’s.

(above & below) Character design studies and sketches. The drawing style for the characters below are curiously similar to the work done by Toshiyuki Inoue for Otomo Katsuhiro’s Magnetic Rose in Memories.

The untimely departure of so talented an artist as Kon Satoshi is saddening beyond works – Seraphim is part of the legacy that he has graced us with. Highly recommended.

Seraphim – 266613336wings -Kon Satoshi/Mamoru Oshii Manga details :

- Dimensions – 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
- 236 pages
- Soft cover
- B&W, in Japanese

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15 Responses to “Seraphim – Kon Satoshi Manga Book Review”


I can’t seem to find any review for this work.

How would you say the story fares ?
Is it worth the read despite it’s unfinished state ?
What exactly is missing ?
Any common themes with “Angel’s Egg” (if you’ve seen that anime) ?

Please forgive the barrage of questions from this Oshii fan, and thank you for the great site !


Is it ever going to come in English?


The only thing I can say is that anything from Satoshi Kon is more than worthwhile, trust me ;)

He made another two mangas: “Kaikisen” and “Opus”. The last one is incredibly hard to find.


he actually made quite a few others, not to mention his collaboration with Katsuhiro Otomo on the comic adaptation for Otomo’s live action film, World Apartment Horror. Everything of his is worth finding, and for English speaking readers, Kaikisen was just released by Vertical in English as Tropic Of The Sea (it actually just came out this week!). I was in Japan about a year or two after his death and was able to pick up all the reprints of his stuff. also, finding World Apartment Horror back when he was still alive was very difficult and expensive, but i don’t know if it has been reprinted since then, and i doubt that it will be translated, as it’s hard to put that one in context without the movie, and English speaking audiences with probably miss both, unfortunately. I’ll be doing some comparisons soon on my blog between the Japanese and English versions of Kaikisen as well, so keep an eye open.

as always, awesome review, Vong.


Thank you for the info.
Do you know if the “Kon’s Tone – A Road to Millenium Actress” and “Kon’s Works 1982-2010″ books are going to be available soon?


Ole – You can find the review for Opus here. If you search for “Kon Satoshi” on my blog there might be an article or two that might interest you.

I’ve only browsed the comic and haven’t read it in detail, so I can’t comment on the quality of the story. In my opinion any work by Kon Satoshi is worth reading. :]

Zack – Will look out for your post on Kaikisen ! :]

kamikaze – “Kon’s Works 1982-2010″ will be released on the 26th of December this year :

“Kon’s Tone – A Road to Millenium Actress” will be out on the 16th of October :


Exclusively on Japanese?


Kamikaze – Most probably so. Japanese publishers usually cater to the domestic market only.


That’s a pity. I just wish I knew how to read japanese.


Kon’s Ton has been out for years, hasn’t it? i know i have a copy of it, so is that a second volume, or a reprint?


I think it’s a reprint.
Here’s the publisher’s website (in japanese):



Kamikaze – A french translation will be available later this month :
Not sure this helps, but french might be more accessible than japanese !


Yes, it helps a lot indeed! I’ve learned it before and my language and French are similar in some ways :)


Captain Kerosene

Just to say that an artbook of Satoshi Kon will be published in Japan on December 26th (too late for a Christmas gift) “Kon’s work 1982-2010″. I saw an exhibition of his work in Tokyo last year, some works are really amazing. This book will show Kon’s illustrations for advertising, CD covers, sketches for different projects.


Captain Kerosene – Yes I have that book in my amazon cart. So excited !

And really envious that you got to see the exhibition in person. :P

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