You're gonna wanna sit down and read about an angel who's fallen to the conveniences of mortal life.
Title: Gabriel Dropout
Genre: Comedy, Supernatural
Publisher: ASCII Media Works (JP), Yen Press (US)
Serialized in: Dengeki Daioh G
Translation: Caleb Cook
Release Date: October 31, 2017
A review copy was provided by Yen Press.
The purest angel of all the land has arrived on Earth, and in a battle of convenience and depravity, Earth wins.
This is very much a good thing for readers of Gabriel Dropout.
Gabriel is one of the best angels in her class, and after graduating from school she is sent to Earth to learn about humans and lead them well. Unfortunately, her purity and goodness went straight down the drain once she discovered Earth’s conveniences (games, AC, TV). Now she’s a no good slacker that’s skips school and plays games all day.
Trying to steer her back to decency is Vigne, who is actually a demon. Demons should be doing bad things. This demon instead does good, and tries to help Gabriel out, even when she doesn’t appreciate her help. As they try and get by in school, other characters appear to cause annoyance or cause chaos, and this manga tries to document these struggles between good and bad.
The thing is, the angels are bad and the demons (one of them though) are good.
In watching the anime compared to the manga, there is one thing that I liked in the anime that was missing here: showcasing the backstory of Gabriel and how she’s fallen. In the manga it’s just a quick panel explaining what went wrong. It likely was a case where the anime could expand upon aspects of the manga, but I admit I would have loved to have read it in comic form. Thankfully, the comedy itself in Gabriel Dropout remains hilarious. From Gab’s sojourn to school (which ends with only her underwear making the trip) to her abject laziness when it comes to doing anything, reading about a pure angel’s new life as a NEET works well.
Like every comedy though, the main character can’t be funny by herself — you need others to help them out. Doing so its Vigne, who is a demon that has turned into what Gabriel should have been. Satania is a demon who does the weakest evil deeds in the history of evil deeds (throwing the trash where it doesn’t belong, not doing her homework), but I admit she would probably be super annoying if she interacted with just Vigne and Gab all the time.
That’s one reason Raphiel exists — let’s just say she takes advantage of Satania’s idiocy, and she is doing so in an evil manner. Oh right, forgot to mention that she’s an angel…
So what is Ukami doing by flip-flopping these roles? Well, this does create a better manga since it’s a comedy. Also it takes advantage of someone who likes this type of humor — pop culture heavy, playing along the role of angels and demons, etc. And it does all of this well. It’s also drawn well too — like you can instantly see Gab’s dread when Vigne ruins her MMO activity, or when Vigne’s struggles in dealing with a cute dog stealing her bread.
Gabriel Dropout takes a concept and does it hilariously well. There’s little doubt that this is one title to check out for 2017, and it should be for years to come.