Immortal Rain (メテオ・メトセラ Meteor Methuselah?) is a manga created by Kaori Ozaki. It was first published in the Japanese monthly anthology Wings as Meteor Methuselah. As of September 2007, the current eight volumes have been published in English by Tokyopop, with the rest of the series, when published in Japan, expected to follow. The 10th volume has recently been released in Japan.
A young assassin named Machika swears to kill the one bounty her grandfather couldn't get: the immortal Methuselah. But when she goes after him, she finds a clumsy, kind man named Rain who has lost more than he can bear in his unnatural lifetime. Unwilling to admit at first that she likes him, Machika willingly follows him as he waits for the one who made him immortal, still swearing to take his life one day. Their love for each other grows as they battle bounty hunters, a mysterious organization, and monstrous "angels" in order to save Rain and perhaps even humanity.
- Machika Balfaltin - At the beginning of the series, Machika is a fourteen-year-old assassin. Her grandfather, and presumably her only guardian, died a month before the series starts. Machika is a tomboy who shows little interest in men until she meets and falls in love with Rain. She is very determined and headstrong and never gives up hope. She later witnesses the horrible "death" of Rain and meets him a year later. Her grandfather was Zol the Assassin, which is why she first wanted to hunt down Rain, the only bounty her grandfather could never catch.
- Rain Jewlitt - More commonly known as Methuselah, Rain is 624 years old. His immortality makes him famous, and he is the subject of numerous bounties. The cause of Rain's immortality is a mysterious man who appears in flashbacks early in the series. Rain is described as a "nice screw-up" and is one of the funniest characters. He falls in love with Machika as the story moves along. Tending to stay away from violence, he doesn't try to stay close to others because he fears their deaths. Rain in the flashbacks was shot and killed by Yuca and then 'reborn' by him after Yuca fed him Freya's (an infected subject) flesh and blood. Rain is the opposite of Yuca in many ways, and has told him he will never view life the way Yuca does. Rain has all the powers of an angel, but none of the drawbacks, and is considered a 'perfect immortal'. He has a relaxed, slightly off beat personality.
- Sharem - In the earlier volumes, this beautiful woman is the villain. She is the Vice President of a company called Calvaria which is trying to find the secret to immortality, eternal youth, and weapons of mass destruction. It is later revealed that Sharem is also the President's wife, and her son was victim to a tragic accident. She never got over the death of her son, especially considering after him she was no longer able to bear children. She adopts orphans as a means to torment her husband for the death of Ys, her first son. After her sister gives birth to Ishmael's second son, she adopts him as her own and names him "Ys" in memory of her old son. She doesn't know that her second son is also a reincarnation of Yuca.
- Yuca Collabel - This man is seen in Rain's flashbacks. His place and purpose is explained throughout the series. His main goal is to end human life as each time he dies he is reincarnated as another human being. Yuca is the reincarnation of the spirit of Methuselah, the name later applied to Rain. He wants to die eternally but the only way to guarantee his final death seems to be having no population left to birth him. He reincarnates as Ishmael's son (his mother, who is Sharem's sister, immediately dies after giving birth to a child that is already in the form of a young boy), and Sharem names him "Ys" as she believes that he is the reincarnation of her son Ys. He has had experience creating "angels" in his previous "life" so during his life as Ys he creates numerous "angels" as devices for mass destruction. He was the person responsible for Freya's death and production of the biological weapons, and for Rain's immortality. He wants Rain to experience his pain and see his depression from being the person that he is. In a later volume, it is hinted that a part of Yuca secretly wants Rain to stop him.
- Freya - A girl also seen in Rain's flashbacks. She was Rain's love interest until she was shot by Yuca. She played the violin, the one which Rain carries despite his inability to play. Since she was one of the infected "specimens" of Yuca's experimentations who had not yet transformed, her blood was used to immortalize Rain. Unfortunately for Rain, Freya loved Yuca more. Rain is constantly reminded of her when he's with Machika.
- Kiki - A cat-like "angel" created 600 years before, at the time of Rain's making. He was rescued by the Doctor and given to Machika. In volume 5, Kiki begins to talk and has developed a taste for cat meat.
- Zol the Grim Reaper - Machika's grandfather, and also the famous bounty hunter who was later assassinated. The only bounty that he could never catch was the immortal Methuselah. His trademark weapon was his scythe, which Machika now carries, and he was the closest person to Machika before she met Rain. There is a miniseries prequel about the encounter between Rain and Zol AKA Shinigami of the East in the Japanese Magazine "Huckleberry".
The very thing that haunts Rain to the present day is his immortality. He's constantly reminded of the man who made him that way, Yuca Collabell. When Rain was younger, he lived at a church with a 17 year old girl named Freya, and a young Yuca. They lived there with orphans, during the time of a war. Freya loved Yuca, much to Rain's sadness.
The military was also in contact with Yuca, who was apparently researching the development of "angels". An angel was a human experiment given "angel" powers; however, the human body couldn't stand the change of their cellular structure, and they died after becoming angels. The military wanted to use the development of angels as biological weapons during the war, but ran out of prisoners of war to use as test subjects.
Yuca later volunteered to use 20 new subjects for experimentation—the subjects being Freya, the 18 children at the orphanage, and Rain. Ignorant of the reality of the church up north, Rain decided to stay behind at the church because he was suffering from tuberculosis, and he didn't want Freya to know about his condition. Days passed and Rain saw an angel experiment on the news at the church, and recognized it as an orphan girl he knew. He traveled fast to the northern "church", only to find it destroyed. He found Freya, and tried to run with her to escape but his cough slowed him down, and they encountered Yuca.
Yuca shot Freya, and then Rain, but didn't kill Rain. He fed Rain Freya's flesh and blood, since she was an "infected" experiment, but not yet transformed into an angel. Afterwards, he embedded the iron cross in Rain with the date on which Yuca would be reborn. The iron cross also serves the purpose of keeping Rain from transforming into an angel and then dying from cellular structure. It was also revealed that Rain had a second heart in his body as well.
Yuca's reason for making Rain like that was because he was tired of living as the spirit of Methuselah, being reborn over and over again. He told Rain that life wasn't as precious as he thought it was, and that if Rain wanted to keep protecting it, he needed to kill Yuca each time he was reborn. He wanted Rain to feel the misery of immortality, until Rain to reach the point that the only way to escape it all was to kill the rest of humanity. In fact, Yuca plans to destroy all of humanity, so that there will be no one left to give birth to him, and he won't have to be reborn ever again.
- (Japanese) Innocent Bad - Kaori Ozaki's official website
- (English) Immortal Rain on Tokyopop.comru:Immortal Rain