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Manga / Love in Hell

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Love In Hell is a manga series by Reiji Suzumaru, which ran in in the now defunct Comic High from 2011 to 2013. It's licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment.

The series revolves around Rintaro Senkawa, a man in his mid-twenties, whose unremarkable life was cut short due to getting drunk one night and falling on his head. Despite claiming not to have committed any egregious crimes in life, he finds himself naked in Hell greeted by a demon girl named Koyori. Koyori informs him that he is a sinner now and has to stay in Hell until he atones for the sins he has committed.

In Hell, atoning for one's sins means to suffer. Sinners must endure horrific punishment administered by their assigned demon over and over again (any wound heals the next day) until they have completely atoned for their sins and then get to go to heaven. Suffering isn't just for atonement however, it's also how they get paid. It turns out hell is a lot like the real world, and just like the real world, one needs money to buy things like food, clothing, and other amenities. So for Rintaro to get out of hell and have a somewhat comfortable stay there, he's looking at a lot of painful deaths.


The manga has a sequel, titled Love In Hell: Death Life, with a new demon and a new sinner (and new problems). It ran in Action Comics from 2015 to 2017.

Love in Hell provide examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Misa was beaten and molested by her father for most of her life. It was so bad she committed suicide to escape it all.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: An old man guilts Rintaro into giving him his hell bun by telling a sob story about how he's in hell because of his Mercy Kill on his wife. Later Rintaro finds out that was a lie when he finds the old man telling a slightly different story to another sinner to get his food.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Rintaro gets raped by a demonic plant which swallows men and forces them to ejaculate repeatedly, eventually driving them mad. It went on for so long that Koyori finds him turning a husk and when she cuts the plant open she gets covered in semen. The last panel is her taking her frustrations out on him with her spiked bat.
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  • Black Market: Sinners are only allowed to have a job for three months. After that they don't have a choice but to go back to being tortured for money. There are however odd jobs sinners can take from demons who want to keep something secret from society.
  • Bland-Name Product: Rintaro spends some time working at the Hell packaging company, Amazombie. Later, a demoness is seen playing a PSR.
  • Blatant Lies: The first time (in hell at least) Misa meets Rintaro she's too nervous to say anything coherent so she pulls out money from her purse right in front of him, shoves it at him and tells him he dropped it before quickly running away.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The sequel has much more explicit gore; there's two very graphic disembowelings in the first chapter!
  • Brain Food: When a demon eats a sinner's brain, it not only kills a sinner for good but also transforms the demon into a giant flesh monster that only craves for more brains.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Rintaro wets himself after seeing Yukihiko, skinless, get his head obliterated by Momone and the rest of his corpse eaten by her hellhounds.
  • Butterface: Rintaro takes an odd job from a demon who's husband has problems preforming in bed. The first panel of her is a focused on her very large cleavage but the next one shows that her face looks shrunken, and she's constantly drooling. Both Rintaro and Yukihiko speculate that she might be the one causing the bed problems.
  • Circles of Hell: The reason why hell looks so mundane and most of the demons have human-like appearance is because the hell Rintaro is in is for those who have committed light sins. There's another hell below that for the truly evil sinners which is home to monstrous looking demons that will torture a sinner forever.
  • Crossover Cosmology: While it's called Hell and staffed by Western style demons, it's more like the Buddhist Naraku with the more visceral torments and the fact that it's not necessarily eternal.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Koyori, and pretty much any named demoness. The other demonesses, however...
  • Deader Than Dead: The fate of any sinner who has their brain eaten by a demon is having their souls essentially extinguished.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Great King Enma. While mentioned near the end of the series, it's never hinted at that she would personally help Rintaro. She does by stomping flat a demon who was about to keep Rintaro and Kiyori in the abyss. Somehow despite having a body as tall as a mountain, she catches everyone off guard. She also offers Rintaro a way out of hell for his bravery.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Mako; despite revealed to be a crossdresser in later chapters, other characters mistake him as a beautiful girl even when he wears coveralls.
  • Easy Road to Hell: Quite a few offenses that would seem insignificant in real life are worth a lot of time getting tortured in hell. Although it's not explained how much good deeds are worth to offset them but still...
    • simply littering is worth thirteen days.
    • killing one ant is worth a whole year.
    • Rintaro meets up with a child sinner who has to serve seven to eight years for pushing her friend and not saying sorry.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • In the chapter where Rintaro and Yukihiko sneak into the women's side of the hot spring, there's a full page spread and a couple panels of beautiful naked female sinners and demons relaxing in the spring followed by a panel of an naked obese elderly demon.
    • There's a panel of the demon with the very unpleasant face having sex with her husband.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Koyori gets extremely aroused when Rintaro rubs her horns. She quickly backs off and warns him about touching a female demon's horns without permission.
  • Fictional Currency: The currency in hell is yhen which not only sounds like yen but also has a 1:1 exchange rate with yen.
  • Flaying Alive:
    • The first time Rintaro meets Yukihiko was after Momone skinned the latter alive for trying to grope her breasts. Unsurprisingly, the second time the two meet Rintaro doesn't even recognize Yukihiko.
    • There's a panel of one of Momone's sinners giving Momone the skin she just tore off from her torso to use to make clothing from.
  • Genuine Human Hide: Most demons' outfits are made of synthetic leather, but if a sinner and his demon forge a strong enough bond, he can peel off his own skin and gift it to his demon. The outfits or other items made from it signifies the deep bond and takes a considerable amount of time off of his punishment, partially because skin, willingly given, means the sinner is serious about his absolution, and partially because it really, really hurts.
  • Gorn: Over the course of the series characters get mutilated, dismembered, gouged, and generally go through all sorts of grievous bodily harm, most of which are shown on panel in detail.
  • Hammerspace: Koyori usually has all of her torture tools on her with the exception of a very large spiked bat which she always seems to pull out of nowhere.
  • Healing Factor: No matter how badly sinners are tortured, whether they're dismembered, decapitated, or eviscerated, they wake up the next day without any injuries. Since the only way for sinners to be released from hell is to be repeatedly tortured on a daily basis, that makes sense. However, this is averted for sinners who end up in The Abyss.
  • Here We Go Again!: The series ends with just as it started with Koyori greeting welcoming another sinner to hell. Though this time she looks more confident.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • After jumping in the abyss to save Koyori, Rintaro finds her but she's already been given to an abyss demon who wants to torture her and won't let her go. Rintaro makes a deal with the demon to take him instead even though he knows that demon can keep him there forever. Unfortunately, while it looked like the demon was going to agree to the deal, he instead decides to keep them both there but fortunately the king of hell decided to intervene.
    • When the King of Hell rewards him by offering him an option of heaven or reincarnation, he asks that the choice be given to Misa and her sins be added to his.
  • Karma Meter: When a person dies their good and bad deeds are weighed and the heavier category determines whether they go to hell or heaven.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: The standard demonic attire.
  • Large and in Charge: The Great King Enma, ruler of hell, is huge. So big that a demon, several times the height of a human, is dwarfed by her big toe. She doesn't speak directly to Rintaro even though she's right next to him. Instead she has a representative fly down to speak for her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Immediately after the old man tricks Rintaro into giving him a hell bun a demon decide to take it from him by biting off his whole hand.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Rintaro, like all sinners, came to hell with absolutely nothing, even clothes. For the first couple of chapters all he could afford were boxers. Later on he gets a uniform from his packaging job and that's all he wears for most of the series, even after he gets fired from the job.
  • Little Bit Beastly: In the case of several demons, their only discernible trait from humans are their horns, especially in Koyori's case.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The demon crimson flower is a dangerous plant that only targets males. Although it looks like a small plant it instantly grows large enough to swallow most of its prey but it doesn't eat them because what it really wants is their semen.
  • Mundane Afterlife: Hell is a barren wasteland with cities made from rock formations scattered all over. Yukihiko theorizes that each of those cities are home to sinners from different time periods. The one Rintaro is in is for modern day sinners and has what one would expect from a regular city, food, buildings, housings, businesses, etc... Demons without sinners have regular lives there and sinners, provided they can get a part time job, can have a bit of normalcy from their torture...if they're not there for anything too bad. Rapists, murderers and the like go to the Abyss, a more traditional Hell.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • During the new sinners orientation, Rintaro is in disbelief that someone of Koyori's stature is going to be able to hurt him and manhandles her to prove that she can't. It seems to prove his point until he tempts her to do something about it and she gouges his eyes out with her horns and obliterates his head with her spiked bat.
    • In the sequel, Sousuke taunts Sanagi about her (lack of) height, so she pulls out her cleaver, chops off both his legs (and his penis), and then asks who's the short one now?
  • My Greatest Failure: Demons can have their sinners partake in a ritual that causes them to vividly remember the time they committed an egregious sin. This causes the sinner to become regretful for their sins and take their atonement more seriously.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons are natives of hell. Appearance-wise, the only feature that all demons share is that they all have horns (even then, the placement, shape and number of horns varies). Some demons look near-indistinguishable from humans, others are humanoids but have overwhelmingly demonic features, and then there's the demons in the abyss who look like monsters.
  • Plot Hole: The series ends with Rintaro living in hell as a demon but it's never explained why he turned into one. This is somewhat explained in the sequel. Apparently there's a third choice you can make when a sinner is cleansed of all sins, besides heaven or rebirth: becoming a demon. Rintaro became one to stay with Koyori, Yukihiko became one because he didn't want to leave hell, with all its tortures, behind, and Sousuke is asking Rintaro about how to become one because he's sort of fallen in love with Sanagi.
  • The Pollyanna: Misa has been sexually abused most of her life, abandoned by her best and only friend, committed suicide and is facing more torment in hell. Even with all of that she manages to have a generally positive outlook on things.
  • Resurrective Immortality: No matter how serious a sinner's wounds are, and even if they die, they will be fully healed the next day. Though there is one exception (see Brain Food).
  • She Is the King: Despite the title, Great King Enma is actually a woman. Though it would be impossible to tell by looking at her since the only clear view of her that is given is of part of her feet.
  • Stripperiffic: Despite their job involving a lot of blood and guts flying all over the place most female demons have on scantily clad fetish wear. It's heavily implied that it's similar to a uniform, as Koyori is wearing much more conservative casual clothes on her day off.
  • Suicide Is Shameful: Misa is in hell because she committed suicide to end the abuse from her father. Unfortunately, suicide, regardless of the reason, is seen as a grave sin because it's an act of disrespect to life.
  • Teeny Weenie: Rintaro's can be covered with an iPod.
  • Tempting Fate: During the new sinner orientation Rintaro dares Koyori to do something about his bullying of her and tells her that his eyes are wide open so he can see it. She promptly gouges out his eyes with her horns.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Yukihiko loves being tortured so much that he'll take on punishment for other sinners for money and is extremely rich because of it.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: One chapter deals with a child sinner whose demon couldn't bring himself to torture her. He instead drugs her and gives her a painless death by eating her brain, which, while permanently killing her and erasing her existence so she can't go to heaven, does spare her seven to eights years of torture.
  • Worldbuilding: Not a chapter goes by without a character explaining some aspect of hell and how the system works, even in the last chapter.
  • Villain Ball: The Old Man grabs it pretty hard in the last chapters. He's somehow gotten out of the Abyss, which means if he stays there for a day, he'll heal back to his human self. But he can't help but go for revenge by grabbing Koyori and jumping back into the Abyss with her...even though just throwing her in there would have the same result with no risk to himself!
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Rintaro has a hard time making money in hell because of his unwillingness to get tortured. This leaves him constantly starving and his only clothes being embarrassing boxers. However he finds out that sinners can get normal part time jobs, and the one he gets at a packaging facility comes with a uniform so he doesn't have to get tortured for food and doesn't have to walk around in his boxers. This gives him a relatively normal life in hell...which, unfortunately, lasts three months. Unbeknownst to Rintaro, sinners are only allowed to have a regular job for three months. After that they won't get hired anywhere else and have to go back to being tortured or prized fighting (which will increase their stay in hell) for money.