"Matendou Sonata" is so hard to describe.
Even the title is hard to translate;
"Matendou" is a word coined from the
characters of "Hell," "Heaven," and "Road,"
and I occasionally translate it as "Celestial"
but usually just leave it as it is.
To get down to the basics, it's a twenty-volume
shoujo fantasy series by Amagi Sayuri that ran in Princess
magazine during the late '80s and early '90s.
You might describe it as "FAKE with wings," I suppose,
which leads to the question, why isn't it ragingly popular among
screaming fangirls? Well, it was never animated, for one thing, it's a little
old, and the art isn't very good, especially at the beginning.
Nevertheless, it's a wonderful series. I laughed, I cried, I checked
the mailbox every day for my new volumes from Japan. Take a look around.