• Category Archives Sci-Fi
  • Manga Reviews » Sci-Fi
  • Darker Than Black (Manga) Review

    Darker Than Black Manga Review

    Darker Than Black Manga Review
    Manga Cover

    Reading the first Darker Than Black, I had no idea what to expect. I knew it was a popular anime, but I did not know what about. I must say, I was impressed with it. Darker Than Black makes you think about what you would have to give up in order to gain incredible power.

    Darker Than Black Plot

    Darker Than Black Plot
    Hellsgate

    Darker Than Black revolves around a girl named Kana Shinoh. Her father has recently died, and she is still struggling with the death. That is until one day she sees her father in the busy streets. Unknown to her, he has become a Contractor. She begins to follow him to learn what happened and why he will not see er. She ends up being saved by another Contractor, Hei. The real reason why Hei is helping her, is because he needs to find out what happened to his sister. Will Hei and Kana find out the truth behind Kana’s father and the mysterious sister of Hei?

    Darker Thank Black Characters

    Darker Than Black Characters
    Characters Hei and Kana

    Hei is the main character of Darker Than Black. He is also called BK201 and the Black Reaper. He is a very strange Contractor with the ability of Electricity. Kana is the other main character of the manga. She is just a normal human being only trying to find her father. Musik is a mysterious character that Hei hopes will lead to his sister.
    The other characters of Darker Than Black include Krang, Shizuma, Kanon, and  Dale. They are all part of the Wiegenlied. Shizuma and Dale are both contractors, Shizuma with water power and Dale with mud like abilities. Krang and Kanon are Dolls. Krang has the ability to resonate items until they crumble. He is the leader of Wiegenlied. Kanon is a medium and can only use this ability through mobile phones.

    Darker Than Black Contractors

     

    Darker Than Black
    Contractors

    Contractors are humans that have visited either Hell’s Gate or Heaven’s Gate. Doing so gives them super human powers. Each power is given out individually to humans who can take on the task. For this they give up the ability to feel emotions. Using their powers makes their eyes turn red and they have to give a payment. The must pay a price to use their powers. Either it be by eating a small round object every time or wearing ears while using the powers, a price will be paid. Hei seems to be the only Contractor with the ability to feel some emotion.

    Over all, Darker Than Black was really good. Mostly only because there is a sequel. The first series is only two volumes long and does not explain that much. Not much is explained until the second series. It seems to be a more up to date version of X-Men.

    Read Darker Than Black.
    Support Darker Than Black.
    Overall Grade 7/10


  • Kamui (Manga) Review

    Kamui Manga Review

    Kamui
    Manga Volume One

    The only reason I picked Kamui up to read was because the main character looked like Clamps character Kamui from X/1999. The story is actually a little (a little) similar. The only thing I hated was that it seemed the climax of the story hit a little early and it just declines very slowly from that point. It just seems as if they couldn’t wait to get the secret out there. I will try my best to give a review while giving very little away.

    Kamui Plot

    Kamui
    Atsuma

    The world has been through a few shocks and monsters called Atanan attack cities often. NOA was an organization created a little before this devastation. There they experimented on humans attempting to reach the goal of a sorcery user. Now these humans use their ability to protect the people of the city. At the top if General Shiki and below him is Lady Sumire and Lord Hyde. They each have their own objective in the organization. Shiki is the only one who gets orders from the true boss.

    Atsuma is a boy from the north. He traveled to NOA to find the okikurumi. The okikurumi is a god spirit that was stolen from his village. He is infused with another god called Kojomaru. He gets into NOA and becomes a student there. Lady Sumire was the one who insisted he joined. There he meets several people and becomes friends with a few of them. He soons finds himself fighting fot a new purpose.

    Kamui Characters

    Kamui
    Shiki, Atsuma, Aika, and Sumeri

    There are alot of characters involved in Kamuu. I am only going to name the main characters from the story. Atsuma is obviously the main character. He is a very isolated and has an abusive past. He is only in a contract with Kojomaru to become free. He meets Lady Sumire in a fight with an Atanan. She is a wind master and is very fierce. She uses men and does not consider the consequences at times. She is really only in love with one man though. Shui is a fire user in the NOA organization. He is a subordinate under Lady Sumeri and sees Atsuma as a younger brother. He watches over him and takes care of him. Aika is Lady Sumeri’s assistant. She is very attached to her because she took her in when Aika was nothing. General Shiki is at the top of NOA. He is in love with Sumeri and keeps her as a caged butterfly in the building. Lord Hyde is a very evil character but he is short lived. His underling Yanagi brings him back to life. Yanagi is actually the puppeteer in the relationship.

    Kamui NOA

    Kamui
    NOA from afar

    The NOA organization in the manga Kamui, was once a National Biological Research Center.NOA protected the city from the earthquake. Now it is under control of a new leader,. There they do research on guinea pigs. They test out power users and create them as well. NOA stands for Noble Offensive Academy. They protect the people from Atanan attacks. Here there are hundreds of students who are power users and are ranked by their ability. The supreme leaders are again, Shiki, Hyde and Sumeri.

    The basic plot of Kamui is actually very simple. Everyone needs a person to lean on at times. Every character has been abandoned by a loved one or just by everyone. Every character comes to terms with the loss and handle it in a different. way. By the end of the manga, some end up happy while others end up empty handed. The power of a relationship goes a long way to anyone.

    Read Kamui.

    Support Kamui.

    Overall Grade 7/10


  • Sword Art Online (Manga) Review

    Sword Art Online Manga Review

    Sword Art Online
    Manga Cover

    Sword Art Online the manga was quite short. It seems to only highlight what happens in the story and therefore at times can be confusing. I would really suggest reading the books or watching the anime first. This review only consists the Aincrad Saga.

     

    Sword Art Online Plot

    Sword Art Online
    Manga Page

    The of Sword Art Online is based in a video game. The year is 2022 and a man named Kayaba Akihiko has created a virtual reality game. The only catch is the people that originally logged in are stuck in the game. They must finish all one hundred floors to return to the real world. If you die in the game though you die in real life.

    Kirito is the a boy that was lucky enough to be involved in the beta test. This gives him the advantage and he eventually is given the option to beat the game. The plot of the manga rarely strays to side stories. Two years pass in the game before they are allowed to return after beating the game. Many players lose their life though attempting to leave the game by killing themselves or by being killed in battles. There are those that kill others and become criminals.

     

    Sword Art Online Characters

    Sword Art Online
    Manga Page

    Kirito is the main character of Sword Art Online. He is a quiet fifteen year old at the beginning of the game, but eventually becomes the hero. He is very skilled and works on his own so he is not responsible for anyone else’s life. Asuna is another main character of the game. She started as a weak character, but becomes strong and desires to return to the real world. Her and Kirito become fast friends and eventually lovers.

    There are many other characters that appear in the manga, but only a few that play important roles. Klein and Agil are both friends of Kirito and appear randomly in situations. Klein is a rough looking guy that fights on the front lines. Agil is a merchant that will come to fight at times that it is needed. Yui appears only once in Sword Art Online (More so in Fairy Dance though). She is a program that sees Asuna and Kirito as her parents. She is only briefly in the manga though. Heathcliff is the head of the Knights of Blood. He is another very strong character with a few tricks up his sleeves.

    Sword Art Online The Manga

    Sword Art Online
    Manga Page

    Like I said, Sword Art Online the manga was a very short. It only hits the main plot of the story and rarely goes off track. The art is good though. The fighting scenes are laid out very well and at times very detailed. I would recommend reading the manga, but only after you have seen the anime or read the books. To be honest, I was not the impressed with Sword Art Online Manga.

    Read Sword Art Online Here.

    Support Sword Art Online Here.

    Overall Grade 5/10


  • Escaflowne (Manga) Review

    Escaflowne Manga Review

    Escaflowne Manga Cover

    When I first picked up Escaflowne to read I expected something different. I have seen only a few episodes of the anime, but I know the general plot. This manga however is written after the anime series. Yuzuru Yashiro explains the story of Escaflowne in a different way. The characters are still there in the story, just in a different way. The story was good and really did not use a lot of machinery. The Escalfowne was not even present in the manga until the last few chapters.

    Escaflowne Plot

    Manga Page

    In this version of Escaflowne, Hitomi has inherited her grandmother’s tarot cards and pendant. Van is from Gaea and a prince of the Fanelian kingdom. His family also has the ability to go to the Mystic Moon or Earth. He is forced to go to obtain the key to unlocking Escaflowne. Hitomi’s pendant happens to be the key. Hitomi is sucked into the world of Gaea with Van. She meets up with Allen, who is really different from his anime counter part.

    Eventually you learn that the reason Hitomi was brought here was not to activate Escaflowne. Dunkirk had wanted to bring her grandmother back. He had once fallen in love with her and sealed the Escaflowne and gave her the key to take back to the Mystic Moon. He used Van’s brother Folken to get the key and Hitomi there. Folken uses him to get the key to the Escaflowne though. Once this occurs, Van is faced with having to kill his brother to save Gaea.

    Escaflowne Characters

    Escaflowne Manga Page

    Hitomi is the main character of Escaflowne. She is the quiet and bright student in the class. She is just a high school student which lives with her mother. She inherited a great many things from her grandmother and some from the world of Gaea. Van is the hero of the story. He is a hard headed teenager seeking revenge for Fanelia’s destruction. He intends to use Hitomi to get back the Escaflowne and activate it.

    Allen is a prince of Asturia. He only wishes to help Van due to the fact that Zaibach is a common enemy among the other empires of Gaea. He is an intelligent person and does have good intentions. Gadeth is a former Zaibach fighter, but has since become a mercenary. Allen hires him to protect Van and Hitomi from the Zaibach forces.

    In the Zaibach forces, Dunkirk is the ruler. He is only trying to reconnect with his lost love from the Mystic Moon. Folken is using him so he can get to the key to take over Gaea with the Escaflowne. He is a cold and heartless character.

    There are of course other characters in the manga, but these are the only ones that are really important to the story. The other characters may have similarities to the anime, while some are just completely new tot he story.

    Escaflowne Differences

    Manga Page

    There are of course a lot of major differences in the manga and anime of Escaflowne. For instance the Escaflowne is unlocked and used in the first episodes of the anime series. In the manga the Escaflowne is not even unlocked until the last few chapters. No one even uses it to do anything. Van is just given the key and that was all.

    Another major difference was how characters looked. Folken and Hitomi was the two major ones. Folken looked more like Zagato from Magic Knight Rayearth than the original in the anime. Hitomi looks different, but only because of the hair. The long hair really makes a difference to her character.

    There are also a lot of characters that did not even make the manga series. The twins that follow Falcon around were never mentioned. Nor was their race even mentioned. Merle is never mentioned in the manga. Instead a character named Noir. He has a bird named Subaru which follows him around.

     

    Escaflowne was a great manga. I have not read the other two versions yet, but the one by Yuzuru Yashiro was definitely a good story to read. The story was more focused on the characters and how they dealt with what they were handed rather than fight. The story was a just a bit weak. The character focus was great, but still some more fighting would have been nice.

    Overall Grade 5/10


  • Akira (Manga) Review

    Akira Manga

    Akira
    Akira cover

    So I went into this manga thinking it would be the same as the animated film. Akira the manga is really different. The story is basically the same, but it is just more in detailed and drawn out. The manga is over a few years worth of time, while the anime only has a week worth’s of story. It is a complex manga and has many different plot twists.

    Akira Plot

    Akira Destroys Tokyo

    Akira was a child that had the power to destroy the world. He was part of a research group and was designated #28. He used it once to take out Tokyo and since that time he was put to sleep in the middle of ground zero. He lays deep within the ground frozen in time.

    Kaneda is head of the Capsule gang. Him and his best friend Tetsuo, Yamagata, and Kaisuke all make up part of the gang. They race around Neo-Tokyo creating trouble. One night Testuo almost hits a child in the street. The child uses his abilities to protect himself. From this point on Tetsuo is never the same. He begins to experience psychic abilities and abnormal powerful behavior. He learns that he is not the only one with this power. He finds the other Espers (one of which is responsible for his crash) and learns there is another one. Tetsuo finds out that he is not the most powerful of the psychics. He goes to awaken #28.

    All the while, Kaneda is trying to get revenge for Yamagata’s death and Tetsuo’s sudden attitude change. He is constantly getting close to the truth, but is always stopped before he can learn of Tetsuo’s powers. He eventually runs into Kei. She is part of an anti-Akira group. He basically falls in love with her throughout the manga.

    Once Akira is awakened he is momentarily placed with his three friends from the project. One incidentally takes a bullet in the head for him and causes Akira to release his powers once again. Neo-Tokyo is destroyed and the citizens are left with remains. Two groups arise from the ashes, those for and against Akira and Tetsuo. Kaneda and Kei must fuflill their destiny and take down Tetsuo and Akira before they destroy the world.

    Akira Characters

    Akira Character Collage

    Kaneda and Kei are the main characters of the manga. While Kaneda is a delinquent at heart, he has good intentions when it comes to women. This is how he gets involved with the destruction of Akira and Tetsuo. Kei is smart girl which is involved with an anti-Akira group. She does not mess around and likes to get eh job done.

    Akira (#28) and Tetsuo are the main evil doers of this manga. Number 28 is just a child. He rarely speaks in th emanga and has a scary look on his face. he is only happy when he sees the other children. Tetsuo is a drug addicted high school thug. He is always on drugs and loves to make an entrance.

    The other children consist of #’s 25, 26, and 27, (or Kiyoko, Takashi, and Masaru). Kiyoko is a young girl who resides in a moveable bed. She has the ability to take over people and constantly uses Kei as a medium. Takashi can walk around normally and has the ability to go through objects and become invisible. Masaru has psychokinesis abilities. He is confined to a wheelchair because he is overweight.

    There are various other characters that either have little to the Akira story or a lot. But since there are a lot of different characters and groups I only named the essential characters to the story.

    Akira and the Children’s Power

    Akira

    A group of children with special abilities were once experimented on in Tokyo. They were numbered off into certain groups by the government. They wanted to use the children’s powers for their own benefits. Many died during the expirement while others were left crippled. Due to Akira losing control of his powers, the government buried the project.

    Akira is a very complex and long manga. It is definitely nothing like the anime. It is in more detailed and even more mind blowing. Every anime fan should read this manga. You are drawn to each character, and you never know when you could lose them. Akira is the ultimate manga experience.

     

    Read Akira Here.

    Support Akira Here.

     

    Overall Grade 10/10


  • Elfen Lied (Manga) Review

    Elfen Lied

    Elfen Lied
    Manga Cover

    Elfen Lied is a bit of a harem manga… Well it is a harem manga. Kouta has got to be chick magnet, literally. The setting is a slightly altered future where a new evolution of man has popped up. There are a lot of sexual type scenes in the manga, mainly due to Nyuu. The artwork is traditional manga style and the characters kind of remind you of Clamp’s Chobits.

     

    The Plot of Elfen Lied

    Elfen Lied
    Manga Page

    Elfen Lied is revolved around the story of Kouta. He recently moved into his aunts abandoned inn while he attends college. He runs into a dumbfounded young lady whom only says Nyuu. Him and his cousin, Yuka, takes Nyuu in and teaches her how to survive in the real world. Little do they know that Nyuu is really a very strong Diclonii named Lucy. She is a murderous creature and wants the extinction of Homo Sapiens.

    All the while, Kouta takes in Muya, Nana, and the off and on Nozomi. All the characters are previously interwoven between one another. The two that share the darkest past is Kouta and Lucy. Everyone is after the horned girl or Nyuu throughout the manga. She is also naked throughout the manga with other various girls. Apparently Diclonii do not wear clothes.

     

    The Characters of Elfen Lied

    Elfen Lied Characters
    Characters of Elfen Lied

    Kouta is the main character of Elfen Lied. He is shy kid with a deep dark past. He seems to get caught in awkward positions with girls. He really never does anything wrong though. He is a gentleman and cares for Nyuu a lot.
    Nyuu is a very clueless girl. She can not remember anything. She is secretly Lucy, a violent Dilonius with the intent to destroy mankind. Yuka is Kouta’s cousin. She has been in love with him since childhood. She hates Kouta for forgetting his past and his promise to her.
    Nana is another Diclonius which is keeping watch over Nyuu and Lucy. She is very shy and very caring. She does have a violent side though. Muya is a shy runaway that was sexually abused. Her and Nozomi, a passionate singer, are the only two humans with no prior history with the group.
    The rest of the characters were done well, but not enough to make an impact with me. All the older male characters looked alike and little detail was paid attention to them.

     

    The Diclonius of Elfen Lied

    Elfen Lied
    Diclonius

    In Elfen Lied man has evolved into anew species, the Diclonius. These humans have the power to kill people with invisible hands and powers. They become violent by the age of three killing their parents. This is probably because they are violently researched on and made to do unspeakable things. The hatred for humans is a common feeling with Diclonii.

    Elfen Lied is a great manga and has a great plot. Even though there are girls naked half the time, it isn’t a bad manga. It is definitely violent and sexual though so beware. Elfen Lied will be a classic like Tenchi Muyo, Ah! My Goddess, and many others.

     

    Read Eflen Lied Here.

    Support Elfen Lied Here.
    Overall Grade 8/10


  • Wolf’s Rain (Manga) Review

    Wolf’s Rain Manga

    Wolf's Rain Manga
    Volume 1 Cover

    I must start by saying I have not seen the anime yet. The manga series of Wolf’s Rain is only two volumes long though while the anime, I know, is 30 episodes long. I’m assuming that there is a lot of filler or at least some newer plot lines in Wolf’s Rain the anime series. Amusingly the chapters are called ‘gropes’ but using the definition of reaching for something hard to get to or struggling.

     

    The Characters of Wolf’s Rain

    wolfs rain characters

    Wolf’s Rain is a bit rushed only being two volumes. It seems that the story is not really focused on any one character. The characters never really develop either and you really never get to know them. There are a few background stories told on certain characters, but not to explain their history. The character designs are pretty cool except for Darcia. He wears a very weird costume. The art work in Wolf’s Rain is really good though. The wolves are drawn so beautifully.

     

    The Manga

    Wolf's Rain
    Kiba Manga

     

    In Wolf’s Rain, Kiba is in search of paradise, which only wolves can reach. Kiba, Hige, Toboe, and Tsume are all wolves working together to get to paradise. Eventually a flower (in human form) named Cheza falls into their hands and is leading them to paradise. A man in a long coat and his dog named blue (which also turns out to be a wolf) follow them trying to kill them. Darcia (the original owner of Cheza) finally gets Cheza back. The wolves all go to save her and end up watching Darcia going to paradise. In the end the rumor gets around that paradise was there and they begin to journey towards the area. Through the mist of the wolves finding paradise, Tia is trying to find hers as well. She is from a village that would not welcome outsiders. Toboe found Tia and began to talk to her encouraging her to find her own paradise. At the end of Wolf’s Rain she found it in her Holy flower.

     

    The Plot of Wolf’s Rain

    Wolf's Rain
    Wolf Pack

     

    The plot of Wolf’s Rain is very easy to understand. They are trying to find paradise. The characters though are not easy to understand and you never get to know any at a personal level. The only thing that really keeps you reading is the curiosity of getting to paradise and what it is exactly. Honestly Wolf’s Rain the manga was a bit of a letdown when they got to paradise. You never get to see what the paradise is either. I only hope that the anime of Wolf’s Rain is a lot better than the manga!

     

    Read Wolf’s Rain Here.

    Support Wolf’s Rain Here.

     

    Overall Grade 4/10