Manga Monday: Rave Master Volume #1
Rave Master was written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It was brought stateside by TokyoPop. Rave Master originally debuted in 1999.
Spoilers: Today, were only looking at the first volume, so spoilers will be very limited.
Plot: The story centers around future hero Haru Glory, a teenager raised by his sister, as he encounters the seemingly mythical creature dog-thing, Plue. The grander scale is that there is a war between light and dark. The light side use the Rave stones while the Demon Card organization harness the power of Dark Bring. Old man Shiba use to be the Rave Master but finds out the stones no longer respond to him. The stones have now chosen Haru to be the Rave Master. He wields the massive sword seen pictured on the cover which responds to his rave and takes on ten forms. The first being “Explosion”, the explosive sword. After defeating some small time thugs who are equipped with a Dark Bring, Haru decides to set off to save the world. You know typical teenage stuff.
Characters: We are introduced to a handful of characters right off the bat. From Haru to his sister Cattleya, we meet a nice group of people. The problem is that by the end of the volume, only Haru and Plue leave the island. Cattleya, Gemma, and I think even Shiba all still reside on Garage Island. I’m sure they will reoccur but for now, we will mostly focus on Haru while discussing the minor characters briefly.
Haru- I really like Haru. The teenage hero archetype has been beaten to death, even in 1999. I can’t really say Haru breaks the mold in anyway other than he feels more genuine then other characters. He is strong right out of the gates. Nothing new. However, Haru trains hard everyday so he can protect his sister since both of their parents are presumed dead. Also, early in the story the rave has already deemed him the new master which probably made him even stronger. So, yeah. I like him. I believe him when he speaks about getting strong to protect Cattleya.
Plue struck me as a mascot/comedy relief but he hasn’t really been used in that direction much. He actually holds great weight to the story since he is a protector of the raves (I think. Whether he is a rave or protects them is something I get mixed up). Regardless, he is very critical to the story.
As discussed Shiba, Gemma, and Cattleya are all still on the island. I assume they wont just be forgotten but time will tell i suppose.
Recap- This is almost a complete throw away section. The story takes place on Garage Island and by the end we have set sail for the mainland. How many more times will we even see Garage Island? I’m not sure. Either way, the island itself is still interesting. Supposedly, people on the island are not aware of all the Demon Card and Raves and such found on the mainland. Yet, Haru’s dad left the island in search of the raves. So, somehow daddy-o found about them so word travels. As more is revealed about the island we will touch on it in more detail.
As for the world itself, the mainland will most likely serve a huge role as the series continues.
Recap: This is an enjoyable, fun story right from the get go.
Action: Probably not as much as you’d expect, but it is definitely there.
Romance: I can honestly say this story does not even feature the slightest hint of romance. In fact, Hiro said late in the development of the story, Cattleya was actually Haru’s uncle, but he wasn’t happy that there weren’t female characters. So yeah, no romance.
Plot: Its very basic light vs dark, pretty boy teenager hero. However, the potential for a just enough fun and engaging plot exist.
Characters: Almost every character was quite enjoyable besides Feber (the low level thug for this volume). Certainly a highlight for the book.
The World: I feel like I sufficiently covered this topic in the above post. So I dont have much to add here. haha.
Humor: Not the funniest in the genre by far. It is lighthearted and a good time. Humor is sprinkled in just enough to keep you laughing.
Verdict: Compared to other action mangas of its time, I’m not sure where I think Rave Master stands. It definitely holds its own without surmounting the likes of One Piece or Dragon Ball. At no point did I ever think “Man, I could just be reading Naruto.”. With all that said, I am actually eager to check out volume 2 whenever I find it.
Score: 7.5 out of 10. I think this score might end up being a little low when it is all said and done, but it feels right for right now.
Thanks again for reading and have a great day everybody!