As discussed, this last Monnday was the last of the year. Meaning no more Manga Mondays for 2020. I thought it would be fun to recap what all we read.
Read But Not Reviewed: Eden Zero Volume 1-3.
Rebirth Volume #1. Reviewed January 6th. Last Christmas my brother got me the first 22 volumes of Rebirth. We reviewed the first one to start the year off. It scored an 8 out 10. It wasn’t groundbreaking but it was just very solid for what it was. Read the full review here.
Rave Master Volume #1. Reviewed May 11th. This manga was a bit more up my alley as from as the genre. It plays out like most action orientated mangas of the late 90’s. Staring a teenage male who comes into possession of mystical, world saving weapons and items. This was the manga that helped jumpstart Hiro Mashima, writer of Fairy Tail, into the world renowned Mangaka he is today. It scored a 7.5 out of 10. Read my full review here.
Dragon Eye Volume #1. Reviewed June 8th. Take the same description from above. Boy comes into possession of a mystical, world saving weapon and item. Only this manga felt a lot more gritty and serious kind of in the same way Naruto could be really serious compared to One Piece. We gave Dragon Eye a 7 out of 10. Read my full review here.
Jujutsu Kaisen Volume #1. Reviewed October 19th. Maybe my favorite manga I reviewed this year. That’s very tough to call. However, this really felt like you were reading the next big thing. I did thoroughly enjoy this manga. This is backed up by the fact I scored it a 9 out of 10 stating it had all the makings of a classic. Read the full review here.
Zombie Powder Volume #1. Reviewed December 22nd. Again we find ourselves retracing roots. This was the debut manga from famous Mangaka Tite Kubo, author and creator of Bleach. The writing can be weird at times but if you enjoy early Dragon Ball mangas, you are going to love this manga. I scored it a 7 out of 10. Read the full review here
Psyren Volume #1. This manga started off all over the place and almost lost me several times. By the end of it, I was glad I stuck with it and finished it. I actually enjoyed it a lot. This book feels like it might have a lot going for it as the story progresses. Definitely worth the read. I rated it 7 out of 10. Read the full review here.
Average score: 7.583
Honestly, the main reason so many scored 7’s is because I felt like I enjoyed them a lot but the general public might not as much. Honestly, Rave Master might be my favorite I reviewed all year, but I know it got lost in the shuffle of the Narutos, One Pieces, and Bleach of the world. All in all, I liked every book I read. It is amazing how many mangas I bought this year and just how few reviews I did. It is really indictive of how hard momentum could be to keep this year.
Let me know what mangas I should review next year! Thank you for reading and have a great day.
Dragon Eye was created by Kairi Fujiyama and published by Kodansha, a company I don’t think I was familiar with up to this point. It ran for 3 years and produced 9 collected volumes. Interestingly enough, it seems the series may have a had a resurgence in Japan under the name Dragon Eye RT. I believe this book is still exclusive to Japan, so I’m not sure how much news actually exist for that iteration of the book.
Spoilers- Typically, I say there’s only spoilers for the first volume. However, this is one you will absolutely want to read first if you want to stay spoiler free. There’s two big reveals early about 2 of the 3 main characters. So if you want to experience those for yourselves, I recommend reading the book before reading this review any further.
Plot- In the world of Dragon Eye, a virus is running out of control which turn the living into monsters. These monsters are dubbed Draculas. Usually, a scratch from a dracula will convert the person into a monster as well. However, for a select lucky few, they are immune to the virus. These people are fighters known as VIUS. These fighters, band together to fight the monsters and protect those weaker than them.
Characters: Characters are certainly a strength in this book. The 3 main characters shine right a way as Squad Zero. First up Issa Kazuma
Issa Kazuma– As stated, if you want to remain spoiler free, then you’ll want to skip this entire section. Issa is disguised as a student coming up through the VIUS program. He is sent on a recon mission like all the other trainees. While there, the students learn their intel was bad and that there are actually really strong draculas lurking in their area. Issa is forced to reveal that, not only is he actually a high ranking proctor for the academy, he also has a Dragon Eye, one of the strongest weapons in the world. Issa is super interesting. If you are familiar with comics, he almost falls into that antihero role. Everything he does is most likely for the betterment of people, however sometimes those things are very shady. Like, it is lead on to believe that he straight up murdered a little girl. More on that later. Still, Issa is awesome and I wonder if I am wrong to think that. He is extremely powerful as he wields one of the few known Dragon Eyes to exist in this world and he is not afraid to use it. I feel like we are going to have more to write about him as time goes on.
Leila Mikami- She is an interesting character. Often times in the earlier pages she takes over as the main character, yet she never really does anything. She is brave at times and really determined. Still, she is a passive character who has yet to be given her time to shine. It’s really unfortunate. I kept waiting for her to have a big moment and it just hasn’t happened yet. I don’t have a lot to add, yet. Issa sees potential in her but I doubt his judgment so far.
Sosei Yukimura– Now this dude is hyped. He is formerly of Squad Five. Now disclaimer, squads haven’t really been explained too well. Sosei volunteers to aid Squad Zero because they are light on members. It is quickly revealed Sosei was only so eager to help so he could get close to Issa. Remember how I said Issa murdered a little girl. Well, it was Sosei twin sister! Talk about some drama. Well, Sosei wants revenge, go figure. However, his efforts are constantly thwomped by the fact wherever Issa goes, so do Draculas. Talk about inconvenient. For now, they must team up to keep humanity safe. But Sosei swears to have his day in the sun. It doesn’t help that all records from that mission have been falsified to cover it all up.
The World- What is there to say about it? It’s like ours but humans are fighting for survival. Towns are designed to keep Dracula sightings to a minimum. However, there’s talks of mountain ranges in the north that seem to differ than the cityscapes of where we are now.
Recap- The first chapter seems slow, but when this book is rolling it is real good.
Action- One of the books strong suits.
Romance- Nothing at the moment, but Issa and Leila have potential.
Plot- I say it all the time with mangas like this. I don’t know if this plot is revolutionary or original, but it is good.
Characters- Leila is cute and likeable. Issa and Sosei bring the hype. It gives me Sasuke and Itachi vibes in a very good way.
The World- The world exist.
Humor– While this isnt a Shonen Jump comic, it felt like that same style of humor. Maybe a little less funny than say Naruto or One Piece.
Verdict– I look at this book and I wonder where it lands among the best. I don’t know. I do know it was an enjoyable read. I found Volume #2 and already bought it.
Score- I’m going with a 7 out of 10. I just reviewed Rave Master. I think Dragon Eye might have had better characters, but I think Rave Master was slightly more enjoyable.
Thanks again for reading and have a great day everybody!