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.
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!