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World Trigger Volume 1 And Honey Blood Volume 1 Manga Reviews

World Trigger Volume 1 Manga Honey Blood Volume 1 Manga

Despite its flaws, “World Trigger” is an intriguing sci-fi manga.

“Honey Blood” has a clever set-up, but is poorly executed.

What would happen if a gate to another world opened up? That’s what Daisuke Ashihara’s manga “World Trigger” proposes.

In the first volume of the ongoing manga series, readers are transported to a fictional place called Mikado City where gates to another world have been springing up. Alas, these gates prove to be a curse as destructive creatures known as Neighbors come through rather frequently. Only a team of trained heroes from a defense agency called Border can study them, learn about their tech, and, above all, combat them with weapons called Triggers.

The bulk of the story revolves around a seemingly normal, nerdy Mikado City student named Osamu who happens to be a trainee in Border. The other primary character is a strong and peculiar new student named Yuma who we soon learn is a human Neighbor (which no one even knew existed). As you can probably guess, Osamu and Yuma befriend one another as they begin to teach each other about their respective worlds and, of course, fight giant Neighbors together.

The other major storyline here involves the 5 member Arashiyama Squad of Border agents, but I won’t go into detail about them as I feel like I’ve spoiled too much already.

While the repetitive Neighbor fights and Trigger power use are clearly standard issue manga tropes, there is much to admire about “World Trigger” outside of those routine marketable elements. Author/artist Daisuke Ashihara has no problem drawing readers into this sci-fi universe as he grabs your attention from the get-go via the gate plot device, Yuma’s comical stranger in a strange land antics, and the towering, menacing beasties known as the Neighbors. After the volume’s seven chapters, you’ll likely have the same reaction I did in wanting to know more about the Neighbors, the other world, the mysterious Triggers, and the characters. If that’s not the sign of a successful manga, I don’t know what is.

As far as the art goes, the character models are extremely well done here. The action, on the other hand, is a bit messy and chaotic at times. I’m sure that’s what Daisuke was going for, but it should be a bit more coherent from a visual perspective.

Written and drawn by Miko Mitsuki, “Honey Blood” is yet another vampire centric manga series. In volume 1, readers are introduced to a student (Hinata) who becomes entranced by her new neighbor Junya Tokinaga (a popular author of “Twilight” esque vampire books). While initially put off by him and his work, Hinata slowly begins to fall for the celeb even after wondering if he really is a vampire. Thankfully, there’s a bit more to the series than just the usual romantic chemistry between the two lead characters as there are subplots about female students being drained of blood, Junya’s editor Hanuzaka, kisses, and Junya’s secrets.

“Honey Blood” starts off promising enough with a clever set-up involving a vampire fiction author who may, in fact, be a vampire, but the debut volume soon loses steam due to cartoony comedic elements, distracting asides, and weird scene transitions. Rather than setting itself apart from a multitude of other vampire manga series, Miko Mitsuki’s story simply becomes all too familiar as it revels in overdone, formulaic romantic tropes. Now, it’s possible the story could come into its own in future volumes, but, as it stands, it feels like just another vampire manga in a sea of vampire manga.

On the plus side, Mitsuki’s character and panel artwork is very well done as it gives the story a dreamlike quality. Personally, however, I could do without the sidebar stories about her life as it feels like something that belongs in the back of a volume rather than in a chapter.

October 26, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , ,

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