Publisher: Gen Manga
Edition: ebook, 150 pages
Genre: Manga Anthology
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Indie manga from the Tokyo Underground, four hard-lined stories are presented in the first of GEN. Wolf is the emotional story of a young man that heads to the city to avenge his childhood abandonment. VS Aliens is the story of an average student duped (or not?) into going on a wild alien chase. A mysterious masked stranger in KAMEN holds secrets to hidden powers to protect innocents from massacre. And a young woman explores her psyche in the metaphysical journey of Souls.
Gen is a type of manga I’ve never read before, indie and an anthology. This particular manga series has four stories that each have its own art style and vibe. It’s a good mix of stories and while it’s a bit hit or miss I still enjoy them enough that I will continue reading the series.
Wolf by Shige Nakamura is story focused on Naoto, a young man with a really large chip on his shoulder. His father abandoned his family and he wants revenge. Overall it’s a decent story and engaging enough, however if this story had been on its own I probably would not have bothered with it as it’s not really my type of manga.The art style reminds me of the older anime styles, where more realism is involved.
VS Aliens is an odd little gem of story. I really like the quirky nature it has and so far it’s a kind of upbeat story, so it balances out the first story’s seriousness. What would you do if someone came up to you and asked for help because one of your classmates is an alien? Laugh? Yeah, good answer but this actually turns out to be more than a cooky joke even though it’s incredibly fun to read.
Kamen by Gunya Mihara is a fantasy type story with a lot of mystery. A man wakes up in a place he doesn’t know with a mask attached to his face…a mask that warns him not to take it off. For those who have watch anime shows it feels a bit like a fuedal era Bleach so far, but seeing as the story doesn’t have a ton of time to truly devlop that could definitely change. I like concept for this one and I’m super curious about the characters and the mask.
And finally Souls by Arisa Karino…which is my least favorite of the four. The art style is very jarring and a bit odd as I’ve never encounter a style like it before. I also had a tough time keeping up with what exactly was happening in the story, due partially to the fact that two of the characters looked similar to me and it took me a few re-reads to realize who was talking to whom. I’m not really invested in this overall storyline but it is an interesting concept centered around putting souls to rest.
Overall it’s a decent manga and added with the fact that it was a freebie I do plan on continuing this one. Manga is not cheap so it’s nice to find one in my current price range (yes, free is my price range right now). For those who just want a causal manga I recommend this.