Alien Nine GN 1 to 3
Age - Young Adult (16+)
By Hitoshi Tomizawa
CPM Manga Staff
Translator - Laura Jackson and Yoko Kobayashi
Interview Translator - Ikoi Hiroe
Retouch & Lettering - Wilson Ramos
Project Manager - Frank Pannone
The manga equivelant of a budding love story slash sci-fi slash train wreck.
Something so disturbing yet you can't take your eyes away from it, nor can you help looking.
That is a pretty accurate description of Alien Nine.
Beautiful, funny, stunning and intense.
Disgusting, disturbing, mind boggling and captivating.
On this Earth aliens visited years ago, and keep coming... and apparently it's the job of Sixth Graders to battle them. This year, for this school, three have been chosen for the Alien Party. To do this duty each girl is equipped with a parasitic alien "helmet" that aids them in their duties. These winged helmets bond with the girls and help them, but is there more to it than that?
The girls? Here they are.
Yuri Otani - From Tsubaki Class (Camellia Class). She is weakenest emotionally and yet the "star" of the book at the same time. She hates the aliens, and doesn't want to be bonded to one. This fact and other things cause the worse emotional damage to her throughout the series.
Kumi Kawamura - From Fuji Class (Wisteria Class). She is the strongest, but can even her strength of will hold her together through the darkness of these books?
Finally we have Kasumi Tomine - Momo Class (Peach Class). The beautiful one who actually volunteered for this duty. She seems so lighthearted at first, but will it last?
Finally Ms. Megumi Hisakawa, the Alien Party Advisor, who is more than she seems.
First off you might ask why Sixth Graders are fighting aliens, when in other universes they rolled out powerful robot warriors (Mahoromatic) or the military (Yukikaze)? Maybe it's because the "situation" of this world is not what it seems.
In fact everything is not what it seems. At first it all looks black and white simple, fight the aliens and drive them away... but as you read on you realize there's a dark gray beneath the simple "duty" which hides a darker truth of the aliens, and the reason sixth graders are used to "fight" them.
The first Graphic Novel introduces you to the girls, and gets you used to them. And also hints at the greater darkness that is yet to come upon them as Yuri ends up snapping during a particularly violent alien incident, her alien "evolving" too fast, which leads to an orgy of death as she kills all the aliens they've been "capturing" and kills the alien parasites of her two companions.
The second Graphic Novel flips their world upside down and shakes it hard, leaving none of them untouched or unspoiled by their duty, affecting them in terrible ways as the book ends.
Each of them is affected, though it seems Yuri somehow escapes the worse... or does she?
The third Graphic Novel is the end, but is there a light at the end of this darkness? Especially now that it seems Kumi at last realizes her feelings for Yuri? They're on their way out towards Junior High but it won't be an easy road towards the next grade, especially with lots of pain and conflict yet to come.
Alien Nine. Without a doubt a beautiful, disturbing, fascinating read that‘ll pull at your emotions and grip you from beginning to end. Alien Nine is a unique thing that should be experienced, and given a shot.
And if you do read it and find it to your liking? Then your in luck! This year saw a sequel come out from CPMManga (as the girls enter Junior High) so there‘s more for you to read.
Oh-kay. Time for a breakdown.
Alien Nine Breakdown
What's Hot? - You never would have thought a read that is both beautiful and disturbing would be hot (and yet not in the horror category), yet it is. Mind you it's not for the weak of heart, of course, because it's definitely a train wreck in it's magnitude of the disturbing behavior that goes on in this book but it's a read that should not be underestimated.
What's Not? - Nothing... oh-kay, it's not for everyone. This read is intense, and rated for Mature Readers only (17+), so you‘ll have to be quite mindful of the age limitation on this title and the disturbing content it has when deciding whether or not to read this for yourself.
Moments to Remember?
Despite the disturbing content it has it's bright fun and beautiful moments that make it all the more worth reading once you get ahold of this. The memorable moments, the happiness between the tragedies and disturbing moments, make it all worth it in the end.
What to Ignore?
Nothing. It's something you can't ignore, trust me.
Well, not to keep repeating myself but it's a title that is both good and disturbing, and that combination in a story that is captivating and hard to turn away from is something that I think will make this well worth your time and effort in picking up.
Sci-fi, maybe abit of horror, humor, touching moments and even love can be found here.
Try it out, you should like it and even go out to seek the recent sequel.
There is also an Anime version of this, but I haven't seen that yet so I can't comment on it.
I had heard very little about this show before I got this volume, I had heard a little hype and a lot of comparison to Gantz. Personally I have really been enjoying Gantz and was hoping for something ...
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