Manga Fans Unite! Aquarian Age GN 1 (Deluxe Edition)
Age - 13+
By Sakurako Gokurakuin
Original Concept by Broccoli
Broccoli Books Staff
Translation - Rie Hagihara
English Adaptation - Stephanie Sheh
Clean-up - Tim Law
Touch-up and Lettering - Chris McDougall
Editor - Satsuki Yamashita
Graphic Novel 1
(Since I did a review of Galaxy Angel I kept to the theme and brought you a review of another Broccoli Books title, Aquarian Age).
Before We Begin... a little history.
I don't know about you, but nothing cracks my dilithium crystals more than finding out somebody has been waging a secret war for a few thousands of years and neglected to fill me in on it!
Sheesh! Share why dontcha!
The origins of this thousands year old war, however, is abit more complex.
Originally an original TCG (Trading Card Game) by Broccoli in Japan, this manga was born from a poster drawn by Sakurako Gokurakuin, and eventually took a life all it's own by becoming both a manga AND a CD drama! Good luck on ever seeing the CD drama though unless they attach it as an extra on the Aquarian Age movie DVDs much like BANDAI has been doing on some of their DVDs (attaching the CD dramas onto certain series' DVDs as a unique and splendid little extra!)
As for the game itself? I don't know if the cards are available in English or not, but the game looks rather complex (there's even an extra focusing on it but I'll go more into that in the Optional Extras section.)
Seven years ago something happened to Mana that changed her life, and sent her away.
Now that she's sixteen she has returned to her hometown with a new school, and the desire to see her childhood friend. However things aren't as simple as that as she's about to find out.
For instance she's barely in school one day and already somebody has went out of his way to freeze the whole school in a binding spell just to try and test her, and most likely kill her.
Why test her? Well, there's THAT secret war that's been waging for thousands of years.
In this war there are factions (each with members who have unique powers and abilities), but if that isn't enough to handle there's the introduction of a NEW darker faction that might have alien connections that could make things worse.
Oh, why test Mana? Apparently she may be a "Mind Breaker", and that makes her the "Captain" of the team she is going to end up leading in this war... which will include her childhood friend, the one who originally tried to kill her (she didn't mind), and three more including one who seems to have the ability to sprout angel wings from his head.
This is only the beginning. Next time we return to review this Mana should find herself deeper and deeper in this war, and in graver and graver mortal danger.
But for now let's wrap and give the extras and breakdown.
Translator Notes - Short but useful.
Trading Card Game Info - Want to know how to play the Aquarian Age TCG? Here's your 4-1-1.
Aquarian Age Breakdown the 1st
What's Hot? It's pretty good. Strictly speaking as one of those "it's so secret we're surprised we told ourselves" wars it's a rather nice read. With good pacing, nice artwork, interesting concept and nice storytelling it's a good read.
What's Not? - My only stipulation about the title is that it reminds me of a quote from the All Dogs Go To Heaven movies. Here's a general idea of the quote, don't ask for 100% accuracy though.
"Now I can see why they call it "eternity"... everything takes FOREVER!"
And, thus, is this title. At times single scenes seem to just go on, and on, and on, and on for pages on end.
It's good in one sense because there's detailed storytelling at work, but then again I wish sometimes more got done and some scenes didn't just go on!
Given the balance? I have to say that it's not a big "Not", and if you like having a read that doesn't skimp too much on the details then this might in fact be a selling point for you.
Moments to Remember? Hmm... it's a balanced book but nothing really leaped out at me as truly memorable except for some of the moments with Mana.
What to Ignore? Nothing. Paying attention here is a good thing.
Overall? For a beginning to the manga series of Aquarian Age I found good things here. It occasionally went on and on but for the most part I enjoyed reading it. Solid work here, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the title will take us when I review Graphic Novel 2.
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