Thursday, January 13, 2011

1st Manga Recommendation: "Alive: the Final Evolution"

Looking for an engaging new read?
Let Matt Clark talk you into some psychological superhero manga.

 (Alive: the Final Evolution) 
review by Matt Clark
 a japanese comic
21 volumes long (not all in the USA yet)
written by the late Tadashi Kawashima and illustrated by Adachitoka.


The story starts off with the spread of a mysterious virus, appearing from space, that causes masses of people around the world to commit suicide... a sweeping pandemic that ends within a week. Those who were tempted by the thoughts of suicide but still held onto life developed super powers. A group of three childhood friends are swept up in the subsequent events.  Taisuke Kanou and his best friend Yuichi Hirose are given powers, but their friendship is shattered over the love of a third friend, Megumi Ochai. 

Hirose, a lifelong victim of bullying, has always hated the feeling of being needed to be rescued.  He become mad with the power to kill and kidnaps Megumi to make her love him. Taisuke goes after them and is forced to fight with other "Comrades," discovering his powers as he tries to save Megumi. 


What I found interesting about the series was, not only the beautiful illustrations and panelling, but the uniqueness of how each character was written. Each of the power users has a "hole" inside them that makes them want to live...  The reader is able to sympathize with each, regardless of the terrible acts they commit.  EXAMPLE: My favorite character is an artist by the name of Takumi Yura.  He uses his talent to understand the thought-process of the people he draws.  His fatal flaw?  He was so afraid that people would judge his work that he would destroy each piece before anyone had a chance to see it.  You may not relate as well to this character, but each comes off as a real person.  There is no definite totally bad guy, like in those cheesy superhero stories we're all accustomed to. If you're looking for a series that can offer well rounded character development, this is a manga worth looking into.



  1. Aw yeah. This one is definitely a good one.