Thursday, April 28, 2011

Manga Review: Mai the Psychic Girl (volume one)

Another book I had seen lying around the local library near my college and, since I needed more manga to read and they had all four volumes (ie, if I liked it then I’d easily be able to read the rest of it) I decided what the heck, let’s go with the 1980s, flipped manga!

Mai the Psychic Girl by Kazuya Kudo & Ryoichi Ikegami

Summary: The Wisdom Alliance is a powerful and mysterious organization that seeks to control those with strong psychic powers and, as the title suggests, Mai is one of these people. But her father isn't having any of that and and the two are soon on the run to keep Mai safe.

The Good: The story gets moving right off the bat and moves along at a good pace through the entire volume. There aren't too many characters to keep track of either so the story makes for smooth reading. So far the story hasn't done much to distinguish itself from many other stories like it but it's moving along well enough so far.

The Bad: Mysterious psychic powers? Everyone knows kung-fu? Must be the 80s then, the story really does date itself with a lot of elements that well, just aren't that cool anymore. Mai isn't that interesting a protagonist so far, bubble-headed teenagers rarely are, and the premise of "girl/boy with special powers that everyone wants to use for themselves" isn't that interesting either. Perhaps once the villains are fleshed out a bit more (using the term "villain" lightly, clearly there is a big, possibly governmental organization behind the scenes but their intentions are completely unknown) the story will pick up but there's just as good a chance it won't.

The Art: As mentioned above, the book is flipped, not surprising since it was published in the US in the late 80s, unflipped manga wouldn't become the norm until the 2000s. Aside from that, there isn't anything special about the artwork that stands out, wikipedia even says that the manga was chosen because it was neither "too Japanese or too American" and this is reflected in the art as well as the story.

So, in the end there isn't anything in it that really makes me want to continue with the story so I think I'll spend my time reading something a bit more to my taste (also, moving out in less than a week so I don't really have time to read the other volumes, guess it all worked out in the end!).

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