Monday, August 27, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Project Arms by Nanatsuki Kyoichi

Project Arms
Nanatsuki Kyoichi

From Ryoji Minagawa and Kyoichi Nanatsuki comes a world of nano-machines, cybernetic assassins, powerful telekinetic opponents, and secret organization dedicated to bringing forth the next evolution of humankind. Containing all the best elements of sci-fi, spy fiction, and conspiracy theory stories, Project Arms is about kids whose arms transform into grotesquely deformed superweapons. 

Alternate names
アームズ, ARMS

Sites for reading online (free)
Manga Here, Manga Animea



Rosy's scrawlings on Project Arms
This award winning dark action fantasy story is full of body horror, extreme weaponry, an escalation of violence and rounds of battle that all seem unending. There are also quite a few references to the horrors visited upon many of the Asian and South-East Asian countries over the 20th Century, most of which are unknown experiences to those growing up in Western countries today. There are also several references to humanity being forcibly evolved into super men through a process of selection and eradication that is very reminiscent of the NAZI eugenics programs that aimed at creating a super Aryan race.This manga is well worth reading for this alone as no matter how the memories get across to us all, they should never be forgotten. Such utter disasters visited upon the mass population should be avoided but are sadly not always. As such, when history turns on we should remember and understand just what we could all face. This is the essence of learning from history in the hopes of never repeating our mistakes and the horrors that result.
This manga certainly proves that mangas aren't all light entertainment. There are many messages on morals, humanity, determining your path in life, the flaws in government systems, the violence inherent in everyone, the psychological problems that can come from combat and trauma, accepting ones good and bad sides with the aim of becoming a better person, trusting your fellows and so on. There is much to be gleaned for someone reading such a story for the first time and it serves as a good reminder for those who've run across these ideas before.
Otherwise, this manga has several classic manga traits. In particular, is the list of rather ludicrous names given to the combatants but once you get into it the names do lend the story a certain fantasy air and subplot. Also, the weaponry and powers are as completely out there as you'd expect. You need to read between the lines in some cases to understand the above points about history but then again, some are written as plain as day.
The illustrations for this manga did throw me for the first few pages as these are very close to the first stylings common in mangas rather than the latest glitzy and sleek look. You'll understand what I mean when you begin reading. But whatever faults and flaws you think you find within the first edition all fade away pretty quickly under the power of the story and the way the illustrations not only improve but match the storyline in mood.

Most appropriate phrase in the manga:  "Great. Don't they ever run out of killers?"

I'd recommend this manga to: Anyone from 15 years and up as long as they can deal with stories containing high levels of extreme violence along with clear indications that such things can and do happen in reality. This said, this manga is likely to appeal to males more than females.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

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