Friday, November 2, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: Area D by Nanatsuki Kyoichi

Area D
Nanatsuki Kyoichi


The "prison survival action" story is set after the sudden emergence of special powers in certain pockets of humanity. To deal with these so-called "Altered," a mysterious remote island prison named "Area D" was built.

Alternate names

Area D
Area D - Inouryouiki
Area D - Inoyouiki


Manga reader sites (free)
Manga Reader

Rosy's scrawlings on Area D
Ever wonder what would happen after the mass fear, curiosity, bible thumping and 'medical' experimentation that would occur after the appearance of those with superpowers? This manga starts at that point and the picture isn't a pretty one, although I'd have to admit it is one of those I'd consider highly like. Especially considering how humans often treat those with characteristics deemed, for one reason or another, special or unwanted. Some basic psychology is at play in the writing of Area D and for those at all familiar with human history none of what happens will comes as a shock. It will, however, leave you with a bitter taste as you realise we might just treat all super humans in such a manner and disregard any good deeds, mild and acceptable behaviour or helpfulness.
To accentuate this bitter taste we see their experiences, be they good, bad, ugly or intent on world domination, through the eyes of a young boy by the name of Satoru Ida who's mostly innocent, grieving and hating of himself, and possessed with the power to dismantle anything he touches. In coming to grips with his power he is the instigator of a personal tragedy and he can't forgive himself for that. Despite this and all the horrible things that occur to him from there on in he tries his best to have faith in others, extend a hand and survive. Few are willing to be so nice back but he keeps trying even as he's being beaten to a pulp. And it is because of this that he's a touch of a hero and someone you want to know more of.
Despite this, much of what is focused on concerns the character pictured above: S-class Jin Kazaragi. He's both incredibly strong and weak, depending on the power he's absorbed, and he's a man on a mission. To complete it he intentionally gets himself captured and sent to Area D or Island D. He himself has many an issue to deal with, mainly a heavy dose of guilt which has yet to be properly explained. No matter, because what focusing on Jin does is bring an endless flow of action to the mix. And that's what you want to read about where super humans are concerned.
Area D is, for all this, both fun and interesting to read while it is a little mortifying to realise that the worst monsters are often just average humans. It is quick paced and working on a global scale even though the majority of scenes concern the inhabitants of Area D. 
The art of Area D, created by Yang Kyung-Il, is enticing. It is dark and gritty with lots of detail but the most appealing thing about it is that there's a certain flow and smoothness to it that just pleases the eye. There's plenty of action scenes to look at and enjoy as they bring this flow out in the forms of fire, weaving thorny vines, void creation and other super human abilities. Also, the faces, while appealing or ugly, reveal expressions that can only be described as reflections of insanity and for some strange reason they are like salt on hot chips. 

I'd recommend this manga to: those interested in action based fantasy as well as superpowers and all that comes with them. This is highly likely to appeal to boys/teens more than girls/teens but there is something in it for all these groups, and some besides.

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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