Posted on Oct 04 2009
Hello everyone, it’s that time of the month again…for Meringued’s manga review! This week I’ll be writing about a manga escalating bit by bit in popularity: Alive – The Final Evolution.
Alive – The Final Evolution Review Alive: The Final Evolution is published in Japan by Kodansha, and in english by Del Ray Maga. Right now, there are nineteen (19) volumes published in Japan, and eight (I think), in America. The story follows a young teenager by the name of Taisuke Kanou. He leads a normal life of a japanese high schooler with his sister Yoko Kanou and friends: Megumi Ochiai, and Yuichi Hirose. When the manga first starts off, you’ll find yourself in a familiar setting, as it starts off just like any other sci-fi story. An unknown species visits the earth, and strange events start to occur shortly after. Well, all that happened and more. In Alive, this means an enormous amount of suicide cases around the world better known as ‘Nightmare Week’. Oh, I guess that didn’t peak your interest enough. What if I told you that each individual was insanely happy while doing so. Well, if that didn’t do the trick then I don’t know what will. I, for one, definitely wanted to know why these poor “everyday” people were able to commit suicide so happily; and on such a large scale.
Now the story for one is brilliant, it takes a very vast scifi concept and makes it into something that’s interesting and fun to read. After the events of Nightmare Week, individuals from all around the world start showing strange signs that they’ve gained powers. And those who have these powers refer to themselves as comrades. Incidentally, Taisuke and his friends are drawn into strange situations that lead into the main arc of the story. As the story is really interesting I want you to learn about it by reading the manga, because it’s really interesting, and I might mention a few spoilers if I go into detail so let’s just leave it at that. The story moves at a comfortable pace with it’s long winded chapters and, quite frankly, I’d like it if most manga’s were this way. It gives me time to soak up all the events that went on in that chapter. I think there’s a higher probability that more people will be able to remember what happened the chapter before because of it. Sometimes when I read short chapters in a manga I tend to forget what’s happened in it because it’s so short. (Or maybe it’s just because I’m so forgetful…) In Alive it’s kind of rare that I have to go back a chapter or so just to remember what happened. The chapters leave that kind of impression on you; you know the one I’m talking about. The feeling that leaves you speechless, and you’re so excited you don’t know why. Anyway, it just goes to show how versatile and flexible the story really is. Just like any great sci-fi story should be.
Alive – The Final Evolution is a wonderful manga; but even though the plot is enticing, our main characters follow characteristics of a somewhat cliche character lineup. We have Taisuke Kanou, a goofy, honest, and caring individual as our lead. Megumi Ochiai, the somewhat abusive girl that has a crush on the main character. Yuichi Hirose, who is always bullied and made fun of. Takizawa Yuta, who is at first an enemy of Taisuke but ends up joining him on his journey. And Kusnoki Nami, the tsundere (Tsundere’s are a must!). As you can see the personalities in the beginning are a bit cliche, but that just emphasizes of the phenomenal character development. They really do grow as individuals and this just makes the manga more life-like. What I mean by that is that their personalities are so distinct the characters seem real as if they were based off of real humans. The supporting characters are really great as well, so everyone has their fair share in the spotlight. So even if you end up liking some of the antagonists (I know I did.) you’ll get chances to see them as much as the main characters.
On to the art, which starts off plausible in the beginning. At the start of the manga, the artwork was a bit edgy and to be honest it kinda suited the feel of story, but I didn’t like it all that much. Even though the anatomy and perspective were right, it felt amateurish. As you can see by the illustration below. His work improved by far! Pretty cool huh? It’s fun to watch an artist get better at his work. I don’t think I have any qualms with his artwork. The transition between panels are easy to follow, along with the fight sequences. I know in most manga’s a fight sequence can confuse the hell of out ya (it’s happened to me too many times). But I think in this one they’re a little bit easier to follow, and I like that it’s characters and settings still have a uniqueness to them even while they fight. So, in short, I’m loving this new style of his and I hope he continues to get better.
I have to say, Alive is one of my favorite mangas out at the moment. I came about reading it while searching for another manga to read. I’m eagerly awaiting the next chapter as always, and I hope you guys will pick it up as well because it is a good manga. Right now, I’m not too sure where this manga is heading. The story to me is progressing, and I’m not sure what’s about to happen next. I don’t even have an idea about it, but that’s okay. Sometimes it’s good not for you when you’re not able to perceive what happens next in a story. And I hope that’s the case. The artwork, the story telling, and the characters all fit so well together it’d be hard not to love. It may not get as much attention as Bleach, Naruto, or One Piece but it’s exceptionally well, and I urge you all to read it with me. I know the art is a little iffy at first but don’t let that stop you! Please don’t…! I almost forgot to mention that this manga is getting it’s own anime so keep a eye open for that as well! Thanks for reading and I look forward to writing another review for you. If you have any mangas that you want me to check out leave a message in the comment box.