Ryu’s Musings – Lethe (One-Shot)

Posted on August 28th, 2010 by Ryu Sheng |

9781600090547 ISBN-13: 9781600090547
Language: English
Direction: Left to Right
Pages: 180
by Kimijin
Publisher: NetComics
Type: One-Shot
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Shonen
Synopsis:

Mazda Hun is a soldier caught in a web of political and military struggles beyond his comprehension. Captured by the government, they sentence him to Lethe. Society doesn’t believe in the death penalty anymore. They’ve modernized the paradigm of punishment.

Lethe has many names: mercy, treatment, repair, reformation and rehabilitation. Some even call it justice. The Lethe procedure inflicts no pain and is over quickly, but its victims consider it a fate worse than death.

Lethe is the execution of a person’s soul. They make room for a new personality that will remember nothing of the old. Those who undergo the process don’t seem quite human ever again. And Mazda Hun’s time is running out fast.

General Musings:

No character section today, cause there’s only the one character and frankly I’ve no idea what to make of him.

Lethe is the weirdest and most confusing manhua I’ve read to date. The way it flows is fragmented, yet it does have a sense of consistency to it. The characters we get are not so much interesting, rather intriguing. Mazda Hun for example, our lead, doesn’t really have anything special about him other than the situation.

The biggest flaw I found in the volume is that it doesn’t explain why things are happening, or how they even came about. Considering this looks over Mazda’s life up to I was hoping for more explanation as to how he got where he did, and perhaps more importantly, why he got where he did. Everything I read in the volume sort of contradicts the situation he ends up in.

I found I was having to go back a few pages and re-read bits because they didn’t make much sense to me, which was a bit frustrating after a while. At the end of the volume I was no more aware as to what was going on than when I started the volume.

Where this volume excels however is the art. Kimijin creates a stunning, vibrant and alive world that is further brought to life in full colour. However rather than using a computer to digitally paint, she (I’m assuming Kimijin is a she cause I’ve no idea) paints the art with watercolours. As a result the art is more fresh and has a better genuine feel to it.

Some of the art we get in the volume is really stunning, though a little on the weird side.

My main issue with the volume is the cost, I’m not sure it’s worth the elevated price costs. Though if you consider it an art book, and like to collect those, then it could well be worth it.

Publisher Musings:

I’ve only recently found NetComics while doing my review of online readers. I’d never read any of their releases or even seen any in my local stores. So they’re a completely blank slate with me.

I rented this volume from their online reader, and frankly I recommend you always try out a volume or two there  before you out and out buy them. Better to spend dollar or two on their first, rather than 15-20 on a couple of volumes and finding you don’t like them. Lethe being a prime example of this.

The reader needs a few tweaks IMO, it gives error messages every chapter that mean nothing. All the pages are double spread and seamlessly joined together, which frankly makes the art look all the more stunning.

The use of font’s are a bit off for online reading, they needed to be clearer and larger, but over all it looked fine.

In the end this is a title I would recommend you get once or twice from the eReader just to look at the art.

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