Ryu’s Musings – Fafner – Dead Aggressor Vol1&2

Posted on June 25th, 2011 by Ryu Sheng |

9781569701157 ISBN-13: 9781569701157
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 200
by: Mikami Akitsu
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing 
Type: Mini-series 
Genre: Shounen, Action

Synopsis:

Tatsumiya Island is a small, idyllic haven for those lucky enough to call it home…until a surprise attack by a savage enemy shakes the water-locked paradise to its core. With Festum on the warpath, it’s up to the island’s dedicated inhabitants to pilot powerful Fafners and fight back! Before the gun smoke clears, illusions will be shattered and lifelong friendships will be stretched to their limits. Will this peaceful island survive the chaos of all-out war? Fafner – Dead Aggressor is a full-throttle fight in the name of defending peace and defeating evil! When a group of friends gears up to take on vicious Festum attackers, there’s no telling who will become a hero…and who will be sacrificed to the ravages of battle. Life as they know it is on the line, and these brand-new soldiers learn to trust their instincts (and one another) in order to man their Fafners with fearless skill. Man and machine unite to take down all invaders…and save the homeland!

9781569701164 ISBN-13: 9781569701164
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 216
by: Mikami Akitsu
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing 
Type: Mini-series 
Genre: Shounen, Action

Synopsis:

The never-ending clash between Fafners and Festum rages on…but new confrontations are stirring behind the scenes. After a shocking conversation with Soshi, Kazuki decides to risk his safety and explore the outside world for himself. But will the newfound knowledge that he and Soshi must communicate in order to help humanity evolve eventually lead to reconciliation…or total chaos?

General Musings:

If like me you’re a fan of the anime series this manga will most likely disappoint on some levels. This is because like with a lot anime to manga conversions the purpose is to maximise the cash cow of the series, rather than to be a real adaptation. Hence they usually only run for two or three volumes, and can be very unsatisfying.

Sadly this manga is also like that. Spanning two volumes it cover almost the entire series, ending just before the final fight in the north pole. Which, frankly I think was a horrendous idea, given how close it was they should have just finished the series.

The manga starts off in the same scenario as the anime, and does follow the series fairly well.Though right from the outset there was something not quite right about it for me. It’s the art, for some reason they went and sort of chibified the characters. They are full chibi’s, but enough to make them look a little disturbing at times.

In general though I do think Akitsu does a good job with the art. The characters do look like the characters they’re supposed to. The settings all look nice, as do the mecha and festum.

Also, as  you can imagine with it being a short series certain elements are cut out to condense it. The way they did the cutting seems a little arbitrary to me, with elements that I would really consider essential being cut out.  It’s weird in the way it builds to a climax then suddenly swaps to another aspect of the story leaving you with a highly unsatisfying feeling.

However, if you’ve never seen the anime this does make a good introduction to it. It covers all of the main points of the series, allows you to get a feel for the story and make a decision if you actually want to invest the time into watching the series.

For those of us that have watched the series it’s a good refresher on the series, though it doesn’t add anything to the series.

Publisher Musings:

DMP did a pretty decent job on the translation and editing. The choice of fonts used was excellent, with normal fonts used for the speech and thoughts, and the spiky text used for the festum. This does give the series a good feel as you’re reading, it’s a good effect. The text placement was done perfectly with all of the text being easy to read.

The ultimate question though is, is this worth buying? This is hard to judge really, I feel that it is. While I don’t really like the character designs it’s a good read even for those of us that have seen the series. Also given that it’s only two volumes long it’s not that big of an investment. I did enjoy the series though.

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