Ryu’s Musings – Aria the Scarlet Ammo Vol01 (Light Novel)

Posted on September 21st, 2013 by Ryu Sheng |

Cover180ISBN-13: 9781613136423
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 278
By: (story) Chugaku Akamatsu , (Art) Kobuichi
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Type: Series, Light Novel
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shonen

Synopsis:

Tokyo Butei High School— A special school where armed detectives, also known as “Butei”, receive education as well as training. Kinji Tohyama, a sophomore, has a unique body that can initiate an ability called “hysteria mode” when it is stimulated a certain way. He tries to keep it a secret but all his dreams of living the life of an Average Joe get shattered when he becomes a victim of a bombing incident and meets Butei High “Assault” department elite, Aria H. Kanzaki.

Firstly a quick update as to why the blog has been dead for over a month. Long story short my computer has died and I’ve been unable to get it repaired due to costs and work slowing down. All posts from now on will be done via my tablet, so please forgive any formatting errors and be patient while i figure out the interface and system.

What a way to come back!! Finally get back into doing my reviews and i have this title to review, made my day!!

I’ve been reading my manga and stuff these days on my Kobo Arc, a less restrictive version of the Kindle Fire HD. With the full colour screen it has the cover and subsequent colour panels all looked amazing. The colour panels, in fact all the art throughout the novel, are superbly well done. Kobuichi has done a superb job on the art style. Though if your not interested in the smaller, cutesy style of characters this could be a bit of an issue for you.

There wasn’t a lot in the way of art throughout the book, after the initial few colour pages the art became a bit sparse. Which in a way i found ironic, since when it’s more prevalent i tend to think it’s to much, but when it’s less i think it’s not enough hehe.

That said though i really found the art appealing and it complimented the story very well.

The story is pretty damn good, and i have to give praise to Akamatsu for the way he handles magic in the series. Rather than it being a blatant in your face, kids running around hurling magic everywhere, it takes a more subtle approach. With the abilities being hereditary gifts from various historical figures of note. Initially these abilities take a rather mundane approach, heightened cognitive abilities, heightened physical abilities etc. etc. However over the course of the volume we get introduced to a deeper element that can only really be described as magic.

I loved the way the characters acted out, and for the ones who you knew from the outset (such as Aria) it’s easy to see the historical figure that’s their base.

Kinji is the exception to this though, for now at least. the parallel that’s drawn several times is that he’s Dr Watson’s descendant, but that doesn’t really marry well with what is revealed about him. I like this, a lot, since knowing everything from the outset is a bit on the boring side. This way I’m kept interested and drawn into the story. I also like the way the story develops over the course of the volume. Rather than the lead just being dragged around there’s a reason for him doing things.

Aria is a bit frustrating, or rather annoying, as are a lot of tsundere characters. Her personality is frustrating and at times it does get in the way of enjoying the story. While i understand the reasoning behind the personality, i personally find it a bit tired. It’s over used to the point of being obnoxious. Then when tied with the ‘girly’ aspects of Aria you really do just want to end up slapping her daft.

Thankfully Kinji and the others save it from being a total wipe.

While right from the outset you get the feeling this is going to be your ‘A Typical’ harem novel, and to an extent that’s the way it plays out. That said I’m interested in seeing how the story plays out, and the relationships develop. Perhaps more importantly though I’m interested in learning who all the historic heroes and villains are. We’ve had some interesting developments already and i want to see how they progress.

DMG took up the task of releasing this volume, and I’m hoping this is a sign that they’ll complete the entire series. Quality wise they did a superb job in all but the localisation. For some reason we have partial localisation, mixing American and Japanese bits and bobs which makes for a confusing read at times. Personally I’m an all or nothing fan, if your going to localise something do it fully; though honestly I’d prefer you to just leave it be. With the odd hiccup caused by this the flow of the story isn’t hindered much, and flows smoothly. The adding of the images was well done.

At the moment there’s no planed paper release, so it’s all eBook, but as with all their releases you get to pick the right format for your device. However it doesn’t seem to work well with Kobo Arc, which i have. The bottom of images seems to get cropped and put on a second page, which is damned annoying. Yet if you side load it into the Kindle App it works fine.

Overall it all comes down to your personal tastes. If you can handle the Tsun aspect of Aria and the weird localisations done by the translators, i think it’s worth the read. I enjoyed the first volume and will pick up subsequent volumes as they come out. Though, honestly, it’s more about hoping that DMG/DMP will see there’s a market for light novels and release more of them

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