Manga Mondays: Darker than Black

darker than black mangaThis series is actually on my list of anime to watch (that I actually have on my hard drive). But when I was pressing the random series button on Manga Reader it came up. So I read the nine chapters.

I really loved the content of the story. Or at least I think I did. But as a manga, the story was rather discombobulated. What I think happens is as follows: something in the sky of Japan appears before the story starts, blocking all the stars. To protect the people of Japan from the sky, they build a force-field called Hell’s Gate. And to protect Hell’s Gate, they have these super-human people without emotions called contractors. Each has a different power (very similar to the X-Men). The story follows a girl, Kana Shino, as she gets caught up in the drama. I honestly think that beginning explanation of Hell’s Gate is wrong, but it’s what makes the most sense in the context of the manga.

From double checking Wikipedia, it looks like the manga is very different from the anime. The manga struck me as a combination of Wolf’s Rain and X-Men with a twist. Because the series was so short, it kept me from getting attached to any of the characters, except Mao, the talking cat. Maybe it was because he was the only character I could consistently confirm the identity of. I could never keep Kana Shino and the main villain, Krang (a guy in case you were wondering) straight because they both had the same hair.

I really didn’t like the art. The fact that half of the scanlation was in blue ink as opposed to black didn’t help, but I had serious problems telling who was who and what was going on. I guess that might be partially why this series reminded of Wolf’s Rain, because I had the same problem with that series. Too many things going on, not the best art, too few pages.

I really find the general idea of the series interesting, so don’t get me wrong. I just think it was poorly executed. So I’ll go watch the anime when I have the chance; it comes to me highly recommended.