Manga Mondays: Flow

flow2I pressed the “Surprise Me” button again, you guys. And this time I got something really cool!

Flow features a boy named Leerang in an alternate universe. There, every child gets to meet God once in their life. God takes a form of a specific animal and can grant the child one wish. Usually, kids make their wishes fairly quickly. Leerang, on the other hand, has waited ten years to make his wish. However, Leerang knows he can’t make a very exciting wish because his God has taken the form of the cat, the weakest of animals. The “stronger” (or most revered) the animal form your God takes, the more powerful wish you can get and the higher your status in society. After you make your wish, God goes away but you still retain some residual power that you can use. Anyway, this story follows Leerang as he decides what his wish should be and the consequences of that wish.

This is a Korean manga and it’s quite interesting. For one, the layout of every page is very different. Blank, white space is frequently utilized; there may only be one our two small panels on a manga page. I think it’s intriguing, but I don’t see what the layout does to enhance the story. What it does do is make you appreciate the art more. First off, this manga is entirely in color. Secondly, it’s beautiful art. Some of the artsy scenic panels (of which there are a lot) are truly gorgeous. The one thing that irks me, though, is that there isn’t much variety in character design. There are two female protagonists and they look like they could be sisters; both have reddish eyes and red hair. I just wish the coloring could have been switched up a bit.

I love the premise too. It’s like a combination of Fruits Basket and His Dark Materials and it’s really cool. Like Furuba, the animals of the Zodiac are the most featured. Leerang’s friend, Ryun, has a dragon and is considered to be the strongest kid around. Leerang is still my favorite character though. He’s gutsy and very much your stereotypical shounen hero, but with a slightly different twist, in that he doesn’t feel the need to “try and save everyone” like Naruto or Ichigo; he has a much more self-centered goal. I guess that might come from being a Korean series and not a Japanese one.

Anyway, there are thirteen chapters available for your reading pleasure, and I highly recommend you go check out my new favorite series, Flow!

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