Stay Logged In?

Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Saikano  (Read 753 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Apprentice Uploader
*
Posts: 231
Offline Offline
« on: May 14, 08, 09:19:16 am »

First, my rating: 10 out of 10. Absolutely superb.

MT link and shortened summary:
http://www.mangatraders.com/manga/series/228
Quote
It is one of the masterpieces of the romance genre in manga. Shuji (シュウジ, Shūji?), a high school student in Hokkaido, is the main character. Chise (ちぁE Chise?), a fellow student, declares her love for Shuji at the beginning of the series. However, Chise is very shy and Shuji has a bitter tongue. Neither know how to express their feelings very well, but they do indeed have them for each other.

One day, while Shuji is shopping in Sapporo, unknown bombers attack the city in broad daylight. He and his friends run for cover but notice a fast and small flying object shoot down enemy bombers. Separated from his friends, Shuji wanders through the wreckage only to stumble upon Chise. She has metal wings and weapons apparently grafted onto her body. She tells him she has become the ultimate weapon, without her knowledge or consent. However, she is seen by the JSDF as the last hope for defending Japan from imminent invasion by unknown foreign forces for reasons that are not apparent.


Now that that's out of the way, my thoughts (might contain spoilers later on, but I'll try to give you a general feel for what it's about first if you haven't read it and want to know more):

This manga starts off amazingly well and never lets you go. The POV focuses (almost) exclusively on Shuji, the male protagonist. This is not what "conventional" mangas would do in my opinion, based on the "power levels" (sorry for using a bit of a cliched term) of Shuji and Chise, the female protagonist. I loved how the manga refused to go beyond our 3rd person limited point of view from inside Shuji's head early on. It makes the story seem extremely believable. I liked the characterization of Shuji and Chise right from the beginning, they "go together" (start dating) in the first chapter, but they don't know much about each other, how to talk to each other, or even what people do with their boyfriend/girlfriend!

I don't want to go on about every little detail of the manga, but lemme just say that it was all superbly done. I don't think I've ever rooted for the main couple to work through their problems as strongly as I did for Saikano. Whenever one of them wavered, or ended up in a bad situation with someone of the opposite sex, I couldn't do anything but worry, cheer for them to get past it and back together, then hope for the best and read as fast as I could!

I started this manga out of curiosity at about 5 am after finishing checking some forums I frequent (including this one) because I saw another member go into detail about it in the "saddest manga?" thread. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it before sleeping, and I certainly didn't expect to read the whole thing. That plan went out the window after the 2nd chapter. I've read a lot of manga recently, and there are some that you just can't stop until you finish. That's a big part, imo, of what makes a manga truly "great" or "earth shattering." I've read a good many of these types of manga, but Saikano is way way up there even on that most elite of elite lists. I had absolutely no intention of stopping the roller coaster until it played itself all the way out.

I was truly worried about what was going to happen to the main pairing throughout the majority of this story. I cared about what happened to them, and I was biting my nails whenever there was trouble. Which is, of course, every other page of Saikano. Actually there was probably something dire or at least emotionally dire going on with about 80% of the pages of this manga.

Little side note about characters. The development and change that goes on during these 7 volumes is mindblowing. When I look back after having seen Shuji in the last volume, he's so amazingly different from the first volume, they almost aren't even the same person. Same with Chisu, though in almost the completely opposite direction. And it all happens completely naturally and smoothly throughout the whole story. These are some of the most realistic people I've seen in a manga, ever. It's really nice to see a manga where people act the way I think a real person would act in that situation. (Though there were times I just wanted to reach through and strangle Shuji, that's completely fine. I think it was intentional for him to seem that way in the first half of the manga.)

I can't recall ever caring quite that much about 2 characters in any manga, book, movie, or anime I've ever read/watched. (I probably did a long time ago, but not in recent memory.) The agonizing thing about reading this manga over others is you just can't see any hope for the characters. Most manga you can have some confidence that things will be all right (for the most part) in the end. Hope in Saikano? Laughable. Anyone with "hope" in this story is dead a few panels later.

About the ending (skip to the dotted line if you haven't read the manga). I couldn't believe it. The last few volumes really stepped it up with the destruction, death, tragedy, sadness, and just all around despair for ever having any kind of happiness. Which is quite a feat considering the first volumes are more tragic than 99% of all the other "sad" manga I've read before. I was clinging to the hope that they could somehow, someway, in the best of best scenarios, live through the destruction of their entire lives. I truly wanted Chise to live, with all my heart. And when the end finally came, I couldn't help but get a little teary-eyed. I literally cried a little, with sadness and joy at the same time, at the end of the last chapter. I have never cried over an anime or manga, finished or unfinished. Saikano was just a masterpiece, no question about it.


-----------


Overall, there's no one who I wouldn't recommend this manga to. Hell, I'm thinking of suggesting it to my dad or siblings, and they've never seen a manga or anime beyond what we used to watch on the saturday morning cartoons when we were little.

Here's some links to (almost consecutive) images of the 1st volume 2nd chapter (where the real story takes off, it's right at the beginning so don't worry about being spoiled, it gets a lot, LOT worse):
http://img530.imageshack.us/img530/3647/saikano2ndchap3ee8.jpg
http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/6486/saikano2ndchapvj4.jpg
http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/3144/saikano2ndchap2uw0.jpg




In closing, my rating again: Absolute perfect 10/10. Would reread it again, possibly right now if I hadn't stayed up all night reading it then writing this.
Logged
Journeyman Uploader
*
Posts: 1316
Offline Offline
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 08, 09:57:59 am »

Completely agreed. I had started to watch this anime after a friend bought it for me on my birthday. After watching the anime I thought I should read the manga, considering the mangas are usually much better than the anime. And the manga surprised me. It was pretty much the same as the anime, only a couple things where cut out of the anime, such as 
Loved the ending, not a very usual ending. I would have never guessed it.
Logged

I'm lazy.
Apprentice Uploader
*
Posts: 231
Offline Offline
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 08, 02:45:43 am »

Completely agreed. I had started to watch this anime after a friend bought it for me on my birthday. After watching the anime I thought I should read the manga, considering the mangas are usually much better than the anime. And the manga surprised me. It was pretty much the same as the anime, only a couple things where cut out of the anime, such as 
Loved the ending, not a very usual ending. I would have never guessed it.

Ah, I was thinking of checking to see if there was an Anime next. I definitely want to see it, especially if it's as you say and very true to the manga. Also, yea rofl @ that "half volume" you mentioned. Pretty damn epic. Just like the rest of Saikano.
Logged
Apprentice Uploader
*
Posts: 762
Offline Offline
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 08, 04:42:41 am »

Brillant manga storyline and wicked ending
Logged


Stand up, and take responsibility for the things you call your own.
*
Posts: 1
Online Online
« Reply #4 on: Mar 16, 11, 10:18:19 pm »

I'm not kidding when I say I can't get past the first volume. It's so cliche'd I want to kill myself and have someone write a tragedy manga about it just so people think its incredible.
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to: