Synonyms: Alien 9
Published: Feb 1999 to Nov 1999
Score: 7.421 (scored by 752 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisIn the future, alien invasion is a daily occurrence and everyone must be prepared. Elementary School #9 has assigned three students to fight off the extra-terrestrial threat.
Related MangaSequel: Alien Nine Emulators
Adaptation: Alien Nine
Alien Nine is a stunning and evocative little series with tons to offer in each of its attempted facets. It commands the reader's attention with a starkly idiosyncratic approach to visuals, appeals to the emotions, makes you care for its characters and gives you plenty to think/cheer about.
One of the first things I noticed when I began reading was the nuances in visuals, namely, the juxtaposition of intentionally crude, cutsey character designs with frighteningly detailed, angular, gross images of alien's and their appendages. The effect this dichotomy creates remains consistent throughout the series, as the violence is never suppressed; Tomizawa pulls no punches in his depiction of the endeavors of grade-school girls and their battles with aliens.
Speaking of school-age girls, the three central characters are quite different and, thankfully, have some substance that only grows as the series goes on. Each girl starts with their own personality and reason (or lack thereof) for joining "the Alien Party." As the series goes on, each girl sees some truly dramatic changes in character, some psychologically, some physically... and watching these changes, how they come to be and what events they inspire, is what makes Alien Nine a compelling page-turner.
I think the manga's greatest strength, though, when considered with its characters, is the events. This is "Things Actually Happen: the Manga." Character development and arcs, plot revelations, subtle/not-so-subtle explanations of occurrences, it has it all. In keeping with this technique of moving of the story inexorably forward, the theme of body horror becomes quite important and it isn't cheaply depicted at all. There's plenty of terrific spectacles in the manga; I found myself thinking/saying multiples times; "holy shit, that actually happened!," or, "did she really just say that?" You'll focus on the images, as that effect/dichotomy I mentioned earlier in the writing is consistent but it's really about what's happening. In other words, it looks damned cool but focus on what the characters are doing and saying and the effect is dramatically improved.
Alien Nine is a criminally under-read piece of work and a stunning narrative application of the "Superflat" art form. It's story is just as important as its art and visuals, and taken together they make a powerfully memorable, evocative team. read more
Both start out very childish and cute, but are later incredbly dark, gross, disturbing, and odd. Also both involve strange creatures (and them fighting), school and home life, and both disect their characters. Shadow Star is easily the stronger of the two, but don't brush Alien Nine off, as it is also very good (and a little confusing).
Another manga that takes the pokemon-esque concept of young kids battling with cute monsters, and turns it on it's head. Both start off innoculous enough, but soon become pretty disturbing. The other is definitely worth a look if you enjoyed one.
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Related ClubsAlien Nine Club, Borg-O-san Club, Claim a Smart Character Club, Kasumi Fan Club, Kumi Fan Club, Mindfuck-Club, seinen & josei, Yuri Fan Cube