Taisuke Kanou is your average 16-year-old student. He has two close friends, Hirose and Megumi. Hirose has trouble with bullies, but Taisuke is always there to defend him, even though he just winds up getting beaten instead of Hirose. During class one day, Taisuke is hit by something unworldly and for that split second, he sees a vision of the universe. As he's walking home from school, he sees a girl fall and die in front of him, but his first thought is jealousy. He later finds out that the strange sensation that hit him is spreading throughout Japan. Those who are struck by it either commit suicide or "evolve," but the comrades that evolve usually have dark intentions for the rest of the world.
An anime adaptation was planned for Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen and was to be produced by anime studio Gonzo, but the production was cancelled in 2010 when the studio was delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The series was published digitally in English as Alive: The Final Evolution by Kodansha Comics USA from July 26, 2016 to August 29, 2017. Prior to this, Del Rey Manga had published 8 printed volumes from July 31, 2007 to November 24, 2009 before publication was discontinued.
I picked the English translation off the library shelf and read it. So far, it's really interesting and I became really engrossed in this series. The beginning was definitely one of the best moments of the series and I truly liked Yuuta's arc when he was first introduced. That was my favorite moment, along with the eventual romantic hints that slowly but surely emerge.
Admittedly, Alive gives off the Psyren vibe but mostly because at the beginning, you sense that there is some scientific fiction involved such as the great apocalypse. Then, as the novel progresses, it also evolves into what seems to resemble a battle
manga. However, what differentiates those two is that Alive does not rely solely on the battle! train! battle! train! battle! formula that continues to plague most battle-oriented shounen manga. This is what makes Alive so entertaining: the smooth and neat transitions between arcs. Still, Alive resorts to a heavily overused concept of humans with inhuman abilities. It fails to tie back to the reason behind the powers at some moments, when all the characters care about is beating the other side.
Speaking of characters, their pasts and current personalities help reveal the mangaka's basic theme. They have their own obstacles and troubles, but they do grow and develop. The question, though, is this: Just how realistic are they? Both Hirose's and Taisuke's circumstances further elaborate the answer to that very question, as they are the two with the most unrealistic character development (in my opinion). Despite the notion of disbelief, the characters can be well-liked by the readers through their humorous and friendly interactions / relationships. The extra volume and the omake illustrate this point well.
Like all manga, the art does gradually improve over time to the extent that it reminds me of Ga-Rei with its gradient tones. It is good, but nothing too decorative or stunning.
I highly enjoyed this manga. Personally, it held moving suspense, introduced characters smoothly, and the underlying theme kept me going as well. If you have read Psyren or Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, this series may delight you.
This is my review for Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen. I’ll be referring to the characters by what they are most commonly called in the manga. Please note that this review is structured around how I personally felt about the manga: objectively, it deserves an overall rating of 8 (individual ratings of 7/8/9 for story, art, and character, respectively), but subjectively, I give it a 5.
One of the most common type of shounen story is when the main character, often a boy (Taisuke), has to go through and overcome a variety of obstacles, such as beating the antagonist (Hirose) in order to save the girl
(Megumi). It’s no surprise that because of this, Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen has the ‘shounen’ tag to it. Although the synopsis makes it sound extremely complicated (such as, what are “comrades”?), that is really the basic plot in a nutshell.The story progresses rather predictably, as Taisuke sets off on a quest to save Megumi, while he meets new friends along the way that (reluctantly at first) join forces with him, all the while dealing with the antagonist, among other villains. As this is a futuristic and scientific manga, we have “comrades”, who, to put simply, are people with superpowers that are often using them for bad purposes. This concept was utilized very nicely and the way it is incorporated is what saves the story from falling into a bland “boy saves girl” type of story. Another part that was well done was with how the story progressed rather smoothly, with little to no forced parts. However, one small problem is that these good points are really all the manga has going for it. As a small warning, there is fighting, and some of the scenes can be quite graphic, so be careful about that.
You might be wondering why I only gave the story a 4 after having seemingly nothing truly negative to say about it. The answer is the ending (keep in mind that this section is completely subjective). Even if everything else is great, the story can still be ruined if the ending is terrible. Without going into spoilers, the main character (in my opinion) makes the wrong choice near the end of the manga, as most if not all other readers can attest to. This is one of those cases where I think that the author should’ve gave the audience what they wanted. I still salute Tadashi Kawashima for staying true to the story and being consistent with the choice that the protagonist has to make, though.
Nothing really to complain about here, as there was more good than bad to the art. It is quite obvious that as more and more chapters came out, the artwork steadily improved. For example, some of the scenery and graphic scenes were a treat for the eyes to gaze upon as they were quite detailed. It is also worth mentioning that the character designs are solid as well, considering how none of them looked awkward or out of place.
The best aspect of the manga, as most of the characters are different compared with each other. The male protagonist, Taisuke, is the same though, as he is your typical “shy boy” who somehow acquires powers and slowly becomes more powerful. Yuta can be considered as Taisuke’s sidekick, and I find many similarities between him and Yukine from Noragami (ironically, Adachitoka, the duo behind Noragami, did the artwork for Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen, so I suspect there was some inspiration to Yukine’s design). The antagonist, Hirose starts out much like Taisuke, but becomes less and less human as the plot progresses. It is interesting to note that you can view Taisuke, Hirose, and Megumi’s relationship as a sort of love triangle. Speaking of Megumi, she doesn’t have any quirks to her, and can essentially be viewed as the female version of Taisuke. Nami, the other main female character, is introduced a little later on and along with Yuta, eventually joins Taisuke in his quest to save Megumi. She is one of those girls where you can’t help but root for her in whatever she does once you learn of her backstory. The supporting characters do well in their specified roles, but the focus is still mostly on the main characters.
I really did enjoy this manga from the beginning all the way until the last few chapters, where Taisuke makes that wrong choice. One may argue that I was too harsh with just letting that drop my rating so much, and that may be true. However, I am a firm believer in that the ending to any kind of work has to be the strongest point, and because how I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, that is how I justify this rating. For those who don’t mind that kind of thing, I still highly recommend this manga as it is still very, very solid.
It's been a few months since I finished this manga, but I still am recommending it to friends to try to get them to read this. The manga was AMAZING overall.
I rated the story a 9, the reason is because it was confusing at some points, but it was cleared up (for the most parts) in all ways towards the end. The little confusion I did have at the end, be it because I didn't read something right or didn't understand it or it was never mentioned, it why I gave it this rating.
I rated the art an 9, the reason for this is because
the art, like in a lot of manga, gets better as the story goes, so I had to take that into consideration. The art does show so much though and it doesn't go over the top, like it could, being a somewhat graphic manga.
I rated the characters a 10, I LOVED the characters. You hated some and you loved others, but they were all believable. Every character had their flaws, for story reasons, and they all had motives. You felt sad when anyone died, even if it was someone you didn't like/didn't see much, because you knew something of the character and had an understanding of them.
I enjoyed this manga so much! The manga has different parts and starts off slow at the beginning of each, but picks up and becomes amazing quickly. Honestly, because I enjoyed it so much is why I read the manga in about 2 months.
Overall, I enjoyed everything about this story and I thought it was fantastic. A must read to anyone looking for an interesting manga. This was my first scy-fy type of manga, but I was by no means disappointed. If you're wondering about reading this, just read the first chapter, like I did. As soon as I read the first chapter, I was hooked. The final few pages in the final chapter is a little chilling, because the writer was writing them on his death bed. Once I realized that the final chapter took a new meaning to me and just completed the masterpiece. I greatly respect the author for his dedication to this manga and I recommend anyone reading this review to try to read this manga, and pass it on to friends!
Brief review: It takes it's time to get started, but overall, it's worth the read.
Ok, let me start by saying that I've read a fair share of shounen when I was younger, but as I grew older I started reading more and more seinen. I think this explains my initial shock.
This is a shounen manga, and it starts really shounenly. I found it boring at first, while the premisse shows potential, you never feel like it's being explored to it's fullest. The story starts out linear, with a lot of shounen tropes and somewhat boring characters; it's a simple good vs evil story.
there is development! The story branches out and more interesting characters are introduced, and the ones that were already there get a proper development.
Overall, the manga changed my mind halfway through, and turned out as a really solid, amusing manga. I'm writing this review because no other informed me about such change, and I kept wondering if it was worth keep reading this manga. And it was, it was an enjoyable experience.