In a universe where men and women are mortal enemies, Hibiki is captured by a band of female pirates. The group find themselves stranded with a super ship they dub the Nirvana and set out for the female home planet. Along the way, they discover the existence of the "The Harvest" and the possible destruction of both men and women.
The manga differs greatly from the anime, with fewer characters and focusing more on the relationship between Dita and Hibiki.
This is a manga loosely (very loosely) based on the Vandread anime. Like the anime, it's set in a universe in which men and women occupy different planets and are perpetually at war. And like the anime, it deals mostly with Hibiki, a boy who finds himself on a ship full of women pirates, as he is tasked with piloting a mecha against a new enemy to both men and women.
The similarities end there.
In the manga, Hibiki is the only man on the ship. His relationship with Dita progresses much faster than in the anime. Some crew members are different, or
have very different personalities. And the nature of the external threat is very different.
Story (5): The outlines of the story are fine. The universe makes for an interesting setting, and I like the faster relationship progression between Hibiki and Dita. The problem with the story in the manga, however, is that it just moves way too quickly. Action sequences are confusing. Parts of the plot are left unexplained. Characters come and go with very little introduction. If this were three or four times as long, I think I would like it a lot; but right now, it's just sort of confusing at times.
Art (6): The character models are well drawn., and the ship looks appropriately cool. The problem is that the action sequences aren't drawn horribly well. Something confusing will happen in a panel, and then the next panel some character will explain exactly what just happened. There is too much "telling" and not enough "showing", which doesn't make for a good action manga.
Character (7): In general, I liked this version of Hibiki, Dita, and the rest of the crew. They are likable people, trying to make the most of their situation. The problem is, once again, things are rushed. There is some character development, especially with Dita and Hibiki, although even then they sometimes do things that seem out of character for them. Everyone else just seems to lack consistency in their actions.
Enjoyment (6): As someone who has seen--and liked--the anime, I found this an interesting alternate take on the universe, especially as concerning the relationship between Hibiki and Dita. If they had taken more time to develop the plot and characters, I would have liked it a lot. As it is... it's okay.
Overall (6): If you've seen the anime, and are interesting in alternate universe stories, I'd give this a cautious recommendation. Otherwise, it's probably best to stay away. The Vandread manga isn't bad... but there are quite a few better action, sci fi, and romance manga out there than this one.