Nai searches for someone important to him, with only an abandoned bracelet as a clue. Gareki steals and pick-pockets to get by from day to day. The two meet in a strange mansion where they are set-up, and soon become wanted criminals by military security operatives. When Nai and Gareki find themselves desperate in a hopeless predicament, they encounter none other than the country's most powerful defense organization—"Circus"!!
I was hesitating to start this manga, still for the beautiful art i decided to try it and got addicted to the intriguing plot and mostly to the characters. It became one of my favorites. And it has originality (starting by the name, Karneval), all the universe of Karneval its quite charming.
Story- Karneval is about a kid named Nai who seems to be searching for his lost "brother" Karoku. In his journey he eventually finds a teenage named Gareki and they end up in the Organization Circus, where they develop a friendship with two young Circus agents. The four start living together as a group
and they form a bond. As the story goes, we get to find out more about the past of the characters, but some mysteries remain and the key to solve them seems to be Karoku. The story might seem cliché, but its not, its a breath of fresh air.
Art- The art is absolutely adorable. An eye candy. The sceneries are great and the characters designs whether in looks or costumes, fits them perfectly.
Character- Its impossible not to love every character on Karneval. You have 3 main boys and 1 girl, but they all have an unique personality and each one of them is different from another. Nai, the cute and kind kid, Gareki the rebel antisocial with some past issues, Yogi the funny, childish and optimistic and Tsukumo, a quiet, skilled beautiful girl. Together they make an outstanding group.Other good point is that the supporting characters are really good and needed for the plot, they are not just to fill the spaces.
Enjoyment- You will smile and you will get sad on some scenes. Although this manga is exquisite precisely because it doesn't overreact in drama neither in comedy, there´s a perfect balance between the two genres. Also it adds fights, mystery and fantasy.
Overall- Awesome! if you´re looking for romance, this is not one. You might find some hints of it, but this is mostly a shounen/fantasy with a touch of shoujo.
If you´re a BL fan you will like it, although let me say this clearly, this is not Shounen-ai. But it has a lot of bishies and lets you imagination flow, so you might want to give it a try ;D
This is probably one of the greatest mangas I've ever read. Just thought I should start with that. The art work is done beautifully, something that's pretty hard to come across. Not just because the characters are beautiful (Gareki, Yogi, Karoku, Hirato...need I go on?) but detailing and the effects are powerful.
I gave it all a ten because I truly feel it deserves that. As an ongoing, monthly manga, I find myself checking it each and every day in hopes that some miracle happened and the internet set another juicy chapter in my lap. Too much? IT'S JUST THAT GOOD!!! I promise no disappointments
in this. The storyline is pretty unique, I think. And the cute factor is almost too much to handle. I really can't get enough of this manga, and fingers remain crosseed for an anime adaptation!
I've never ever written a review before, so this will be my first.
There are many things that I want to say about this wonderful manga and the reasons for the which you SHOULD really give it a try if you're still hesitant about reading it or not, but I'll move step by step, just to be clear.
~ STORY: 9
The plot is wonderful and pretty original. I won't go through everything that happens since it's all written in the synopsis but I'm a person who prefers watching anime instead of reading manga. I don't have much time to spend on them and I pretty dislike reading
things myself or waiting for chapters to come out monthly, but as soon as I started 'KARNEVAL', I never once complained about this issue.
So, if you're new to manga, or you're a PRO that eats at breakfast 600 chaps of Naruto, either give it a try.
~ ART: 9
Still better than Shingeki no Kyojin (don't hate me for saying this). I like Mikanagi's drawing style as well as her colouring. I find it pretty original it-self and there's always so much detail in everything she draws. What really gets me are the outfits, the richness in the clothes, always inventing something new to make Tsukumo look more cute and Nai look ... more gay than he actually looks. The action and fighting scenes are absolutely perfect despite I think there's never enough of them (and I loved the fact that the same efficiency was kept in the animation, in the anime's episodes). Character's design is original, and despite in the first volumes the art was pretty 'rough' (pardon me for the term, even if quite inappropriate itself) I still find wonderful, sometimes, comparing the last chapters and the smooth and linear style of them to the 'rough' ones of the beginning. Her progress is amazing, and that's exactly what makes me give a full 9 to the ART.
~ CHARACTERS: 5
By the way, less praise for the characters. Now, I'll make a premise, just to be.. frank. I know that out there there are many people saying that Gareki and Yogi are fabulous together and the most original characters that the world and the entire universe have never seen but, unfortunately (or fortunately), we're humans and we have different opinions.
Actually, I must say that what's mostly delusional about all the potential of this manga, is the fact that we have MCs that have a lot potential, and that in the 70% of the cases, goes to waste. To top it all, all we barely know about the side characters is their favourite dish and their fetishes. I'm not saying that we should know life, death and even miracles of Jiki or Kiichi (because describing it as a sadomasochistic relationship I suppose is enough for all the fans) but it wouldn't be too wrong to know more about Hirato, Akari or Tsukitachi.
The 'Adult line' is never getting enough attention, which is always drawn by the MCs: Gareki, trying to be useful but always ending up useless, good only at being a cool and absolutely not a stereotypical tsundere at Yogi, our yellow/silver prince that sometimes goes yandere because he loses the patch that prevents him to transform into a post-human. And, talking about Yogi, he has wonderful powers, is a far more powerful fighter than his happy tree friends but still NEVER uses them; and so, we get to the wonderful Nai, as useful as a tossed tissue.
Yeah, there's also Karoku-sama, but, hey, he's just Nai's mama and being the son of two important physicians or whatever at the Research Tower is no more important, since it's passed 45 chapters. And here we go with Tsukumo. In the last chapters we got to know her past, her dramatic story, and- yeah, I feel sorry for her but I must admit that after all this time, I can't bring myself to like her.
Apathetic. Too much apathetic. I won't say she's worse than Nagato Yuki. But sometimes, she's worse of Nagato Yuki. I won't dare to compare her to Mikasa from Shingeki no Kyojin.
Of course I still like the main characters, because all in all, they look wonderful together, colourful, they have great interactions and they all look like an happy family despite their dark pasts (even Gareki's).
[Have I already said that they're colourful?]
But I still find many flaws, in this aspect, as I said before.
Karneval is not about the MC. I still believe that no manga nor anime is all about the MC, and I'm saying it because, after 5 years of watching anime and reading manga, I believe I have 'built' a sort of experience.
I really do like the side characters, but I'm always getting this impression, that they never get enough care from the mangaka. There's so much to say about Hirato's and his half-brother's relationship, and all we still know about the two of them is NOTHING. If I wanted a sadistic bastard with no past and a smiling grin all over his face for the whole series, thanks- there's Kuroshitsuji. And I won't talk about the fact that the reasons why Tsukitachi joined CIRCUS and other things about Akari, thing that would give him a damn background, are never told. And, hey, wait.
WHAT THE HECK IS CIRCUS, AGAIN?
~ ENJOYMENT: 8
So, yeah, despite all I've said, I'm FULLY enjoying it and I guess you should at least give it a try because the story goes smooth, there are a few twists and sometimes you may even think: "HEY! WHO'S THIS WEIRDO AND WHY DOES HE KNOW X?". Of course you'll get the answer 30 chaps later or you won't even get an answer, but I still think is part of life even asking questions that would forever being unsolved (like why the Universe is expanding if it's infinite, so it shouldn't be expanding nor restricting but who gives a sheet of paper, that's Karneval we're talking about).
~ OVERALL: 7
What I'm always seeing, chapter by chapter, is a lot of material and potential that is always being wasted. Precious space in panels given to unnecessary information, things said about Varugas and Kafka and other organizations when we barely manage to get a grasp of what the heck is everything about, because maybe it was never told, or maybe we just lost track of it and if we did, it was only because the mangaka thought IT WASN'T so important. So we see random characters appear, holding some grudge against some others or suddenly forgetting about their friends, and after 20 chapters or less we still don't know why (not even a hint on the reason) or we see fillers on fillers in every damn chapter of the MCs doing something like sewing, attending parties, going to the sea and attempting to take back someone’s boxers lost in a hot spring, or complaining about how they miss Gareki, instead of giving space to some explanation of what's happening or, for instance, why some dead people are alive.
And I know that this manga is a shoujo, but what really makes me sick is the fact that I'm always getting this never-ending Yoreki scenes, where the fanservice floods all the way and nothing changes: Yogi jumping Gareki and Gareki always punching him back. So, my problem is not with the gay thing or the slight shounen-ai, because I guess lots of mangaka do that, but if the turn of this manga is to bet everything on fanservice, to sell it more, to the point that sometimes it overcomes the plot, well, let me tell you all right now that it's not working.
Or at least give more attention to other pairings as well.
Karneval is a very original and interesting story filled with many fun moments, you cannot help but become intrigued by the plot-line and the wonderful characters surrounding it. The characters are all interesting in their own ways with their strengths, personalities and even flaws.
The only let down you may have with Karneval is that it can become confusing and difficult to understand in some places (Aka; explanation points) although most people will probably get the gist of it.
If you plan to watch the anime instead (or after reading the manga) you I say go ahead! The anime is almost exactly identical to the
manga, which is a huge bonus in my books. Although the manga is much further in to the story as to be expected.
For a show with no romance, Karneval features a lot of physical affection. Filled with hugs and cuddles, it's still never romantic. The only thing nobody ever does is kiss each other. Not even once. But oddly enough, the grumpiest character in the show is the one who gets *almost* kissed the most.
In Karneval, it's not only fun and games. Circuses in real life are pure fun. The "Circus" in this anime has a different priority: to protect the people no matter what! But true to their name, they also make people smile. Read on for more details.