Sawa Rakan is a normal high school student living a quiet life alone, tending to his many lush plants. This peace is disrupted when a foreign man and several dangerous creatures suddenly crash into his garden. The man immediately turns his odd plant-like weapon on Rakan, but after seeing it respond to Rakan's touch, his attitude completely changes. The man, Chigusa, declares that Rakan is a precious "sanome," a person who can cultivate plant life at will.
Being the last known sanome, Chigusa vows to protect Rakan at all costs and asks for his support. Chigusa is an infamous outlaw that aims to destroy the "ayame," creatures that siphon life from his dying world, including the current prince who oddly looks exactly like Rakan.
Rakan travels to Chigusa's desert world that is filled with despondent people, strange creatures, spirits, and magic. Along the way, they gather more followers and supporters in their quest to return green to the barren, decaying land.
This is honestly a pretty lackluster series. It's another one of those guilty pleasure reads, terrible writing carried only by merit of h o m o s e x u a l m a i n c o u p l e. But then why am I writing a review for this? Well, if we sort all manga by "has decent non-angst-driven non-romance plot" and "ample h o m o s e x y," in the tiny little almost nonexistent sliver of overlap, Silver Diamond soars to the top.
Remember, kids, define your market and you will succeed, even when you shouldn't.
Ever since a young age, watching anime and doing related activities was already the norm for me. I have watched, read and experienced many different types of genres from mainstreams such as One Piece and Attack on Titan, Shoujo anime including idol and magical girl concepts, darker themes such as Death Note and many lesser known titles and classics such as Taishou Yakyuu Musume, and even both Yaoi and Yuri, including the good and terrible titles. Even so, I can confidently say that Silver Diamond is the most thought-provoking, tear-jerking, exhilarating roller-coaster ride and beautiful manga that I have ever read.
Honestly, I went ahead
and read Silver Diamond expecting a trashy, but lengthy BL because I ran out of stuff to read, but my expectations were blown out of the water by how amazing the story surpassed many adventure anime/manga I have read thus far.
Although the complexity of the story relies on heavy dialogue which was somewhat intimidating, it was necessary for the story that the author often had to recap the events that happened in the manga.
No, I'm not being biased or lenient just because Silver Diamond was written around 14 years ago, even compared to today's standards it still deserves a high score for art. It's only natural it'd progressively get better as well since the manga ran for a long time. As an adventure story that focuses on a mystique and alluring fantasy-world, the backgrounds were so stunning and detailed that I often take a moment to pause and simply admire the art.
There was a large cast of characters, even so, my favourite is still the main protagonist - Rakan Sawa. As a normal person born in a normal world such as ours, his views and morality often clash with those in the other world, especially when it comes to death and/or murder. It was nice to see the others change due to his influence, and his persistence for goodness and justice is something I will value for a long time.
Not to mention that each character was necessary and taking even one out would change the outcome of the story drastically. Also, Rakan's relationship with Chigusa whom he brings back to his world was written amazingly well. Although Silver Diamond is classified as Shounen Ai, it's actually somewhat misleading, especially how off-putting it is to most people when they see it. More often than not, most would believe the item they are viewing contains fan-service or the device is used as click-bait. The fact is that the relationship that occurs between Rakan and Chigusa which could be interpreted as romantic, but their bond extends much further that; it's actually somewhat difficult to explain with words.
Honestly, I feel like I can connect to this author so much that I'm not even surprised we share the same birthday and was so happy with the way everything turned out, especially the author's philosophical view that is indicated in her work. The overflowing amount of love put into this manga, to bring this story to life, was almost palpable.
Thank you, Shiho Sugiura, for this beautifully written masterpiece.
I honestly felt the strongest need to write this review since I adore this manga so much. Often the Shounen Ai genre is overlooked and not taken very seriously which is why it's really great that there are mangas like Silver Diamond out there to show that great manga can come from anywhere. I can't imagine anyone ever really regretting reading this.
It's kind of hard to believe that Shiho Sugiura didn't plan every part of the manga before it was released. It had that feeling of being meticulously planned out to play out so well. Although the pacing sped up as the series went
on, I think this worked more in it's favour instead of becoming rushed like it could have.
A few people thought the ending could have been better and usually I am pretty picky about how stories should end but in this case I think things were settled nicely with a sense of hope for the character's and an openness to their futures. It's definitely not a bad ending although maybe not as final as some people might want.
My one and only complaint about the story is of course that I wanted the relationship between Chigusa and Rakan to be... more defined? It's not like I was looking for anyrhing explicit and they certainly have very strong feelings but... I can't help wanting more. The dynamics were just so perfect that you can't help but want more out of it!
The art in this is so captivating... Ah the drawings are just so pretty to look at but don't take away from the story focus at all. There are some little extras that the mangaka put in volumes every so often and one has detailing on the screen tones used... Ah I couldn't help but being fascinated due to my nerd status.
The character designs are really well done too. It's hard to get confused between characters despite there being so many of them. I find that this can be something a lot of mangakas struggle with but I was really glad that wasn't the case here. Each character is easy to identify and unique. Not to mention so beautiful!
Speaking of the characters... I don't really think they could have been made any better. The main four guys (Rakan, Chigusa, Narushige and Tohji) are all really interesting with diverse personalities. Even with their lighthearted behaviour they all have something to struggle with and these internal conflicts make them so easy to connect with.
Not to mention the supporting cast... somehow each and every one of them feels unique and it's hard to call them minor characters when they often feel just as important as the mains. They all come together really well to create vital scenes and without one another the characters wouldn't truly develop properly. Chigusa in particular becomes more complex as the series goes on and his character develops without you even noticing...
One thing I often find in this particular genre is some sadly unlikeable and unrealistic female characters but in Silver Diamond, although there is few, the girls really are perfectly made. Karaku, Sae, Rinrai and Shigeyuki are all unique and interesting characters with their own complex backgrounds. I wish I had seen a bit more of them all but they were perfectly placed in the story.
I think I've made my point. Silver Diamond is extremely enjoyable. It's up there with other 'mainstream' manga and easily one of my favourites. I've read it a few times actually and with the length of it, I'm not just doing it because it was 'okay.'
Please just go read it. Or if you've come here because you've already read it than go sob about it being over for half an hour before trying to move on.
Okay, I think Silver Diamond is AWESOME. It's lengthy but its for the development so I think it's ok and when I got to the end I was really sad because such an awesome story ended...Oh well moving on.
It's very well thought out. I get the feeling as if the whole story was planned right from the start and it won't leave anything hanging (or at least that was it for me. Maybe i forgot about something...) There are some really good plot twists which you probably won't see coming, not with the fantasy theme of the story. It's really fun reading it IMO.
I must say, the characters are all really handsome, or rather pretty since they are bishounens (hehe) and the background and the other stuff was really pretty too, really fantasy-like.
Characters are well developed. I don't really know what to say but they are really awesome.
The plot was amazing and I really really loved this story.The only thing, if I were to pick on would be that in the later part of the story, there are certain places where there are a ton to read and not much pictures if i am not wrong. But it is necessary so i can't really say anything about that can I?
Like I said, I really love the story so I will give it a 10 :)
Btw , I don't think all the chapters are out in English yet so if you can read Chinese you can go and find the rest of the chinese-translated chapters. Or you could just read the whole thing in Chinese from the start.
Thanks for spending time and reading my review. :DD