In the big city, drug crimes run rampant. Eto Kai and Kurabayashi Haru are two newcomer investigators who fight against them. In order to save the people from modern society, poisoned with drugs, the two turn to face an invisible enemy...
Volume 5: Drug Hunter (prototype)
People tend to forget a lot of important stuff in this manga but still, it works. It works out great actually. I read it in two looong sessions and nearly overslept today because of that (nearly!).
The story focuses on two different main themes - drugs on the one hand and amnesia on the other. It starts off showing us two rookies at the Matori department. Seemingly unrelated cases force them to dig deeper and deeper through the rubbish of the underworld and thus they find themselves mixed up in events related to both their pasts.
Soon you get the feeling that you're
reading on to something huge - a mystery one of the two wants to solve at all costs and the other one wants to remain unsolved, no matter what. This conflict and the questions arising from it make for a very good teaser that carries you through the story. You're just damn curious to discover what the links in Hal's and Kai's pasts are and what exactly happened to them. You know that it was bad, you know that everybody wants to know and you want to be the one finding out.
And maybe that's the problem. In my opinion the manga was too long. Not that I didn't like it but there were cases I just wanted to be over because they weren't focusing on the main plot. I read them drumming my fingers and thinking "Who cares? There are much mure interesting questions to answer."
Also when things were coming to an end I asked myself ... "Not that many chapters left. Where is the great big bang? Shouldn't they get started on it already?" But in the end they did it just well. It was well-placed and it was fitting - which was not necessarily to expect, 'cause from my experience stories containing one big mystery often tend to come up with an unreasonable or even illogical solution at the end. This one wasn't. It was nice and I really liked the last few pages - especially the third-last one ;)
Art is kind of a weak point. The characters themselves are well-drawn, but sometimes it's just too hard to tell them apart. Especially concerning supporting characters who only appear for a few chapters. I don't want to have a hard time guessing who's who - especially not when I have to focus on who did what and who could be suspicious, too. So that spoiled the fun a little.
That's the big plus! The characters were really really well thought out. Both main characters are interesting, none of them was unnerving. They are the exact opposites from each other but still likeable ... each one in their own kind of way.
Plus you get a bunch of other interesting supporting characters - first of all police officer Narita and Hiki, the chief of Matori's section one. All of them make independent personalities with their own problems in past and present - and of course a connection to Switch, the mystery all of this is about.
Yep, I enjoyed it - evertytime I could securely tell who is who and that this whole thing was leading somewhere.
Overall: I'd give it an 8.
It has typical cop manga elements mixed with interesting characters, solid background stories and a handful of plot lines that add up to an a bit too long-awaited, but nonetheless compelling end.
So I was just going through mangas, searching for something interesting and I happen to come across this picture of these two guys.I was mostly attracted to the the art and just by that I grabbed my chance to read the synopsis.It didn't take me much time to convince that this one was a Must.Read criteria.I haven't had much experience reading mangas which are action packed but this one took me on one hell of a ride.
This story follows around Kai Eto who has just joined Narcotics Control Division in Japan.He is sweet,kind and cheerful person .But behind that gentleness something much darker is hidden.His
partner Hal Kurabyashi is known as the 'brilliant new investigator' to most of the Drug Enforcement Division.Together they both fight drug crimes to save many human lives.
Switch could easily be an astonishing manga if it had better art.
The story is very good, especially when it comes to the main plot concerning the 2 protagonists and their past. There is suspense and as you get closer to the end you'll have already gotten pretty invested in those characters (the two main ones, that is) so the climax is all the more intense. My main complaint with the story would be the filler chapters. There's quite a lot of it, and in pivotal moments too. For example, I remember reaching a cliffhanger at some point and after that the next couple of chapters
were focusing on some totally random sidekicks that totally killed the momentum. By the time it got back to the main story my enthusiasm had died down again.
That's also my other complaint with Switch, the characters. There's too many side-characters, a few of them important to the story, but the majority of them are just there. You just get introduced to them in a chapter with just essential info about them and before you actually learn more about them they're out again. I found it hard to care about any of them, besides the two main characters and a couple of characters that were involved to their past.
Then again, I might have been more interested in the side-characters if I could actually tell them apart from each other! This is Switch's weak point for me, the art. Besides a few woman characters (who are actually, *very* few) who you can easily recognize, pretty much every male character corresponds to one of 3 or 4 at most different character designs. That cop with his little beard would probably be the most easy to recognize, because of the beard exactly; he had a distinctive feature.
The art in general is a mess. It looks very rough, as in "a rough, incomplete sketch". It looks "dirty", and not in an intentional way, not as if it's there to invoke a certain atmosphere. The good thing is that around chapter 30 it all gets better, the designs are much cleaner and with more depth. Until you reach that chapter though, you'll have to brace yourselves...
I could have even let the filler arcs slide if it weren't for the bad art. If there was something that ruined my enjoyment of the manga was that alone. I had watched the OVA first and then read a couple of chapters and I was pretty hooked on the main characters alone (Etō Kai more specifically) so I didn't really want to drop this. But I found myself struggling to continue. I actually pressured myself to keep reading sometimes. Like I said, around chapter 30 it all got easier with the improvement in the art. After that, it was pretty enjoyable, I have to say.
My recommendation would be to check a few pages of some of the first chapters without reading anything, just to check the art. Then do the same for some pages of chapter 30 or later to see the difference. If the art is something you can live with, then the story is definitely worth it. But if the art is displeasing to your eye, maybe you shouldn't try this at all. If I hadn't watched the OVA (which had great art, of course) and liked the story already, I would have dropped this very quickly.
I picked up switch at my small town bookstore since I was going away from home for a few weeks on my own and I though it would a good idea to stock up on new books. I picked switch as my reading material because it had no mention of female characters on it and I have learned to hate series that center around female characters. The art looked pretty interesting but the story had me meh. But wait.
After reading about 4 volumes or so I was (excuse the bad pun) addicted to this series. Switch is stunning.
The background art, the character's personalities, the original storyline... all just magnificent.
I'll have to say, from the start switch wasn't looking so good. Naked ape's art wasn't the best and switch is a manga more on the realistic side so none of the characters had wacky multicolored sticky-up-against-gravity hair that you can identify them by. This, as well as sloppy panel planning makes it very hard to interpret for some people. I say some, since my friend had no trouble following it. But the art improves more then you'd believe as the story progresses so at about the 3rd volume point, you should have no problem identifying who's who.
As far as the storyline goes, it's a lot deeper then the back of the book gives it credit for. Our two protagonists, Kai and Hal are rookie investigators at the NCD. They're drug cops; narcs. Though what at first seems like they're just busting small fries, there's really more to it all then it seems. A powerful drug-smuggling fictional Chinese mafia known as the the Ryugen want Kai and Hal for something huge... Something to do with their pasts.
The main character Kai is also very different. He has a "switch"-like personality that turns him into a killing machine whenever he, or is friends are in danger. This also folds out to be a bigger problem then it seems.
I'm 11 volumes in and I'm enjoying this series a ton. Sometimes it has you begging for more, screaming at the book itself over a character, or even moved to tears. All of the characters are memorable and the two female characters are highly tolerable, and even funny. Though totally serious at times switch can make wonderful comedy parts. Also, it does have some Boy's Love elements at times so anyone into such will probably enjoy it very much.
I'd recommend this series to anyone. :)