Mai is silly, giggly, and flirtatious - just like any other cute fourteen-year-old girl. As far as Mai is concerned, her telekinetic abilities are just good for practical jokes. But when the secret organization known as the Wisdom Alliance tries to exploit her as a weapon to enslave the world, her father puts his life on the line to protect her. And Mai soon learns the hard way that her powers are no joke, but capable of unbelievable, deadly force!
Mai was first published in comic book format as Mai the Psychic Girl by VIZ Media in VIZ Eclipse International Biweekly, running for a total of 28 issues, from 1987 to 1988. It was later released in graphic novel format both by Titan Books from May 1989 to December 1989, and by VIZ Media in October 1990, both four volumes long. From December 1, 1995 to February 1, 1996, VIZ Media rereleased the series as a VIZ Graphic Novel Perfect Collection title.
Well, I first got to say that the saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover" is actually true. When I first clicked it out of curiosity in http://www.mangafox.com, I looked at the picture for the cover, and the closed the window right away. I was one of those people who would first look at the picture, and if it looked old, or wasn't there at all, I wouldn't even bother to look at the description of the manga.
However, later that day, I somehow wanted to read something new, and something that had some supernatural powers involved... and one that wasn't all that
light and humorous. I randomly typed in "psychic" in the title box to see what mangas would come out... and this was the one I was looking for. I first reluctantly started reading the description, and found that this would actually be quiet interesting. I finished this series in one sitting.
This series made me cry in some scenes. The author really takes the reader on the journey of this girl who faces society and views the world in a completely different way from a normal citizen, like me. People, who thought that supernatural powers were all great abilities to have, would change their mind after reading this. This manga really brings out the darkness in these abilities.
Artwork is the old type. Well, of course, since it was published about 25 years ago. I do not really like the mangas that were drawn long ago, especially the ones with huge glittery eyes and long eyelashes. However, the storyline really makes up for this. People get really drawn to the story. I even forgot the time, and missed dinner. That is how much I fell in love with this manga.
Mai the Psychic girl without a doubt is one the the strangest manga series I have encountered so far, and there are times where it doesn’t make much sense to me either. And I have came arcoss some pretty strange series that at least make better sense than what Mai tries to tell.
Story: The story starts off pretty decent. You have Mai who happens to be a pretty normal kid except she happens to have psychic powers. An evil organization working behind the sense trying to collect all the kids in the world with psychic powers for their master plan. Eventually the organization goes after
Mai because of power. So far it seams all fine and dandy, but as it continues things tend to get downright bizarre at times to me. An example (if I remember all of this right) would be the one giant, almost naked, monster-like dude who they sent after to kill Mai, who later he is wearing clothes while driving a truck, helps out Mai and we later find out he happens to be the son of the one old guy as he was a victim in some short of failed experiment or something.......I really fail to see the logic in all of that.
I find the enemy’s master plan on creating a perfect world kinda dumb, and Mai’s role in it makes it seam even more ridiculous. Please also bear in mind that this was also written during the era of the Cold War (you should have been paying attention in History Class if you don’t know about it), because knowing when this was made might help you understand things a little better, especially about the enemy’s plan. The ending I felt was alright, but could have probably been much better. I feel like a topless Mai flying around was unnecessary though, I felt like the artist threw it it as nothing more than fanservice, but then again i’m just pleased there wasn’t much fanservice in this series to begin with. Theres enough strange crap going on in this as it is.
Art: What baffles me about the art is that it looks realistic, yet at the same time its not. Its drawn with a style that is very similar to the comic books here in the US, but in the form of manga, which I find quite interesting. What I don’t like is how, even though it tries to be realistic, theres a bunch of strange-looking people running around in this series, which kills the realistic-ness of the art. it also doesn’t help that to me the people seam pretty stiff as times because of how they are drawn, perhaps this is just because i’m used to seeing so many other manga artists having such a nice flowy feel in their art unlike here.
Character: Thoughout the series you see a change in Mai as she grows and matures, as well as some of the other characters, but as mentioned, theres some pretty odd people in this series.
Its also not very often when somebody manages to create a character in either manga or anime who truly scares me or creeps me out. Yet here we have german girl, Garten, with a very twisted mind who also has psychic powers, and can kill with ease, and boy does she really give me the willies! She scares me as much as Light Yagami from Death Note. So she is definitely someone you really don’t want to mess with!
Enjoyment: Enjoyable to read? Kinda. I found this series pretty amusing for the most part. It managed to grab and maintain my interest better than some of the other series i've read in the past. Theres many series out there I found much more enjoyable. I thought Mai’s battle against the Garten the most enjoyable part of the whole thing. But overall, I thought this series is pretty mediocre.
(One thing I thought was interesting was how the artist managed to throw in a Mickey Mouse plush toy and an apron with Garfield on it in here. Now that you know that, and if you want to read this, you now know some Easter eggs to look for.)
If you're bored, willing to read just about anything, looking for a short series to kill some time, Mai the Psychic girl wouldn’t be a bad series to pass the time with. But if your looking for a series with a more interesting plot, better art, and a series that makes better sense with all of its strange logic, keep looking elsewhere.
Story: Overall the story has an excellent plot with a lot of tensions and build ups. The beginning will give you the impression that the story is light and easygoing. But things will turn around and becomes dark as the story goes on. The Wisdom Alliance, the main villain in this manga, is similar to NWO except they want to destroy the world. They want to capture Mai and use her for their plans. The main plot of the story is about Mai trying to escape the Wisdom Alliance and live a normal life.
I don't know how to put a lot of words for
the plot but it is well written overall. There are some problems though. Some parts felt rush, for example, Keida was evil at first but turns good in the story all of the sudden. There is no explanation for this. Everyone in this story knows martial arts. This part made no sense. The main reason why I didn't give the story an 8 is because of how it ends which I can't tell. Also, the plot is pretty ordinary since there are many manga with similar plot. For a story that involves evil organization, this manga lacks action and fights. Too much running away and talking.
Art: I would rate this part past 10 if MAL could let me. Should've been a 20/10. This manga has the best art I've seen for a manga. Everything is drawn in strict details. As a manga doujinshi artist myself, I see no errors in any of the drawings, not a single one. No accidental mistakes like missing parts either. The art is very realistic to the point that I feel like I'm reading a live action instead of a typical manga. I can see the characters as if they were real because of the perfect realism of the art. The shades and the coloring were outstanding, one of the best I've seen. This is the main reason why I picked up this manga to read. If it wasn't for the exceptional artwork, I'll probably pass over it as another ordinary action manga and would not read it. Small problems I found in art, nothing too serious. The three psychic boys were drawn in very stereotypical ways. The American boy would have a shirt that has America on it. The Mongolian psychic would be depicted as fat, dumb, bulky, and glutonnous. The Vietnamese boy is depicted as having squinted eyes and being a little over 1 feet tall. The way these boys are depicted are what Japanese think of Americans, Mongolians, and Vietnamese at the time. The stereotype was pretty obvious. It is also a little offensive but not too much. Also, the reviewer who says there are strangely looking people in the story, I only saw three compare to many characters.
Character: Mai is the best character in the story, she was a happy, careless 14 year old at first. She developed and mature as the story goes by. By the end, she became a responsible girl who cared not only herself but for the entire world. Mai has the best character development in the story. You can feel her emotions and you know what she wants in the story. The manga makes it as if you are reading about the story of an actual person. This is how good the characters are developed. You have will have great feelings for Mai. Other characters, you don't care as much. Not only is Mai developed in her personality, but also her control of her own powers. She was careless with it at first but eventually knows how to have complete control over her powers. A thing I don't like is that Mai is way too passive with her powers when dealing with people who would want her dead. There is no point in the manga that shows her using full power. For example, she should've blown the two psychic boys trying to kill her to bits instead of letting them chase her. She could do this effortlessly given that she is the most powerful character in the manga.
Enjoyment: I find this manga very enjoyable. You will love to follow Mai in her struggles and adventures. You will find the action lacking for this type of genre. Like I said above, she isn't using her powers enough. This feels more like one of those movies about someone escaping from a villain. The manga is still enjoyable. I also like the nostalgia factor of this anime. Remember seeing this manga at a manga shop long ago, but too bad I don't understand English at the time.
Overall: I give this manga an 9, the story needs more action and Mai using deadly powers not just tiny ones. The plot is well written though. Some racism is depicted, not verbally, but how the boys were drawn. The characters were normal, but Mai was very developed. Art is beyond excellent. This manga I would love to reread. Very enjoyable. I would produce a doujinshi out of Mai and post it on deviantart when I have time. It would be a fan sequel.