Alice is a senior high school student who lives with an uncle that spends his time tormenting her everyday. One day, Alice witnesses the death of her uncle by the hands of an assassin called "Kumo" (Japanese for Arachnid). She then falls unconscious, and upon waking up, she finds out that she's in Kumo's house... Now, this Alice who no longer has any family is being raised by the assassin himself..!
There are manga's out there that are enjoyable while at the same time being very lackluster storywise and characterwise: such is the case of Arachnid. Although it was a somewhat enjoyable read, its premise was dull and generic, the characters suffering from the very same issue. It must be said that the action presented is entertaining, as well as the abilities of the characters. Arachnid is mainly an action shōnen, yet it has some dramatic elements as well.
The setting of the story is generic, the highschool girl Alice being tormented by her uncle everyday, until one day she encounters him murdered by an assassin called
"Kumo". After falling unconscious, she wakes up in the very house of the assassin which she will be raised by. While this may seem somewhat interesting setting and character-wise, it doesn't expand on that, rather it just focuses mainly in the action scenes. There is also smut and sex scenes present, which had no purpose in the manga at all, being fan service its goal, which was quite a drawback.
The main problem with the manga is its story and goal: readers are abruptly presented with the assassin and for no apparent reason he decides to train Alice as one. Furthermore, it seems that the protagonist must be killed for a very lackluster reason by a mysterious organization. While story progresses, there is no real goal presented to the reader, rather mainly focusing on the afore-mentioned action scenes as well as the introduction of quite a cast of characters. From the several plot twists that happen throughout the story, most are not hinted at in any way, while at the same time being generic. There are significant issues with the characters as well, but to this I will come back later.
The redeeming aspect of the manga are the battle scenes are interesting to see and how these develop; however, it is soon apparent that these fights can be rather tensionless, as the story is mainly a survival game being Alice its focus, and thus naturally there will be no danger for this character. The fact that sudden power ups were on the order of the day didn't really help it either. There is also the fact of the different abilities of the characters: these have their foundation in the different insects that roam this world, such as spiders, cockroaches, beetles, you name it.
It is certainly interesting to learn all the different abilities of these insects, yet its implementation on the characters are rather unbelievable. Ranging from having glandular secretion of fluids all around the body, or having organs protected by iron plates are such examples. Although amusing, it breaks a bit with the immersion of the story. Nevertheless, it can make fights unpredictable in some cases, particularly when affecting the secondary characters.
The cast of characters in Arachnid is big, especially considering the amount of episodes released: some are interesting, yet the vast majority are archetypes, being demented ones the biggest portion. There is also another problem linked to this: all the different characters are introduced in a very short period to maintain the manga interesting. This has as consequence that these are severely underdeveloped, in addition to reader not having enough time to care at all for the characters. The fact that these had infinite amount of toughness didn't enhance those either. The various motives of these are very lackluster as well, which is a negative aspect.
The protagonist herself is quite the stereotype, being a typical lead who is caring, kind and just. In addition she is quite the overpowered character as well, possessing a natural ability to concentrate immensely, enabling her to learn at an unbelievable speed. The supporting characters and its interactions with these are dull and unrealistic, charters behaviour changing when the plot demanded it.
The art of Arachnid was well done, having a consistent background which was detailed enough: good shading techniques, albeit not outstanding. The panel placements were overall done well, giving the reader a sense of continuity to the narrative. The character's design was varied, yet every femalemale character had similar body builds, being adolescent and huge bodies the respective characteristics. Battle scenes are well drawn, yet never really stood out.
Arachnid was a somewhat enjoyable read, yet it failed miserably in the story and character department, being a goal-less story and generic characters the main culprits. The action scenes, in particular the character's abilities related to insects was its redeeming feature, as it was quite informative, albeit exaggerated in some cases. The fights on its own were fun to see, yet it will become soon apparent that these are tensionless. So do I recommend this manga? Not really, unless you can ignore the lackluster story and characters, or are interested to see the comparisons with insects; otherwise I would stay away from it.
Overall it was a great manga and sadly we won't be able to read about the whole story.
Now to start with the reasons:
Story* - I though it was pretty original, the whole based off of people/assassins acting as insects for and as there type of killing style. Though the whole stuck stuck in the school thing not so much, and I thought it could've been expressed better on to whats happening. Totally loved the mix of Slice-of-life, horror, josei.
(trying to keep this as none spoilery as much as possible).
Art - For the most part the art was very great actually. The characters kinda needed
more distinction or more "pop" though. The reason is because most of them looked the same in my opinion.
Characters - Honestly the characters are pretty much like any other manga you read except with a twist.
Enjoyment - I loved reading it an I wanna read more of it in the future but sadly most likely not going to happen considering the "Writer Murata, Shinya" died.
I liked the manga and I'm going to keep it on my favorites, plus give it a overall rating of 10. Hope you read and enjoy it. I kinda recommend reading the Spin-Off "Caterpillar" first.
Let me start by saying that I really did try to enjoy this manga. Let me follow that statement up by saying that after reading up to the 5th volume that I can't put up with this manga anymore.
Probably one of the few things that kept me reading the manga, it may not be that groundbreaking but it's really well done. Clean edges, nice proportions (a little bit of fan service too) and frankly pretty interesting character design gave this piece a really good look to it. I suppose then that it's a shame that the plot, characters and everything else about this manga
is a poorly written and executed bundle of cliches.
Other than the visual design of the characters, which once again aren't actually groundbreaking in any fashion, they're actually pretty terrible. Many characters in the manga appear in a purely antagonistic fashion and never truly get any sense, reasoning or motive as why they are actually doing the things they are other than the very blank reasoning of "I am with the organization" which got old after the first 4 people turned up and did it. The protag in this case isn't terrible and her reasoning while being extremely flawed and frankly stupid, is at least grounded in an exaggerated reality.
Literally, this is actually most of the reason that I've given the manga such a low score. Poor writing and planning on how to introduce, characterize and flesh-out the more interesting people in the manga lead this to feel like nothing but a mish-mash of interesting plot-hooks and terrible cliches. Reasoning in this world is non-exsistant as many people just straight up do not seem to have any reason to do anything in this world and only seem to be there to push this manga "forward" (where ever that is because in 5 volumes I still don't know what it wants)
Great character design, an interesting premise and strong artistic skills makes me sad that this manga is (in my own opinion, at least) pretty bad.
This manga is so freaken amazing. To tell you the truth this was the first manga have every read with no romance. I just wanna say that if you haven't read this you should you will not be disappointed by the manga the only bad thing is that it update once a month. This story is about a girl who fights to keep her name and to keep on living she must kill.
Story : 8 pionts because it's not common plot like those dinosaurs coming after people.
Art: 8 points. I like that details and how they drew the bugs and people.
points. I like how the main character grew smarter and stronger to help protect herself and people.
Enjoyment: 9 points. Like i said you will not be disapointed.I always wonder how sh will deal with theeole coming after her and how she can save herself.
Overall: 9 points. I just want to say..... stop reading this already and start reading Arachnid gosh you missing out a manga that you will not be mad about but the update.