Haiba Sumio is a student at a Tokyo High School with an interesting ability... He occasionally falls asleep and wakes up with premonitions of the future written out on his "Dream Diary." With this ability, Sumio helps out people in trouble before anything bad happens, until one day when his peaceful life completely changes.
Strange powers, creepy phenomena, sadistic games- it's all been done before. Still, this particular spin on the concept is fast paced, well drawn, and perfect for Shonen Jump. Lots of other manga of this type can become tedious due to overly complicated, slow story lines. Not Enigma. This story is fast paced and stays that way through all the chapters that have been released. It's not too predictable, and the puzzles the characters must solve are neither painful to read nor cheap. The art is pretty standard, although the main character's design is a nice twist on the standard hero. There's a pretty obvious dark theme running through the art, but the whole thing is moving too fast to conjure up a thick atmosphere. Several characters personalities have been archetypes so far, especially the childhood friend. Even so, the characters are likable, and the mangaka is smart enough to jump right into the action without wasting too much time trying to endear them to the reader. When she does focus on making them likable it works well enough, if not exceptionally. All in all, this manga is a good read if you're looking for a shonen series that's a bit outside the norm. So far, it reads more like psyren than Death Note, but for some people that will be great. This seems like a title that would be excellent for marathons, given the frequent cliffhangers and quick pace.read more
Do you know those stories that have many suspenseful and tragic things happen to a bunch of people by a game loving criminal? you know, those that focus their story on betrayal and other psychological problems of a cornered human?.... well, enigma isn't one of them. if you read the first chapters, you might find yourself relating it to those kind of mangas, but after all, this is a manga serialized in shounen jump and it has all the elements a jump manga needs. enigma is a manga that is read more like psyren, or other supernatural mystery mangas.
The story in enigma is well done, the plot twists leave you wanting more after you read every chapter and they're pretty frequent, but that's all that they do, you don't get really shocked after every twist and you won't get the complete feeling of anticipation that is a highlight of mystery mangas. the story is pretty linear in the beginning and it starts out with haiba (the paratogonist) and his friends being thrown into a game called e-test by a mysterious individual called enigma, basically, most of the progression in this particular arc goes into introducing every character and it's past in an individual puzzle that brings out their ability. the puzzles are fine, you can't really guess how to solve them, but they're actually not that complicated or genius, the best way to describe them is just "okay", (which is pretty amazing by itself considering most of the other shounen mysteries), there always is an element of surprise in them, but the fact that they are all designed to be solved with the characters' abilities makes them look a bit dull. and the characters' abilities themselves are overally interesting and they won't atleast go under the standards of a normal shounen, which really helps the enjoyment of reading.
as the number of chapters increase and we approach the end of the e-test, the plot starts to thicken and the focus shifts from the characters to the actual plot by adding a few twist and turns to what we already know and introducing enigma's identity. from here the story begins to become more interesting and while still being able to maintain the dark atmosphere it had throughout the test, it begins to tie the events to the outside world. with doing that, it provides the readers with a much more expanded view of the world in the manga and it makes the story more intriguing...
with that being said, although this series has a really dark atmosphere. it doesn't provide as much complexity in the plot, so if you're looking for something to blow your mind with twisted-ness, then you'd better not pick this up.
The art is definitely distinctive, it even has a few new ways to go about illustrating main characters (the first main character's design is one of the most different main character designs i've ever seen comparing to other shounens). the art style really fits the dark theme, and with good use of creepy shadows and designs (like enigma, being a skeleton with the jaw-bone being connected the other way around, or the creepy "enemy" called cannibal). it's definitely a unique art style with colourful characters, but i think the character actions aren't that varied, most of the time i see characters looking exactly the same with the same pose, doing the same thing. and sometimes they look a bit.... stiff, but that starts to change chapter by chapter as the mangaka gets better with each release...
Unique designs of the characters are a highlight, but in terms of personality and background they are mostly archtypes and except a few of them, the rest have all been done before, but again the mangaka makes good use of them and with the help of unique abilities she makes them fun and enjoyable. the other characters that HAVE unique personality and backgrounds are nicely done too, so i guess the characters qualify as a good cast of a shounen manga.
As i said before, this manga doesn't get you bored at all, but it won't make you shiver with excitement either. it has the content to attract every type of readers and make them stick with it for a while, so if you are in doubt about reading it or not, i'd say read it! it provides more than enough enjoyment for you to be worthy of your time and it won't dissapoint you.
Basically, it's not "freaking ground breaking" but it is a great manga and one of the ones that you should not miss. i'll give it a 8 because i really enjoyed reading it up until now and it still is continuing to improve.
NOTE: more updates will be here if the story takes another turn...read more