In a world where every boy and girl has a special power called Iris, Tooru who, as a result of not having any kind of special power from a young age, lives by his motto, "low exposure"—to live without standing out.
But his peaceful school life changes when he receives a certain "confession" from the school's most popular girl, Koyuki. His motto begins to shake!!
The school fantasy that shakes the heart begins with their meeting.
***UPDATE 2: This review is up 'till the 29th chapter. I will update as soon as more chapters come out.
I came across Iris Zero by accident. I was in a desperate search for some new series to look out for, that involves school romances (believe me, I'm really just a sucker for those kinds of stories).
I was in for a shock with this manga. It defies all expectations of a school romance (my expectations, at least), and its flow of story actually gets me hooked. Serious tones balanced with school comedy and a hint of romance keep me interested in Iris Zero, and I am
happy to say that this manga is part of those "hidden treasures" of manga--titles that aren't famous, but have much potential.
Iris Zero revolves around the male protagonist, Mizushima Toru, and his apparent mastery of solving certain mysteries and issues on campus with his friends. This alone differs Iris Zero from other school manga; its uniqueness, however, doesn't end there.
Part of its ingenuity as a series comes from how stories unfold within the manga. Despite being a school manga, Iris Zero gives off a feel of being a serious-toned problem-solving mystery manga--but don't let this turn you off. Like I said, it only gives a "feel;" running along this is comedic moments expected of a school manga, along with short romantic moments that just make you warm inside. The "feel" refers to how Mizushima Toru deals with the problems; it's as if he's a detective! To be honest, this manga is more or less a school-based Detective Conan comedy (without anyone dying, of course).
Another key factor in this manga's potential is its romantic aspect. Being an Iris Zero, our main protagonist is under daily stress, being discriminated and all from the rest of the people with Irises. A chance encounter with Sasamori Koyuki, however, will change his daily life for who knows how long. The slowly unfolding story of a budding romance between these two characters left me warm inside, for the author expertly delivers emotions of mutual feeling between a school idol of sorts and a social introvert cast away by his peers.
With this, Iris Zero leaves room for great expectations and improvement. And with its already existing potential, it comes as to no surprise for me when the day comes that this manga hits the spotlight.
What captivated me the most was the story: it starts off easy, and eventually goes on deeper. With how events flow within the manga, readers won't even notice that the stories already took a serious turn until they notice the change in drawing style. This, along with moments of comedy and heartwarming bits of romance between Mizushima Toru and Sasamori Koyuki (along with other character pairings, of course), make a great story worth looking into.
Art is neat and tidy, which is a plus for me. I guess you won't need much detail for a school manga. But art style teams up with story development to give a unique reading experience, in which the art style itself delivers some story and tone. Another plus for me is the absence of fanservice. For once, I don't see panties and bras within a school campus. And in the case of Iris Zero, it doesn't really need fanservice anymore; the story is enough to catch your attention.
The manga is 27 chapters in, and I must say that I'm not in any way disappointed at how the characters are described within the storyline. The group of friends Mizushima has has now expanded; all members of this group are explained in sufficient--if not great--detail. We get a diverse group of people, all with background stories to boot. The stories explain pretty well their current situation and the reasons behind their mannerisms. It surprises me, however, that the author managed to give color to the characters in a way that they don't seem any different from Mizushima. Our main protagonist is the only Iris Zero on campus (so far), but somehow, his peers don't seem too different from him. If the author was trying to show that all people have burdens, no matter who they are, he is definitely doing a good job at it.
I really enjoy reading this manga. Art is pleasing, story is excellent, and characters are quite vivid (the character part is already a tedious task, given the number of characters currently active in the storyline). Overall, Iris Zero gives a colorful reading experience with its own twists and turns. It's sad, however, that the release of each chapter is quite slow in terms of pace. It also gets inconsistent at times. The story it gives, however, is enough to cope for its faults.
Fellow lovers of school romances will be in for an unexpectedly enjoyable read with Iris Zero. Those who are just looking for a good read won't be disappointed, either; this manga delivers great stories, and it does so with style. I will certainly keep Iris Zero in my watch list for manga.
I was curious as to how this new manga would go and so far, I have been gobsmacked in a very good way!!! Some may think this is another cliched manga where the main character has no special talent or power like everyone else has but in Iris Zero, the story offers an insight to a guy who offers viewers an insight everyone else can't see because of the limits of their irises. Although slow development of the characters emotionally, the characters melt together really well and the excitement of the plot continues to boil inside me, especially Kuga. I can't wait to read more
of the manga very soon!!! :)
This is one of those hidden stories that no one seems to know about, a diamond of a find buried away.
Iris Zero is a high school drama set in a time when humans are slowly evolving to develop eyes that can see more than just the physical world. What sets Iris Zero apart is despite the unique premise, it still brings back themes that we experience in every age (love, jealousy, hate, discrimination, fear, hope) and the author's amazing ability to weave a story together and present it beautifully. The only criticism I can give about the presentation is the fact that it
is given in small arcs from one to the next instead of one grand storyline. Aside from that, the stories themselves are outstanding.
Furthermore, the character development is fantastic. Each arc brings you deeper into the confines of each character, showing you their strong points, their weak points, where they shine and their deepest darkest corners. You will learn to love all of the characters, for both their good points and their flaws.
It's a shame that this manga appears to hitting so many bumps getting chapters updated. It truly is a joy to read and I would not be surprised at all if the popularity of it exploded one day if it ever makes it into an anime.
After catching up to latest chapter of this manga, I can gladly say it is on the right track.
I am really enjoying the story at this point in time. Iris Zero thus far is a supernatural story that focuses on a protagonist who is anything but supernatural. Toru is one of the 1% of the population born as an ordinary person and because of this, he faces discrimination at school everyday. It reminded me of Hana Yori Dango a bit with the amount of indirect bullying that goes on but less angsty with a touch of drama, mystery and romance. It isn't dark but
reveals the consequences of having an Iris. What makes the concept for this story strong is how it works with Irises as plot devices and the development of the characters.
The art is above average, neither stellar or terrible. The panels communicate what they need to without confusion for the most part. The character designs are okay as well.
I think this is one of the other areas where this series truly shines. The way all the characters interact together, Irises included, is fascinating to me. You really believe in the insecurities and troubles of each character and empathize with them. Toru's perception and keen ability to analyze are engaging to follow throughout the story.
Really loving this series so far, 5 volumes and 22 chapters in. Hope it goes the same route as it has thus far. I just it was over so that I knows what happens next.