Ageha Yoshina is a self-confident high school student who helps others for a fee. On his way back from a job, he finds a strange calling card with the word "Psyren" imprinted left behind in a phone booth and decides to keep it, unaware of its purpose. The very next day, Ageha discovers that his classmate Sakurako Amamiya has the exact same calling card in her possession. When he questions her, Sakurako asks him to save her, signaling the day his troubles begin.
Confused by the circumstances of this encounter, Ageha realizes something is wrong when Sakurako goes missing. In an attempt to figure out what is happening, he decides to call the number provided on the calling card and is asked a series of questions by a mysterious voice, ending with a final, cryptic question: "Would you like to go to Psyren?" Thus begins two teenagers' participation in a game of life or death within a strange world inhabited by monsters called "Taboo." Granted the ability to use psychic powers known as "PSI," the duo fight to return to the place they call home.
Finally found how to edit my review.
Psyren - one of the best shounens.
Story: It has almost no connection to the beginning, but is very strong and interesting. How is the future changed, a little more about parallel worlds, about reality. And a little more common, than what it used to be. However, the timeline is very good, everything falls in place perfectly. And follows the cause-reaction pattern, witch is very rare these days .
Art: Bleach-like, shounenish, bloody brutality! "Oh, no! He breaks out!" is what you think, when the evil mastermind escapes. You can feel the Doom oozing out of every deadly Psy power! And we have a candidate for Shounen Double Page Whore Award here. When the mangaka gains enough exp (by killing n00bs and drawing manga) we will see OP/GANTZ-like pages. 200+ chapters I think.
Characters: Forget what I wrote, there is an entire new development. It is so intense, that every word I write will be a major spoil. The only cliche that is left is "I will protect you/change the future!". The most important thing is that as the power of the characters grow, so do their mental development. They grow more mature/cocky/greedy/etc. And there is no flashback power ups, no hidden reserves of hidden power. Only the character, his brain, guts and ability to fight/survive/adapt.
Enjoyment - good, very good, the best! The manga is not flawless, but it gives a satisfaction comparable to reading Bleach+Naruto at the same time. Even more. There is no manga that I ENJOY more. Just to be on the safe side - I mean enjoy as "happy, optimistic vibe". There is darker types of enjoyment, but they have no place here. It is rare, but you can't hate even "The bad guys".
Similar - well, you know, GANTZ. And I like both of them.
I think that Psyren has something more. Well being shounen limits the pure violence, blood, gore, nudity, sex and etc., but Psyren has the almost unlimited psy-fi fantasy setting. So if the mangaka has a good imagination (it appears that he has) it can be very interesting after the first year. The story is getting more and more twisted. Same goes for the characters.
Edited. The story really switched gears so I decided to basically re-write this review.
Story: The story begins with your average high school student who finds a calling card. The card is one of the rumored "Psyren" cards and supposedly people who find and use these cards vanish. Yes, towards the beginning of the series the story is kind of a mix between Gantz and Hunter x Hunter. Gantz in the sense that they teleport to strange worlds, fight bad guys/monsters, and return at random times. And HxH in the sense that they all have their own unique fighting techniques that they're naturally good at (like Nen).
However, the story really takes a different direction when they begin to learn the mysteries of the worlds they are transported too. I don't wanna reveal too much, but the story shifts off of that "other-worldly" scenario (which is common in the beginning) and begins to grow into a story much more than that. They learn who is sending them to the other worlds, why they are fighting, and much more. It's a weekly release so you don't have to worry about waiting too long for new chapters (it's also scanlated weekly unlike some series who have releases at random times).
Art: The art is pretty good. The backgrounds can be quite stunning and I enjoy the character designs.
Character: The characters are all unique. As the story goes on, they tend to focus on certain characters, however, the characters we meet in the beginning still play a role in the on-going story (which is nice). We keep finding out more and more as the story goes on.
Enjoyment: Well, I was kinda shocked when the series switched gears. I enjoyed it more in the beginning because it was simple to follow. As my manga list grows and I experience different stories, I tend to find it hard to follow some details in Psyren. Nonetheless, I still love this story and hope it doesn't get cut in WSJ. I'd definitely recommend this story. Just try it out. If you don't like it, then don't continue. After all, we all have our own tastes and opinions.
Psyren is a 16 volume shonen manga that was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2007 to 2010, where it was sadly canceled. It is about a group of teenagers trying to stop the future from being destroyed
While shonen action stories are generally about hype and fights. They generally have a lack of truly major characters, and focus around a loose plot that exists solely to add in as many fights as possible. Shonen is my favorite genre, and I have read/seen 40+ of them, so I mean this as a pure summary of the tropes in the genre.
Psyren, however, focuses on a well written plot with great twists and a, while overpowered, somewhat new energy system. As someone that doesn’t care much for plot stories, Psyren’s plot and twists were good enough to make this manga one of my favorites. On top of that, volume 3 of Psyren has the single most shockingly badass moment I’ve seen in manga in a very, very long time.
I’ve established that Psyren focuses more on plot than most shonen, and that it succeeds in that department. Though Psyren’s plot isn’t the only thing that sets it apart. The protagonist of Psyren, Ageha, is calm, somewhat smart, smooth, is the “sleek” kind of badass and has a cool haircut. Most shonen mains are loud, screaming, comically stupid, food addicts with a death wish, who win every fight by powering up until everything dies. Ageha is a lot like Yusuke Urameshi. While Yusuke may be more memorable, Ageha seems like a more perfected version of the archetype.
The series also has an amazing start, and morphs into something completely different, but just as good. The beginning of the series is a traditional seinen-shonen (A shonen type story but with blood and tragic backstories) that is more or less a really good version of the basic shonen I explained earlier. Around volume 5, it becomes apparent that Psyren is about it’s world and plot. This change eases you in to it’s unique style, while also giving some classic shonen greatness at the beginning.
The unique style isn’t only in the storytelling, but also in the fights. While some fights feel cluttered, and awkward, the way the main power, Psy, is presented, gets serious awesomeness points. Quick warning: Anyone who has not read up to volume 3 of this series should skip to the next paragraph, because I am going to talk about perfected shonen hype. The moment that I fell in love with Psyren was the first use of Melzez’ Door. Hiryu/Kuwabara is emotionally and physically broken. He’s torn by what happened to his friend, and his literally dying. Ageha, pulls out the coolest design I’ve ever seen for a shonen attack and says “Get away from my friend” in what I imagine to be Shirou’s most intense philosophical screaming voice. The way Ageha then slowly develops this power into something far more effective is satisfying as well.
Psyren’s ending, from a pure plot standpoint, along with it’s epicness levels, is fantastic. It’s conclusive, HYPE, romantically satisfying, reasonable and overall a solid conclusion. The problem is, it’s an 8+ volume arc shoved into 2 volumes. As I mentioned earlier, Psyren was cut short early, and forced to rush it’s finale. The amount of characters pre the last 3 volumes was manageable. Each of them was at least some what distinct, and got a good amount of screen time. They all had unique designs as well, which is a plus. But then the mangaka force introduces 10 characters who all have backstories and powers and it’s all shoved down your throat in the span of a single volume and it’s TOO MUCH!
To add, the fights become so cluttered that I feel like I’m looking at a black page. The new designs are all the same, and GOD WHY IS EVERYONE SO STRONG?!?!?!?
While the final fight is absolutely stunning, the bazillion fights between random side characters kills me. It feels like there was such a good ending here and it just fell apart with the rushing of it.
Even with all that, the style and storytelling of Psyren more than make up for it. I find Psyren to be criminally underrated, and in serious need of a 50 episode anime adaptation to make the pacing slower at the end, and make the fights less cluttered. And I just want it to get more exposure. It gets a rock solid 7.75 from me. I highly recommend it to people wanting a more unique take on the shonen formula, along with a great sense of style and surprisingly intense romance. If anyone has read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if anyone reads it because of this post, then I’ve fulfilled my purpose in writing this.
Psyren is a series that I feel is often overlooked by a lot of people due to its lack of popularity. There are a few reasons for this, most of which come from the somewhat confusing plot and story setup. For me, it was a rare type of series that really takes the right sort of mindset to appreciate. I’ll first start on my opinion on the story, which is really the only place I feel the series suffers in some ways.
I wouldn’t call the story “bad”, however, it does lack in a few areas that hold it back from being above average. The problem here is that it’s hard to tell if Psyren identifies as a seinen or a shounen, as it contains familiar story setups from both types of series. You have the typical training arcs and named attacks that those who read shounens are familiar with, however, it has a mature/complex enough plot to be considered seinen-esque. This is a fairly rare mixture, and while I don’t particularly find and fault with it, it does result in some awkward plot sequences. Obviously I can’t get into much here without spoiling the story, but those familiar with it will probably know what I’m talking about.
I don’t really have any problems with the art here; there’s no moe blobs, the characters actually resemble human beings, and the art in general is definitely a step above average. This section of the review is going to be short, because other than saying “it’s above average” there’s not much else to say; it looks good.
After reading the series this is where I feel it shines. Psyren’s character development certainly stands out above other manga. First of all, my opinion of romances that are involved in action manga is simple; either do it right, or don’t do it at all. Fortunately Psyren does it right, and the romantic developments actually amount to something. Not much else to say there. In terms of the character development, I’d say it’s great. I don’t think I can pick out a single character that acts the same way at the start of the series as they did at the end of it, and contrary to other popular series, the characters actually learn from their mistakes.
I’d give the enjoyment a 9/10 here, for me it’s not quite a 10 because there were elements of the story where you kind of had to sit there like “What the… OK then…” and keep reading on. Again, I don’t think it detracts much at all from the reading experience, but I feel like it’s something that I had to note.
An average of the above scores, nothing much else to add here. I’d recommend that if you haven’t read Psyren and you’re OK with seinen elements slipping in to your action series, then give it a try. If you’re wary of that and or don’t like any romance in your reading material; look elsewhere. read more