Upon first glance Allumage might not seem like anything special, but like so many manga and anime, first impressions can be deceiving.
Allumage is a one-shot manga by Okamoto Lynn, who is more well known as the creator of Elfien Lied, and whilst the latter may be a popular manga/anime, Allumage is also deserving of credit. The title (allumage being the French word for ignition), for this one-shot is actually rather significant, as it is relevant not only to a major event in the manga, but is also an inference to the future of the main character.
The story begins with with a young Japanese woman named
Kumiko, who is currently living in Los Angeles as she attempts to begin a career as a Hollywood actress. Unfortunately, her big break has yet to arrive so she currently works behind the scenes as a stuntwoman.
Since this manga is only 55 pages long, I'll stop there so I don't spoil the story.
The artwork in Allumage is very well done. The characters are generally well designed, and attempt has been made to distinguish between Japanese and American features in some areas. The faces are very simply designed, and fairly expressive on the whole, whilst the backgrounds are nicely detailed. Also, there are a few action sequences in this manga that are actually quite well done, if a little simplistic.
As this is a one-shot, there is little scope for character development. However Kumiko is actually quite well realised on the whole, and the manga attempts to explain why she takes action the way she does. Unfortunately, there isn't enough room to develop Kumiko fully, especially given the length of the manga. Also, none of the side characters actually get any development at all, mainly because the story is very firmly about Kumiko and no one else.
That said, Allumage is actually quite enjoyable on the whole. Reading it was like reading a mini version of Die Hard.
This will probably appeal to any fan of action based manga, or to anyone who wants to read a good one-shot that isn't shoujo (believe me, there's a lot of shoujo one-shots).
Allumage is well worth a read if you have the time, as it plays out more like a Hollywood action movie, and may actually work better as an anime (and it's rare that I say that about a manga).
Want a One Shot title that truly feels like a complete story?
The story is about a young Japanese stunt woman striving to become a Hollywood actress, along the course of the story she ends up being given the chance of playing a small role which she sees as an opportunity to improve her career but before she could accept the role she had to first go back to Japan to attend her brother,s wedding. While in Japan, a hotel near the one she's staying at is set aflame by a freak accident and a couple of kids are stuck at the burning building and
this is where it gets really interesting...
A compelling story isn't the only thing that stands out in this title, the artwork is no push over as well, it may not be as good as other titles out there but this is still above average. I personally liked the way the characters' expressions are shown, it has an intense look to them.
By far, this title is perhaps the most satisfactory One Shot I have ever read, it has a great unique story, great artwork, great pace, a great leading character and it really feels like a whole story is complete. It's a must read for anyone looking for a great One Shot title... Trust me you won't be disappointed.
Allumage was a great one-shot. The story was well developed: main character Kumiko is a stunt actress in Hollywood who wants to become a real actress, has the chance but first needs to go to her big brothers wedding back home in Japan. She has always looked up to her brother the hero. That's all I'll write so as to not spoil the story.
The art was expressive and well detailed. You could tell the distinction between the American and Japanese characters. Kumiko was fairly well explained, given the length of the story. However, the other characters didn't have much of an explanation. But, even still
their feelings and general demeanor came across quite nicely. Overall, it was quite enjoyable, a very good one-shot action.