The story follows a young man named Kazuya Shibuya who receives an anonymous email message out of the blue one day: "Won't you join the Savanna Game?"
The message is an invitation to a state-sanctioned killing game—a deadly role-playing game designed to motivate the inhibited youth of modern Japan. Shibuya and his two friends Kotegawa and Kudou find themselves in bizarre battles that span the space-time continuum, with everything from dragons to the Shinsengumi force of the shogunate era.
I recently got the first volume of this manga and I have to report what I thought it was a waste of time.
When I started reading this manga I had quite good expectations about it, even because the illustration was actually well done and kinda pretty. But going directly to the point, the story begins quite intriguing and then... Ta da!!! It plummets into a sea of stereotypes, clichés and nonsenses.
The story follows a guy named Kazuya Shibuya who receives an anonymous email message out of the blue one day: "Won't you join the Savanna Game?" The message is an invitation to a state-sanctioned
deadly role-playing game. Shibuya and his two friends Jin Kotegawa and Mafumi Kudou join a group (like a party in a MMORPG) to grub a new adventure, each one of them with a different motivation, and eventually they find a lot of dangerous and misteryous situations.
First of all, I really HATE this stupid, retrograde and sexist habit of putting female characters with only healing habilities and of course, as 'kawaii relief' to the story. As a fragile creature that needs to be protected and that is absurdly weak. Don't we fu**ing have too many characters like this already, for heaven's sake? Because seriously, people, it's way too tiring to search for stories that have inclusive adventures to female characters, but that still treat them only as a support character (especially if it is a game theme manga) or as a "men's accessory", because they're only there to show some futile motivations of the male characters and to build a superficial story. Nothing innovative and thoroughly repetitive. Why must women always be portrayed as weak and submissive as if it was something natural? Even if Mafumi is not visually over appealing or sexualized (which is a good thing), she is just another Princess Peach of gaming: passive, weak and helpless.
I would feel amazed if mangakas could understand that girls also love to read adventure mangas and that they do not feel not even a little represented by those old stereotypes.
Second, the cliché. Ah... The cliché... The protagonist isn't intelligent, though it's a very lucky sonofabi**, with a misteryous weapon that can talk and it's cynical. On his side, the super intelligent friend, super skilled and... a super mad killer who can smile like an angel.
Then, use the "role's nonsense power" and you will see in Kazuya the kind of character that magically evolves without much effort. Also, he has a rather questionable logical reasoning. He appears to be the only one to be really worried about killing people, but still happily agrees to participate the game and simply forgets to question the whole thing. Like "omg a game that legally allows people to kill each other! This is so wrong, why people aren't doing something about it..... LET'S PLAY!" Ugh.
The development of story is so superficial and confusing that leaves you with that feeling of always asking yourself: "Wait, I did not understand any of that shit. These people are all really acting like a normal job, waking up and walking super relaxed while facing dragons and psychopathic people just for a little adrenaline in the veins and by a meager amount of money compared to the price of their own lives. Ok..." And I think the bigger problem here is that the expressions are also very superficial and the reaction of the characters does not seem real enough to cause at the reader a sense of reality. Like: they see a dragon, widened their eyes a little and seconds later they are all smiling and happy. It doesn't make sense at all!
As I said earlier, the art is relatively pretty and is really well done. But I dare to say that it is also way too common up to this kind of genre.
I think I've given you an idea so far about the characters, but I can repeat in a word: cliché.
I barely started to read the manga and sincerely feel no mood to continue.
Nope. Nope. NOPE. I've had enough of clichés stories. Besides that laziness that I feel to see another survival manga with the same basic story and the same kind of characters. Anyway, good for those who like. For me, the story is still very weak. Go watch SAO instead or something like that.