When Akira Miyamoto learns that his older brother, Atsushi, is missing, his family begins to fall apart. The family business fails, and his father becomes an alcoholic. His two parents constantly compare Akira to Atsushi. Worse, Akira has a crush on a girl named Yuki, who already has a boyfriend, his friend Ken.
One day, Akira finds a girl unconscious in front of his house. The girl, Rei Aoyama, shows Akira Atsushi's ID card, claiming that Atsushi is alive. Rei explains that Atsushi is trapped on Higanjima Island, said to be inhabited by vampires. Akira invites his friends to help his brother, under the guise of a vacation to celebrate their graduation.
Upon arrival, vampires attack their boat and capture all of them except Rei. However, Akira escapes with his friends before vampires can drain their blood. On the island, he meets with Atsushi, who explains that the vampires are led by Miyabi, another vampire. Trained by Atsushi, Akira and his friends begin the battle against Miyabi and his vampire army in order to escape the island alive.
Higanjima is a horror/action manga about a bunch of people going to a island with a bunch vampires. I read almost half of the manga so my insight.
Let's first state the vampirism rules from this story: The vampires aren't killed by sunlight and only can be killed damaging their brains. To became a vampire, you must be infected by their blood. Vampires need blood so they can halt a mutation that can transform them into demons (A powerful creature, but without inteligence). They apparently have bad eyesight and good nose, but, besides the beginning of the manga, this never is brought up again. They also
can make their hair go white if excited, but we never see this apart from the beginning. (Considerating all vampires also wear hats or are bald, this it's difficult to know by certain)
Despite the manga being labeled a seinen, the plot really like a generic shonen. I guess is just a seinen because of the violence and nudes.
It's pretty much, our main cast trying to defeat our main antagonists.
The art is nice. The gore stuff are very detailed and I love the design of the demons and vampires, despite being kind simple, it's creepy. I think very noticeable is that the mangaka has probably issues to draw the caracters differently. You can see this when the main cast spend 8 months in the island and apparently wear the same clothes or Rei and her CannotRemoveMakeUp wearing the same outfit even in flashbacks! (Kind funny seeing everyone wearing kimonos and she's there wearing a jacket and dress).
All background characters are just the same character draw over and over.
Also another issue is, because this a seinen you'll see a lot female nudes, but is it really necessary show, everytime a vampire bite someone, the person pissing themselves? I get the point in the first times, but this happen everytime! I think the mangaka has a piss fetiche.
The Main Cast is pretty much:
Akira, the main character, his job is to be Emiya Shirou and constantly cry because he want to save everyone, but he can't. Interesting thing: in the beginning of the manga is stated he's very smart and very perceptive, he can pick up stuff that no one can't (Like knowing if someone is lying or predict the vampire would escape the car)...this is never brought up again.
Kato, he's the brawl, but he never fight against the vampires so he's useless.
Nishyama, he's the brains, he's job his to give random informations for the reader.
Ken, he's the comic relief...
Yuki, she's the girl of the story. Her job is to be the Damsel in Distress.
Pon, he brought a gun and give character development to Akira.
Atsuhi, he's the badass brother. He's there to save everyone, because everyone is useless.
Miyabi, he's the antagonist...He's evil.
The character don't have much deepness, they are pretty much how I described them. No one actually has a character development or get strong, besides our main character.
Another issue I have with this manga is every chapter he does a recap of 1 or 2 pages about what happened in the previous chapter. It's very weird if you have the physical copy and you see the previous chapter on the right and the next chapter on the left. You can even notice he recycle some panels!
Sometimes I think the mangaka think the reader has amnesia. In some point of the plot, it's revealed a character became a vampire. Problem? We already knew about it, but the manga treat this like is some big revelation. Even the main cast treat like it was a big revelation despite they saw the character being infected!
Well, my overall until now is 4. If you like high violence and cool action scenes you will probably like more.
Despite this, I'll still try to read this. I mean, I have no hope the manga will get better, but I want to see how much the mangaka can stretch this story. It's 33 volumes, and this is just season 1! It also have a sequel with 16 volumes and another sequel with 14 volumes until today (2018)!
PS: This manga make me research if Katanas can cut metal. ProTip: They can't.
The story had potential, but it is ruined by idiotic characters. A group of people fought against a vampire, most were so scared that they froze in place, and some soiled themselves. Somehow, they were able to kill the vampire. However, some suspicious girl told them that there were two more in an island holding one of their friends. They decide to go to the island, not fully armed. The mc knew the girl was lying about the number of vampires, but did not think to mentioned it once to his group. There is no point to continue explaining
what happened next. Over 20 chapters of reading, not one intelligent person in the group. The story is a good example of natural selection.
Alright, this manga wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Judging from the first 20-30 chapters it's all about struggling to survive on an island full of vampires. After the timeskip, though, it quickly turns to actually battling the vampires and taking back the island, which is certainly an interesting turn. Let's break this down, shall we?
The story is fairly simple and easy to follow, though some moments are questionable and underwritten. For example, Pon's handgun: why did Pon, being the character that he is, never got scared to the point of using the handgun himself when he clearly should've been? Or, the student gathering for
the trip to the island felt weird to me, because all the people that knew they're going to fight vampires are severely underequipped for that kind of task. I get why the rest of the students didn't bring anything to fight with, but the main characters? That seemed really weird to me. Speaking of weird, why was it necessary to, spoilers, bring the vampires from the village and Kyoko into the scene where Akira alone is supposed to show his resolve to end his brother's life? Seemed like tear-jerking for the sake of tear-jerking. But other than those three moments, nothing really stands out as a major flaw, so I'd give the story a 7/10.
The art is fantastic, nothing much to say really. I loved the artstyle the author was going for, the character design is awesome (Miyabi particularly stands out to me), disgusting scenes are actually disgusting and uncomfortable to look at, everything's as it's supposed to be. 9/10
Alright, this is where the manga kind of falls flat in my opinion. Basically no one besides Akira gets any real character development (which is a shame since that includes most of the main cast), and the villain's motivations are unclear (at least so far). Why does he hate the humans? Why did he hate his family, besides being a wuss about how he's different from them? What happened to him that made him this way in the first place? I really hope there will be answers for these questions later in the manga, since I really like Miyabi and I think he could potentially be a great villain if the author expands on him a little bit more. Also, going back to Pon, why does Pon only serve to develop Akira as a character and not a character himself? Seems like a nitpick, but I feel like this kind of character would greatly benefit from having actual development in this kind of story with this kind of atmosphere. Nishiyama is a blank slate of a character, Katou is comic relief. The only ones who stand out to me from the main cast are Atsushi, Akira, Ken-chan and Yuki, and even then Ken-chan and Yuki are kind of questionable in that regard. Overall, I'd give the characters a 5/10.
Edit: by the end of the manga, they gave some character development to Yuki, Ken-chan and Miyabi himself, which I appreciate, so I'm willing to bump up the score to a 6/10.
Despite its' flaws, I greatly enjoyed the manga. I really liked the atmosphere the island gave off of itself, felt really unique and interesting to me. 8/10
For me it was an 8/10, a very nice read, despite its' flaws. If you look at it objevtively it's probably a 6/10 or a 7/10, but the atmosphere and the general direction really gripped me and didn't let go. Don't know how people in the reviews give it a 1/10 or a 4/10, it clearly doesn't deserve these low scores.