It is a world full of monsters and adventurers who hunt them. They are called Monster Hunters. The plot revolves around a young Monster Hunter, Shiki. When Shiki was a young boy, he was taken as an apprentice to a Monster Hunter named Gurelli, but it was not too long after that Gurelli was killed by a gunpowder accident. After a few years, he comes back to Akamaaya Town (where his master resided) to join the guild there. In that guild, he meets a girl called Irie and after a series of events, he finds that she is the daughter of his master. From this point onwards, they form a party to find the legendary Miogaruna, which was Gurelli's life-long ambition.
How far would you go to accomplish your goals? Would you stake your life against ruthless wyverns and fiendish dragons with only a blunt blade and a few companions to depend on? That is the duty of a Monster Hunter.
Reminiscent of his other works, Hiro Mashima delivers an uncomplex short series packed full of predictable outcomes and uninspired tropes, based on the popular role-playing game, Monster Hunter. Taking big steps in the start of the manga and mainly appealing to fans of the game ultimately leads to a second half that falls flat.
Prior knowledge of the game itself is not necessary to follow and understand
the story, as the majority of the aspects taken from Monster Hunter are explained in some detail. However, being familiar with the weapon types and monsters adds some level of enjoyment and nostalgia. Fans should expect to see some manga-original features as well, such as new wyverns and hunting methods.
Typical of shounen series, Monster Hunter Orage delivers a mediocre story set-up primarily as a way to initiate battles. Shiki, a young hunter who bears the Mark of the Sealed Hunter, is in search of Miogaruna, a powerful elder dragon of myth. The story centers around his path to achieving said goal, on his way tackling less powerful monsters whose difficulties grow from one to the next. Shiki eventually forms a four person team including the three other main characters.
The main issue with the story is its lack of complexity and uninspired development. Once paired with lack-luster characters, we have a shameless romp of predictable combat and calculated actions. Despite this, Orage can be mindlessly enjoyed as long as you don't mind the (welcomed) long chapters that sadly fail to do proper justice to the pleasing art and Monster Hunter background.
Shiki Ryuuhou, the duel-sword wielding protagonist of the story plays the role of your quintessential shounen hero, fairly implicative of Natsuno, the protagonist of Mashima's Fairy Tale, go-lucky and simplistic; Shiki offers nothing new in terms of shounen male leads. However, he is the most developed character, so then why is he not the most interesting of the cast? This is mostly due to his static personality, which manages to not take anything away from the story, while also not exactly adding anything.
Irie Jescar, the stories main heroine and longsword wielder, is nothing particularly interesting, and rather, could be considered annoying just for how simplistically boring and unmoving her personality, her traits, and her mentality are. More so a foil to Shiki, Irie does not hold up as what one would expect in a female lead, despite having a good amount of development to her history and family.
Sakuya and Kuron take a backseat in the story as side characters, and helpful assets for Shiki reaching his goal, but despite being less important story wise, they are in fact much more interesting and entertaining. Sakuya, a bowgun wielder, plays a large role in the second and third chapters of the manga as a blacksmith's daughter who helps Shiki and Irie upgrade their equipment. Sakuya has perhaps the most fascinating history of the cast, and you might find yourself rooting for her from the moment she is introduced. Sadly, after her primary chapters, she becomes nothing more then the sweet girl shooting bullets from far away behind the frontlines, of the battles and of the story.
Kuron, a gunlance wielder and one of two antagonists in the plot, takes the role of the high-standing villain and rival to our hero. A somewhat cliché personality and poorly developed back-story lead to a dull climax in his character focused chapters. Full of potential, but unsuccessfully used to the strengths of his character, Kuron fails to deliver the impact a villain should have.
The strongest and most redeeming factor of Monster Hunter Orage is its wonderfully drawn art. Battles are beautifully executed, as the characters almost seem to move from panel to panel. The art manages to pull in the reader and leave you wanting to see more. Landscapes and towns are drawn with fine details, and a lot of time is put into the creatures. Despite the cast's mediocre attributes, their character designs are done fairly well and bring a fresh breath of liveliness and harmony with the story.
If you're interested in a shounen series with admirable battles and really don't want to invest time into a long, complex story, Monster Hunter Orage manages to deliver in the areas that you're probably reading for. However, Orage fails to deliver the necessary development and captivation to keep you reading for aspects beyond the external. A marvelously drawn adventure that succeeds as nothing more then a showcase for shounen merriment.
This is one of my least enjoyed shounen stories ever, this is largely due to how short the story is. There are only 14 chapters leaving this story little to work with and it did not use its short life wisely. I started gaining more liking to it in the fourth book but only half of that book was part of the storyline. The rest was a comic strip which I read a little of and decided not to read anymore. The only reason I found out about this is because I found four volumes at the library and decided to check how many volumes
there were and sure enough there were only four. I would recommend this to fans of Fairy Tail and Rave Master because they are made by the same person who made this and people who played monster hunter.
I'm a huge fan of the Monster Hunter games, so you could imagine how excited I was when I heard there was a manga. I saw all the volumes at Barns & Nobles and decided to read one. I opened issue 1 and was disappointed to see the art of Fairy Tail. Now that's just preference. I personally don't like the art of Fairy Tail, but whatever.
The Monster Hunter games have always been lacking in the story department, so I figured a manga would be really cool, cuz they could actually expand on story, but nope. It's like
I'm reading the game and I can't play it, and that sucks.
All of that combined with a story and cast that are pretty much just the story and cast of Fairy Tail, and you get the most mediocre manga ever.
Though, with it being only four volumes, it's an easy read.
If you like Fairy Tail, read Monster Hunter Orage, but I think Monster Hunter Orage is nothing special.
My oh my, what an enjoyable read this have been. It's a short experience, as the manga only has 14 chapters for you to enjoy. After 14 chapters of being in the Monster Hunter world, which would much more befittingly could be called 'Dragon Hunter', I have to say I am excitingly impressed!
If one thing is noticeable about Monster Hunter, then it is it's amazing artwork. I have not yet seen a scene in a chapter where no time was put in. The characters looks astonishing and some of the artwork when consisting of villages were a sight to behold as well. The monsters looks
absolutely beautiful and really captures the viewer by it's details and shapes. It truly is a manga filled with magnificent artwork.
As far as the story goes, it's a little bland and especially seems rushed since there are only 14 short chapters for us to enjoy. However, it being based off the Monster Hunter games, it did a perfectly fine job sketching the concepts behind this o' so popular game and it's background and purpose. I wish the manga was longer, at least twice as long. So their growth, as well as upgrades and adventures, would be much longer and vivid than is now. There were some exceptional pieces of story work to be found in Monster Hunter; though it was not as well translated in just the short amounts of time it had. However, the story is still enjoyable, makes sense and is definitely enjoyable for any viewer.
Most of the enjoyment comes from it's splendid artwork. But besides that I have to admit that the characters in the story, which is typical for Mashima Hiro, are well explained, fun and and a nice sight to look at. Though the characters are quite stereotypical, as seen in Natsu (Fairy Tail) and Luffy (One Piece), it is still enjoyable since these characters bring a comedic spoof to the story like no others can. Which adds up to the tone and setting of this manga, since it managed to put violence and killing dragons to be a good thing in my book.
Overall this is a serialization worth mentioning, worth your time (heck, it's only 14 chapters long) and worth the read. I enjoyed it and finished it in one go, which took me about 1 - 2 hours. Just to give you an indication. So if you are up for it; give it a shot and you won't regret it!