Beageruta manages to blend many things that I like into a neat package. It is a dark sci-fi mystery story exploring criminal underworld set in a gritty pre-cyberpunk world where everything and everyone is fucked - both literally and figuratively.
If you enjoy flashy over the top action with a dash of realism and don't mind violence, drugs, profanity and sex this is quite a ride waiting to be experienced.
- "When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow."
One thing you'll notice right away is dark and gritty atmosphere. Going through the pages you simply can't shake off the pessimism permeating the scenes. The only
thing you can be certain about is that everything has a price and nothing is ever clear-cut.
- "You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star."
Just going through the opening scene in the first chapter I instantly got hooked by the art. There was something about it which I don't often see - realistic flow of movement. It might seem a bit contradictory at first - "flashy and over the top but realistic sci-fi action" - however after reading up about the author I've learned that they have great knowledge of human anatomy and that clearly shows. While story has sci-fi elements you can clearly imagine the action scenes being played out in a Hollywood movie set in a modern day or near future setting. The only thing that throws me off at times are the female character faces. For some reason they are very similar, so much so that at one point I assumed that scene with a newly introduced character was a flashback of one of the main characters. Good thing that they have plenty of different outfits, haircuts and personality traits to set them apart.
- "Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody."
Reading this manga you will quickly learn that every character has a secret. It ranges from something small to extremely complex which almost always defines them. Characters have intricate backstories which play major role in the story and serve as motivation for their actions. No one is simply "good" or "evil" - they are people shaped by their upbringing and environment trying to make the best of shitty situations they find themselves in.
- “Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.”
The story is absurd. Wait, don't go - let me explain! Reading this manga I constantly get reminded of Snow Crash. For those unfamiliar it is a famous cyberpunk novel which is bombastic and completely over the top - however that was the intention from the start. Backstories here are overdramatic, situations are over the top and the main plot is completely implausible but handled with such care and precision that you can't help but grin going through the pages wishing to see more!
- "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
Overall I am greatly enjoying this manga. I can totally understand that it is not for everyone and it has a few problems, however it is a high quality near future fiction which is something that's not easy to find. Reading through available chapters you can tell that this is going to be a long haul as we still getting introduced to new characters and author is taking his time with releases. The official English translations are slow and it will be a while before volume 5 comes out, but I shall be eagerly waiting for it to arrive.