oyceter: man*ga [mahng' guh] n. Japanese comics. synonym: CRACK (manga is crack)
[personal profile] oyceter
I read the first two volumes of this and watched the anime about two years ago.

I'm continually surprised by how this series manages to evade the sketchiness that seems inherent in the premise. Instead, the series continues to examines the tragedies and trauma of the fratello and the girls, along with pulling in a few more side characters for a side arc involving a non-Agency assassin who parallels the cyborg girls—his father figure trained him as an assassin starting from youth.

I had complained that the first two volumes were too one-offish for me; the next four aren't strongly arc-y, but the plot to capture the terrorists (thankfully NOT Middle Eastern or Muslim for once!) thickens. The series has also been layering in characterization; we gradually begin to see more and more of where the girls come from and what the fratello's backgrounds are.

I also like how it's so far avoided glamorizing violence. Plus, I keep reading the Agency as an extended analogy of the patriarchy: men determining the fate of girls, from their faces to their very bone structures, and then proceeding to brainwash them into acceptance of their role. I'm not sure how much of this is intended by Aida, but I'm glad that we're clearly supposed to read the Agency as dysfunctional, and not in a romanticized way.

On the other hand, I am a little worried about the newest cyborg assassin we're introduced to; she's older than most of them, and I really do not want the manga moving into sketchy sexual territory with her.

I think I'll end up wanting to own this. It's a little slow, but very dense, and it seems like it'll reward rereading, particularly with regard to bits of characterization that are slowly being revealed.

Definitely recommended, and I'm glad to see that the second season of the anime's coming out next year.

(no subject)

Mon, Aug. 18th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com
Oh wow, a second season of the anime? *drools*

When I saw the picture of vol 6 (or 5?) of the manga, I thought there had been a time jump and the young woman on the front was an older Henrietta.

(no subject)

Mon, Aug. 18th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] seraphcelene.livejournal.com
Oh, I'm glad to read this review. I fell in love with the anime when they debuted it on IFC following Basilisk. I was contemplating reading the manga and then I heard about the second season anime. I, too, am a little concerned about what they intend for Petrushka and I've read a few spoilery things that I won't mention here. Looks like I should go pick things up and have a read. :)

(no subject)

Tue, Aug. 19th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com
Hm. I heard from some people who have seen the first two episodes of the second season. Their consensus is that the production values and plot are disappointing. Maybe it gets better, but now I am a little concerned. *sigh*

(no subject)

Wed, Aug. 20th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] seraphcelene.livejournal.com
Yeah, I saw some of the stills from the new series and the production values are definitely different and from what I saw, that's not really a good thing. Still, I'm excited to see new episodes.


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