The essence of certain manga progressions becomes a diatribe on the totalitarian society fueled by a certain perception of the apocalypse that certain people might believe in. These anarchistic or “end-of-the-world” scenarios perceived in the artistic renderings seems to purvey an unconscious (or rather subconscious) idealization of the next step in human advancement. Whether that progression will be hopeful as displayed to a certain degree in “Saturn Apartments” or moving in the other direction as with “Biomega” and “D-Gray”, only time will tell.
Biomega Vol. 2 The aspect running through “Biomega” describes a virus created in the would-be colonization of Mars. In retrospect, it simply created a zombie function within the population. The aspect of different handlers that can go in and bring out the immune has a distinctiveness that plays to a “Resident Evil” standard but the maintenance of the plot is a little shaky. The swiftness of the panels is what gives the graphics their power. While the movement at times is overcome with the over-essence of blood, the baseline design elements including the masque faced troopers give the story an Orwellian overtone. The use of clones and past lives seems to integrate somewhere in the story but lacks clarity. The rescue of the daughter of a politician whose disconnect causes a self-destruct nuclear explosion whizzes by without a thought to its meaning. One of the more incisive proponents in the story is a bear who, in some relation, bears (pun again) witness to the undoing of a corporation. He is saved by said agent who also finds out that the bear has a connection to a sprite avatar who helps him evade murderers in general. The cycle ride towards the end comes off as a bit absurd but the intention is simply one of flight. More information is needed.
Saturn Apartments Vol. 1 Like an impressionistic painting, this manga paints the world of life in the stratosphere of the Earth. In the future, the planet is declared a nature sanctuary and no one is allowed to travel to its surface. A young boy becomes a window washer assistant to a tried and hardened man to learn to ply his trade. The boy’s father was killed washing the windows and the boy wants to unravel the mystery of his disappearance. The story is a metaphor for the stagnation of technology versus the aspect of progress. The class structure metaphor, which is even more ingrained in Asia’s history than in America, is created in thesis from the lower levels that receive more “natural light” than the rest. The plight of the young boy is existential in nature as the fate of his father seems to result in his plunge to the forbidden earth. The resolution in the boy’s mind therefore is discovering what caused this accident. By interacting with different people who pay exorbitant amounts of money to clean their vistas, the task of window washing takes on the personification of hope with a tendency of class distinction. Ultimately it is boy’s emotions for a girl that affects his emotional stability and allows him to move on.
Jormungand Vol. 3 Emblazoned within a world of arms dealers, the incessance of a young man bent on revenge makes him a perfect recruit for the people who caused him to suffer. When he is brought into the fold, he becomes an unwilling participant on his first jaunt to Africa aboard a cargo ship. He traded his freedom for the safety of young children he was protecting to ensure that their lives wouldn’t be like his. While the assassins on the transport boat, especially the ladies, seem to take a liking to him, the ship itself is attacked by deluded pirates with heavy artillery including a military helicopter. After arriving in Abu Dhabi, the plan, in context, is to hit back while their team’s aggressor is distracted which one of the female members of the team is only glad to do for the prospect of a good Chinese meal. Meanwhile the young protagonist tries to find his way by learning new fighting skills from local eye-patched girls who will train him without getting dead. The lead character in the story is ultimately a patsy brainwashed by the system in the truest sense of the world. However, like “The Dirty Dozen”, it is through the eyes of the rookies that the truest or, at least most didactic, vision of war comes into view.
D Gray-Man Vol. 17 The retribution behind the aspect of a global zombie plague usually reflects the dreams of a society gone wrong. In the quest within this manga to right the wrong, many ideals of who is worthy of archetypal intention gets lost. In trying to find a vaccine, many mutations and ghosts seem to appear out of nowhere. This seems to convolute the plot more than a little bit but when the identity of the Fourteenth comes into play, it textures the progression almost as a Messiah myth though the aspect of the general bearing a more than resounding similarity to Hitler (in terms of his visual look) taints the ideas behind this war between barely separated worlds. Certain visual cues like the agent killed with a massive blood splotch on the glass and his ghost hovering over the pooled plasma while the General sits silently in the room works in its essence as an iconic image. In addition the small side story of one of the young members of the squad mourning with a possessed circus performer upon losing his friend, the clown, inbibes the tone with an almost “Parnassus” vibe.