365 Days of Manga, Day 24: Alive


510WASmoCTL._SS500_.jpgALIVE (Alive Saishû Shinkateki Shônen, “Alive: Final Evolutionary Boy”) (?????????????) • Tadashi Kawashima (original story), Toka Adachi (art) • Del Rey (2007-ongoing) • Kodansha (Monthly Shônen Magazine, 2003-ongoing) • 18+ volumes (ongoing) • Shônen Psychic Science Fiction • 16+ (mild language, infrequent graphic violence, mild sexual situations)
A strange cosmic event or plague strikes the Earth, causing thousands of people to commit suicide, while others develop superhuman powers. Kano, the teenage little brother of the sexy school nurse, is one of the lucky few who develops powers, but he must leave school and travel across Japan, fighting the other “evolved” ones who have turned into sociopathic killers–including his former best friend. A mix of alien forces, strange conspiracies, and teenage nihilism, Alive strikes a satisfying middle ground between high-concept angst and psychic-powered beat-’em-up. The art is an attractive example of the Shonen Magazine house style, with photorealistic environments which reinforce the generally serious mood. The characters use their powers creatively. An above average “realistic superheroes” story.
*** (three stars)
Today’s winner is Louis R. of Florida. Congratulations, Louis! We’ve been receiving tons of photos of winners, and we’ll be putting more up soon!