X-Day 2

June 20, 2008

This wound up surprising me a lot.  It did some thngs I expected it to, and other things totally surprised me.  I was expecting a big drama-tastic scene between the main character, her boyfriend, and Mr. Money.  This did not happen, but a surprisingly brutal scene played out around Mr. Money that explained why it was he was depressed enough to want to blow up the school.

While the pairing of Polaris and the teacher wasn’t all that surprising, something happens and… well, they have to flee before they’re accused of murder, which was totally out of left field.

As dark and depressing as I was expecting this series to be, it’s got a surprisingly positive ending.  I don’t think I would have forgiven this of any other story that promised to blow up a school, but it really works here.  It’s a nice story.

There’s a short story at the end which is one of the weirder manga short stories that I can remember reading.  In it, cows are in the shape of humans, but still treated as cows, and still slaughtered for their meat.  A rich boy keeps one as a pet… bad things happen, there’s a plague where the only cure is beef, the pet is the last cow in the area, etc.  It’s good, and it’s just not very often you run across a vegetarian-oriented manga.

X-Day 1

May 21, 2008

I just had to know what Setona Mizushiro’s other series were like. I love After School Nightmare so much, it would be absolutely criminal if I didn’t pick up X-Day eventually, even if it is only 2 volumes long, five years, old, and long out of print.

I’d heard the series was just sort of okay a long time ago when it first came out. The reason I gave it a pass initially is because the plot is just so WEIRD: a group of four people conspire to blow up the school. Not all of them are students, and it’s not a matter of revenge against the people in the school (they want to do it at night so nobody is injured), they just think their lives would be better if the school didn’t exist. It’s extremely matter-of-fact. The plot is extremely simple so far, so I don’t really have that much to say about it other than the fact it’s just… you know, bizarre.

One thing I absolutely LOVED about this first volume is the way it wordlessly expressed emotion, especially for the main character. She’s broken up since her boyfriend left her, and often the character’s facial expressions as she wordlessly reacts to others speak volumes about what’s going on. It’s really wonderful, and it’s kind of amazing that it’s not used more in After School Nightmare. Of course, this series strikes me as more calm and quiet than After School Nightmare, weird as that may sound, so I don’t think it would fit in the other.

The plot is so straightforward, in fact, that I can pretty much see where it’s going since I already know it will end next volume. A lot of what’s going on are the interactions between the four characters who are conspiring, and there are some mini-relationships springing up here and there which will probably wind up playing out. I don’t expect great things, but I’m still kind of looking forward to it.

Also, it’s very pretty.  I like her character designs a lot, for whatever reason.