My first digital review from Viz’s app.
Hiya! Sorry for the longer than expected hiatus. My life is still all messed up, haven’t heard back re: the job officially yet, just a whole bunch of unofficial platitudes, which is somewhat comforting, but not 100% comforting, you know? Plus my apartment now has a pest problem which is giving me hives, almost literally. Sooooooo… yeah. Been preoccupied.
Anyway! I’m reviewing Blue Exorcist via Viz’s iPad app. I got an iPad for Christmas (totally unexpected), and I’ve been mostly using it as internet access from my bed so I can be even MORE lazy than I already am. I am an old school bibliophile at heart and love the feel and smell of books. Digital just doesn’t sound appealing to me. Granted, I could do with the extra apartment space and the portability, but it just feels weird to be looking at a “book” on a screen. I always hate reading forms and documents on email from work; I usually will print it out and then read it.
However, for signing up for Viz’s app, I got a free vol. 1 of any manga download. After browsing through the choices, I picked Blue Exorcist which, for a shonen manga (action manga for teen boys, usually), was getting a lot of good reviews.
The premise: Rin and Yukio Okumura (fraternal twins) were raised by Father Shiro Fujimoto, a priest and exorcist. Rin’s always been a little strange with weird things happening around him, and after having a fight with some thugs he discovers to his horror that he’s the son of Satan, who wants his son to rejoin him in Hell. When his guardian dies trying to protect Rin from his true father, Rin unleashes his inherited powers and decides to follow in his guardian’s footsteps and become an exorcist himself.
I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. I thought I’d outgrown most of the shonen manga genre, which includes things like Naruto and Bleach which I did like quite a bit at first, but they’ve dragged on sooo long, and I think the mangaka have sort of lost track of what they’re doing (especially Tite Kubo). There is a lot of humor here, and the art is really good. It’s kinda angular, and reminds me of Hellsing (especially with all the pointy teeth). Also, sometimes there are pages with just so much detail and linework! It’s crazy. And gorgeous.
(Well damn, I was going to upload a pic to show you an example, but Google’s image search is not cooperating. Just a whole bunch of pics from the anime, and a deleted file of the one picture I found. -_-)
Anyway, Rin is a good kid at heart, just has all the flaws of a typical shonen action hero: short temper, average intelligence, rough around the edges, lazy. His brother Yukio is interesting… the younger twin, and his weak constitution apparently did not let him inherit their father’s demonic powers. However what he lacks in physical strength, he makes up with mental acuity; he, of course, is the exact opposite in personality of his brother. And he has some secrets of his own…
Since I only have one vol. to go from, I’m not sure exactly where this is heading. I’m assuming it will probably be somewhat episodic, at least at first, as Rin learn exorcism from the exorcism school and about the world of demons. And of course there’s the overall arc as Rin gains powers to fight his father. I usually don’t like reviewing series before getting more of a feel, but I wanted to get something down, and this was my first digital comic.
Re: the digital aspect: it wasn’t too bad. I read it vertical style, so one page fills the screen. It also reads Japanese style, from right to left, which was great. The art might not be quite as sharp as I liked, although iPad 3 is supposed to have better resolution, so maybe that’ll take care of that problem. There were a couple of screens where the tinier fonted text looked a little blurred. Or maybe I need new glasses (entirely possible). I’m also not crazy at having to page through the entire manga to find scenes… maybe there’s a shortcut I don’t know about? (Oh wait, I just found the slidey bar at the bottom; that helps somewhat)
I still prefer reading from an actual book. So reading it digitally, while nice, I am most appreciative for having a free sample so that I can now turn around and go buy the manga from Right Stuf.