The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Alive.
Genre: Action/Horror.
Format: 1 Volume
Mangaka: Tsutomu Takahashi

Synopsis: Yashiro Tenshuu took justice to his own hands by killing four men that raped his girlfriend. After killing them and returning to his girlfriend’s side he learns that she has killed her self. Soon he is found by the police and arrested. Sentenced to death, the only thing he has to do now is wait for his final hour. But just before he is executed, someone offers him the opportunity to live as long as he follows their orders, he accepts the deal and is taken to a scientific facility, where he will become part of an experiment as a test subject and as prey to The Black.

The Highlights
Raw, dark and unique.
Plot: Strange and tense.
Characters: Could use more background.

Alive is fearless, brutal and realistic, even when it uses unrealistic components (The Black). Why do I say this? Because it’s all about what The Black represents, and when it’s understood, it is made real. Yashiro Tenshuu gets all the attention on this manga, he is the only one with a background and a development and it should be like this for he is the main character, but the lack of background and development on many if not all secondary characters is really discouraging.

Wonderful art this manga has, well at least in the backgrounds you can almost hear the water running through the pipes and feel the steam burn your skin. Although there are some weird shots at character faces due to the inking or the perspective, most of the character designs are just above normal but not precisely amazing since not much effort was put into them.

The down point of Alive was the lack of appealing characters, development and background for most of the secondary characters. I simply couldn’t connect to them, I understood them, but that doesn’t mean I liked them. If this manga was intended to be a drama then it is a preposterous manga at that. How can there be drama with out emotions and relation to the characters? This is why I think of this manga as a thesis on fear rather than a drama, but I never expected to be reading a thesis, I expected reading a story, maybe not as usual as most stories, but this simply was a huge change of setting.

Doesn’t matter how you want to see this manga, as a thesis or as a drama it is downright mediocre. When scientists make a thesis they stipulate grounds to work on, when writers make a drama they stipulate development. Alive has none of these two very important aspects and when you look at the least important factors, the series just barely made it to the acceptable levels.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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