Manga Reviews

Friday, February 17, 2006


Licensed by Tokyopop

Topic: Supernatural

+Anima are creatures of the world that have the abilities of animals. Husky is a kid who can turn his lower torso into that of a fish (much like a mermaid), and breathe underwater. One day, while working at a circus, he encounters Cooro. Cooro is a crow +Anima, one who can sprout black wings and fly. They decide to leave the circus and venture out into the wide world. Along the way they encounter various other +Anima, who are attracted to their group by Cooro's honest charm. However the people of the world are suspicious of +Anima and try to avoid them. This is a series of short stories about a group of youngsters trying to fit into the world without forsaking their true identities.

The character art for this series is incredibly detailed, with elaborate clothing for each character. Even the side characters are well drawn and the expressions on all the characters convey a lot of emotion. The background art is also gorgeous, with perspective scenery shots almost every chapter. The character development is almost non-existant because the author forgoes any backstory about how the +Anima came to be. Instead, the stories focus completely on the present, and each character is introduced without a hint of their past. Unlike most manga, which at least make reference to previous events in a character's life to progress the plot, +Anima makes no such references at all.

If the plot were only a collection of short stories revolving around these characters, I would have given this series a higher rating. Unfortunately, there are mentions every once in a while about some more sinister plot being played out. But these have not yet been elaborated on, usually only taking up a couple pages a volume. Even worse, that sort of unifying story doesn't fit well with the light-hearted, directionless nature of the rest of the manga. It's almost as if the author was pressured into adding these so that the story could be artificially prolonged in the future. I'll continue reading +Anima and revise this statement if the backstory turns out to be well done, but right now it feels forced and doesn't fit.

Rating: 6.5/10.0


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