Manga Reviews

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Kannade By Horibe Takeo
Scanslated by Aku-Tenshi
IRC Channel:

Topics: Fighting, Shounen, Exploration

Akito is a young man who's mother left him six years ago. His mother was a counterfeit artist, she would create amazingly accurate recreations of famous works of art. It turns out she was able to do this because she had a magical power known as a Kannade. Hers allowed her to channel the feelings and emotions of the original painters, so she could create almost perfect replicas. Six years ago, she was taken by a group of yakuza and Akito has never seen her since. To fill the emptiness in his heart, Akito became "God Hand" the master thief. He goes through museums and private collections, stealing back the works that his mother made.

One night, he gets captured by the same yakuza who took his mother in the first place. They had his mother make plenty of counterfeits for them, which they sold for a lot of money. But they pushed her too hard and she died three years ago. The yakuza now want Akito to take over her place and draw for them, but he doesn't have his mother's ability. Frustrated, the yakuza threaten to kill him. At that moment, Akito's own Kannade awakens. He's able to show people illusions through the power of his Kannade, extremely realistic illusions. He also gains the ability to hear the thoughts that his mother left in her various paintings. Akito discovers that his mother has left a roadmap from one painting to another. She's trying to lead him somewhere but where? What is the purpose of this map and what's at the end of it? And how many other people with Kannades will stand in the way of Akito's newfound journey?

For the most part this plays out like a fighting manga. Akito has certain items he has to retrieve in a specific order, with ever stronger opponents guarding them. As a result he has to get stronger in each of his battles, and learn more about his Kannade. There are a few mysterious parts tied into this plot line (such as what are Kannades, and why did his mother go through such trouble to leave a roadmap for him), but forthe most part these take second place to the battling aspect. The battles themselves are interesting because Akito's ability is that of illusions, meaning he has to come up with creative ways to defeat his opponents as opposed to brute force. Still, this falls squarely into the supernatural fighting genre, like other series such as Flame of Recca.

The characters are well drawn, with a lot of detail for each of their faces and heads. However there's very rarely any background art and when there is, it's all minimalistic. The fact that the foreground looks so much more superior to the background gives a bit of a disjoint sense. If you enjoy mangas with a balance of action and a well defined plot direction, I suggest Kannade.

Rating: 7.0/10.0


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