Posted 20 hours ago

Abara: Complete Deluxe Edition

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Joined in 2023

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ABARA (which I literally just sped through a 2nd reading of) is called out as having a confusing story because there are a few competing organizations (cops, scientific, para-military, shadow-society, etc.) that are never completely explained, and the ending doesn’t adhere to the preconceived Western framework of what constitutes a “story.” Abara's precursor is a 2 chapter one-shot named Digimortal written in 2004, shortly after Biomega started airing. It, with its 11 chapters, was written during said airing. With how short it is, you aren't losing much even if you end up not liking it. It's also a good starting point when getting into Nihei's catalogue as it gives you a taste of what he is all about. And, in case you are here from Chainsaw Man: indeed, Fujimoto values this work a lot and it's easy to see its influence. Two stars because the execution of both the main story Abara and the extra (very short) short story Digimortal wasn't what it could've been.

This collects 13 chapters, but it's really 11 chapters and 2 extras that somehow fit in there. I'll be talking about the first 11 though since that's the main story. Either way I took it for what it was and I enjoyed it. Even though this is a short manga series Nihei still manages to make a fully lived in world, even if it has that depressing alone feeling about it. Again, this could be because I've just finished other works of his and it may or may not be in the same universe as the others?It seems like, after BLAME!, Nihei took a couple of reference points to sketch-out his next long[-er] series:

The characters are low for a reason... They had little to no introduction or insight. We couldn't really tell what they were feeling and what their personalities were... I felt that most of them were emotionless. Except for one, which I'm sure you all know if you have finished the manga. I feel like the author could have put a lot more depth into his characters to make them loveable, or at least unique. Before I begin I will say that I don't know if there was a movie or something that this is based on. If there is I would gladly watch it and consider changing the score here.

There were way too many ideas crammed in the series to make it enjoyable. That, and the weird art ruined the series. There were many times when I just wanted to leave the manga alone, but I kept thinking that it will make sense at the end. Unfortunately I was let down.

The story of Abara is strange and for the first time in my life I'm not sure that's a good thing. The introduction to the story seemed really cool but after that I got lost in basically a lot of talking that wasn't all that interesting and didn't help me figure out at all what was happening til I was about done. Ja, die Story war überhaupt nicht meins. Doch optisch konnte ich dem Band sehr wohl etwas abgewinnen. Zumindest dann, wenn nicht gekämpft wurde, denn die Bilder dazu waren aufgrund des sehr strichlastigen Zeichenstils oftmals ein wildes Durcheinander, bei dem man nicht wusste, wo oben und unten war. In ruhigeren Sequenzen gab es dann aber diese Momente, wo ich einfach staunte. Hier ärgerte es mich gleichzeitig aber auch, dass die Handlung so wirr war, denn über das was ich da sah, hätte ich gerne vielmehr erfahren.And I'll be honest, I love Nihei's work. I love his style and the way he tells a story. So if you don't like his work on Blame! or Knights of Sidonia then you probably won't agree with anything I say here.

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