Monday, November 24, 2008

Blank Slate vol. 1 Impression

Blank Slate from Viz is a mis-labled manga. Aya Kanno has created a manga that Viz has put under the Shojo label but there is so much Shonen action to love in Blank Slate volume 1.

Zen is a wanted killer, a man without a memory. He is legendary, feared and gives no compassion no matter the circumstance. We meet Zen through the eyes of a bounty hunter who chances across our killer serving as a male prostitute. From this story, which ends with the life of the Bounty Hunter Zen finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time as a bank robbery goes bad and a general’s daughter is kidnapped. Zen goes along with the fleeing rebel robber and the general’s daughter because it amuses him. The blind daughter sees a unique side of Zen and helps him to escape from the summer home they hold up in. Things go bad rebel kidnapper, Maka, is killed but gives Zen a bracelet to give to her brother Hakka, a doctor in a small town. As the generals daughter is rescued and states only one kidnapper was involved the rescuers know she is lying, but why, why is she covering for Zen? A showdown in the small town and a prison break ensue for Zen and Hakka as hidden powers and personality are revealed.

The eyes, there is something in Zen’s eyes that reveal to the Galay army he is more than he seems and much more dangerous. In the land invaded by the Galay Army, Zen finds himself wandering, doing what he finds amusing whether it’s going along with the kidnapping of a general’s daughter, delivery the bracelet of a deceased rebel to her brother or breaking into a prison to free rebels and villagers. Zen is no doubt a cold-blooded killer, but he seems to help others are the oddest times. He says he does it for interest, and enough folks die to confirm this, but there is a depth to Zen that urges for more reading. The story is the highlight here as there is plenty of action and the mystery of who is Zen, what is his past and where will he travel next keep the reader engaged.

So, what we have with Blank Slate is a great, yes great, story. Kanno tells a tale that will entice the action fan, enthrall the mystery lover and utilizes character design and art that will wrap in the Shojo crowd. Zen is a very pretty man and seems to deal with other easy on the eyes gents. His methods of persuasion, calm and cool demeanor would have Bond wrapped around his finger, yes he’s that good. The story flows well also with a unique chapter at the beginning then a story chronology that all ties into a nice bow. I, as a major Shonen fan, recommend Blank Slate to any action anime fan, any fan of espionage and spy manga. This is a really good title, and guys I know its Shojo, but give it a spin, good stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Finally, someone agrees with me about "Blank Slate" being mislabeled as shojo. The only thing shojo about it its the art. The lines is shojo but it's devoid of flowers, bubbles, and romance, but the first chapter seemed to have a shounen-ai touch to it (that just might be the inner fangirl talking though). This is a shounen title through and through!