Infinite Ryvius Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 194
  • ISBN: 1-58899-008-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Infinite Ryvius Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     December 22, 2004
Release Date: October 01, 2004

Infinite Ryvius Vol.#01
© DrMaster

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kurihashi Shinusuke (concept by: Yatate Hajime/Supervisor: Kuroda Yousuke)
Translated by:Linsey Johnston
Adapted by:

What They Say
It is the year 2225AD some 80 years after a tremendous solar flare created dangerous areas of high gravity in space. This area of high plasma called the 'Geduld' ends up linking the plants together like one giant nervous system. But this danger did not stop mankind from populating outposts along the Geduld. During a routine dive procedure, the outpost Liebe Delta is severely damaged forcing all the astronauts in training into a space ship to escape the deadly Geduld plasma.

Based on the dramatic and popular sci-fi anime thriller, Infinite Ryvius the manga is about a ship full of teenage cadets lost in space desperately trying to get home while dealing with the inner strife and egos of each other.

The Review
Printed right to left in a B6 sized GN, Infinite Ryvius looks a lot like the original presentation by Media Works. On the front cover, C1 uses the original cover art featuring the female cast in various shades of thought. They also keep the original logo and framing; which appears to be something they are doing more often recently. The opposite cover has an SD image of Neeya (the ship's sphinx) hugging a marionette of the Vital Guarder sitting next to the volume description. The font used is really tiny and it is on black on a gray background so it is really hard to read.

Inside the cover, C1 does not keep the volume header color, instead it is in b/w. The printing is pretty good, but the contents page that was also originally in color is rather faded. No extras in this volume, but there are tons of ads: My Sassy Girl, Crayon Shinchan, Top Speed, Sister Red, Iron Wok Jan, Junk Force, NOW, Dark Edge, Maniac Road and High School Girls.

Kurihashi's character designs are not very fancy but they look good and work very well for renditions of Hirai Hisashi's work (he did the character designs for the Sunrise anime). His designs do not have much detail, instead he focuses on thin but sharp lines that look equally good when characters are far in the background or positioned in a close-up. What I noticed is that his eyes in particular rarely lose much detail whichever the angle or position (some mangaka tend to simplify faces in certain angles but Kurihashi rarely does that). Ever so often, he may even turn to a sketchier look. Eyes tend to get more detailing and his jaw-lines become stronger in these images. Personally, I really feel his female designs are much closer to Hirai's then his males. The Aiba brothers and Oze Ikumi, in particular, look quite different from their animated cousins.

Kurihashi was never someone who would be hung up on detailed background art. While he usually draws them in, he never really gives them much character and there is very little imagination to them. Much worse is his poor rendition of the Ryvius. If you have seen the DVDs from Bandai, his Ryvius looks like the one found in the short omake clips called Ryvius Illusion (basically, it looks super deformed). I think his poor mechanical skills forced him to avoid drawing the Vital Guarder with much detail either. Ultimately, his art is not very versatile and not well suited for sci-fi in my opinion.

I really do not know what is up with ComicsOne in this department. Sometimes they seem to string a few volumes together that are error free and then they go into a slump again. While I did not find any grammatical errors, there are a few typos here and there, which maintains status quo from ComicsOne.

Kurihashi does not use a lot of SFX in this series, but those that are present are translated with subs. Generally, ComicsOne does this better than most studios and this is no exception. What makes them unique is their use of smaller subs so they rarely compromise art in their smaller sized GNs.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Housen Aoi has felt she has been losing touch with those she was once close with. There was a time when she and the Aiba brothers were inseparable. They have known each other for most of their lives. However, something happened a few months ago which sent them all off into opposite directions. Housen Aoi has seen the bonds within the three erode recently. The brothers, Koiji and Yuki, once relied on each other as the only males in their family; now their meetings typically result in one of them being physically hurt. The three can no longer stand to be with each other, let alone speak without hesitation and resistance. Unfortunately, for Aoi, she was not directly involved in whatever tore the siblings apart. This animosity is not helping Aoi's relationship; so, through association she lost two friends. Now, fate has put them together again, forcing them to rely on each other for survival.

Alone, Aoi will begin to doubt herself and her feelings at times. Now that the relationships she previously had have fallen apart, she has to start all over again. She does not know if she can rely on her old friends any more. She does not know if she is overstepping her boundaries. She does not know where those line lie if they even exist. As much as her new life means to her, there is too much history to forget. Now that she is in need for support or comfort, there is nowhere to turn. At least that is what she sees on the Ryvius.

While the anime focused on the desperation of the Aiba brothers, Kurihashi's manga takes on life on the Ryvius from their oldest friend's perspective. Her relationship with the Aibas drives this story. Getting to see the Ryvius from her point of view brings readers closer to the perspective of the average trainee on what was once the Liebe Delta. As she is not on the frontlines, Aoi gets to experience the horrors second hand through censored news or gossip. Then there are personal issues that are difficult to keep private, for her community has become so small there is nowhere to hide. There was a time when she could go to her friends for support; now, relying on others could be too risky to chance. With the focus moved away from the actual politics of running the ship and the in fighting amongst those in command, Kurihashi also gives a perspective from what the majority of those on board might see. They see people panicking, fearing for the future and they do not know what they are getting into. In both versions, there is no certainty for the future, but getting a perspective where information comes filtered through by those involved in the next power play is really keeping me interested. I wish Kurihashi would work on that a little more, the double-speak is intriguing, but with this series only being two volumes long I doubt there will be much effort placed into it.

On its own Kurihashi's Infinite Ryvius might not hold its own weight. It does not fill in additional gaps nor does it really present the real issues on the ship. It does that on purpose, as it focuses on a character that was under-represented in the anime. Unfortunately, because of that decision much of the drama that made the anime such a delight to me was lot. She does not have the strength or personality to really drive the story; instead, Aoi ends up appearing weak and confused. She does not show much assertiveness within her circle. She has lost touch with her old friends. She does not take the initiative in her romances either. She just ends up observing other people change and wishing she could have some help as she becomes more and more alone. I do not end up sympathizing with her; her nature is actually frustrating. Furthermore, with a cast that is already full of sociopaths there was little to enjoy. In the end, if Kurihashi had gone with another angle (maybe from Yuki's perspective) I would have had a better time. Right now, I wish I could find a place on that ship and just hide, cause if Aoi's point of view has any merit this ship, and this version of the story, is doomed.


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