Infinite Ryvius Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-58899-228-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Infinite Ryvius Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     July 10, 2005
Release Date: June 01, 2005

Infinite Ryvius Vol.#02
© DrMaster

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kurihashi Shinsuke
Translated by:Lindsey Johnson
Adapted by:

What They Say
In this final chapter of Infinite Ryvius, the battle is seemingly over but the damage and isolation has taken a serious emotional toll on the crew. Aoi continues to wrestles with her feelings for the brothers Yuki and Kouji. The realization their relations will remain plutonic, has not quite set in. While many of the other crew members tackle similar social issues, the Ryvius comes under another attack by a vessel, which seems to be the same type as the Ryvius.

The Review
The World of the excellent anime infinite Ryvius is told from the perspective of someone away from the action - Housen Aoi. No one wants to choose between friends, but fear will force many on the Ryvius to do so.

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, DrMaster uses the original cover art featuring the main character of this series Aoi deep in thought, with the Ryvius in the background. There is a little inconsistency with the logo since the change over for DrMaster dropped the Japanese logo in favor of only using their version. The opposite cover has an SD image of Neeya (the ship's sphinx) with a dinosaur costume head biting her hat 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, DrMaster does not keep the volume header color; instead it is in b/w. The rest of the printing is pretty good, but the contents page that was also originally in color is rather faded though. I like the paper because it is easy on eyes and is thick enough for the inking, but mileage might differ on this. This volume has an interesting ato-gaki from Kurihashi. It touches on how he got into this project and the concerns he had with the mechanical designs. No ads.

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.

One thing I noticed has happened since DrMaster picked up some of ComicsOne's titles is how the translations have continued to improve. I believe this volume was free of major errors, which is something to applaude.

Kurihashi does not use a lot of SFX in this series, but those that are present are translated with subs. Generally, DrMaster 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)
There are at least two communities that are clearly establishing themselves in the Ryvius. The first are those who see combat on the Vital Guarder. The other is the group that must wait on the Ryvius. The differences are quite startling for where one would believe these two groups would best be served supporting each other as they go through so much chaos. Instead they pull each other apart, using the rift the create leverage for power. Through isolation, fear and sometimes by force those who wish to maintain this two class system often ignore the fact that they are in a position where they should try to come closer instead of growing further apart. The benefits before them blind them and their fear of losing power and control almost consistently drive the powerful to isolation ultimately creating a desperate situation where no one can trust anyone or any thing at any time.

Aoi has found herself on the side stuck on the Ryvius. For the longest time living that way was reasonable. Her community was not as competitive as the Vital Guarder's. Everyone was working together and roles were well defined. Within this group relations were relatively good, but there were those who were resentful and even others who were consumed with fear. The reasons were valid because their reliance on the Vital Guarder was precarious as best. Their defense systems happen to be the Guarder itself.

The crew of the Guarder is competitive and based on a hierarchal system. There are alpha beings and drones and mates. The rules come from the top and no matter how vicious the judgment it will be handed down and enforced to control the rest of the pack. Their power goes all the way down to the Ryvius and that is the true cause of the turmoil on the crew as a whole. Once the crew begins to understand that they have little say or control in their lives the more they rebel to attain their individuality. Eventually cliques form, alliances are created and there are groups taking advantage of the weak links to gain more autonomy.

It is a vicious circle; all happening before Aoi and it has almost consumed her friends whole. Her life is now on the brink of destruction itself. Her history on the ship is on the Vital Guarder and her present is among the chaotic day-to-day terror on the Ryvius. She does not see a future like this, not one on her own. But it appears that she never thought she would be alone. And she had not really thought about whom she would need the most when she is alone.

Alone, on a ship full of students turned inter-planetary refugees, Aoi does not get to see the horrors of battle that some of her friends have, but as tensions rise life in the kitchens, laundry rooms and social halls are just as violent. Life cannot be this cruel, can it? Friends turning on friends, must not be reality?

Titles such as Battle Royale and Life cover difficult subject matter often with powerful results. This story is about how people that are forced to grow up quickly through unforeseen circumstances often have difficulty making the rational decisions they need to benefit themselves as a community. Instead, these young people can only see themselves and their immediate circle of friends. Some cannot see anywhere past themselves. Because of this, these young adults are now willing and because of their situation capable of closing out the rest of the world. They do this through violence. They do this through fear and pressure. And they do this to give themselves confidence that they will be able to survive despite all of the chaos.

All of that is happening to the people around Aoi and her world is slowly closing in on her, about to fall apart. Unfortunately, we do not get to see why. I'll take that back, we see why but none of what happened to create such madness. We see people injured, fighting and scared. We don't really know why any of this happens though. It just happens. Maybe that is done purposely to create a sense of desperation and confusion. Aoi was not involved in all of the violence. She was in a different world. But was she so isolated to not be able to see? Shouldn't she have cared more if her friends were suffering? She is made out to be bossy often being nosey, but she was clueless here and it comes off a little fake.

As much as I like this perspective on one of my favorite anime titles, I really feel as if this series is a little short on content. There is very little to chew on. What was months in space feels like a matter of days. Still the lack of time to really flesh out Aoi and her relationships frustrated me. I ended up feeling that I would have been lost had I not seen the anime before. I would not have understood the relationships. I would not have figured out what occurred between some of the majors events set here. It almost assumes you know the cast and their lives already. But then it tosses a curveball by adding a new character that tries to fill in the gaps but comes in at a time where that is almost meaningless.


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