World of Narue Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: D
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CPM Press
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 190
  • ISBN: 158664961-2
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

World of Narue Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 04, 2004
Release Date: May 01, 2004


World of Narue Vol.#01
© CPM Press


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Marunaka Tomohiro
Translated by:Mayumi Kobayashi
Adapted by:

What They Say
A Sci-fi hit direct to your heart!
Narue is an adorable schoolgirl with a secret. She's really an alien with powers right out of a sci-fi comic! But growing up is never easy, and sometimes it doesn't help when you're from outer space. Join our spunky heroine as she faces androids, alien invasions, and (scariest of all) her very first date!

The Review
Packaging:
Presented in right-to-left in a tall B6, the packaging for Narue is okay. The cover art used features the main cast with Narue and Kazuto holding hands in the foreground. The image is on a pink background which is a contrast to the blue covers CPM used for the anime. The opposite cover features the younger members of the cast in their school uniforms beneath the short volume description blurb. CPM uses the logo they used for the anime here. It?s pretty simple looking, and has this wonderful quote above it - "The inspiration for the hit anime!" Sigh! After the inside cover art - action scenes from the manga - CPM has provided a few pages for volume header and character profiles for five cast members. At the end of the GN, there are two ato-gaki and a brief interview with Marukawa-sensei. The printing could have been better, but I have to admit this does look like a step up from some of CPM's other titles.

Artwork:
Marunaka's art is, well, sloppy. His lines are not very sharp, giving his form an asymmetric look. His eyes are often off balance and his jaw lines are all over the place. The layout is just as bad. His panels are often filled with action manpu, and for a title that has been so laid back and slow I found the overuse of manpu just distracting. It also got me to a reading pace that felt too fast for the writing. In general, I wish I could have avoided the art completely because it affected my impression of the writing.

Text/SFX:
For the most part, the translation for Narue is decent. The writing generally flows well and I did not notice typographical errors. There were moments when I thought the translation was a little too literal (Engrish). These instances did not affect my reading experience too much, but they could cause some confusion to those who are not familiar with Japanese grammar. SFX are all translated with large subs. Unfortunately, I wish they went with a different font size as the new subs were often encroaching on art.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One would imagine the life of a galactic peacekeeper to be full of adventure and excitement - riding around the galaxy in a space vehicle, hunting space criminals, fighting wars in the deepest darkest corners of space, while generally having a good time with your space comrades over drinks and smokes. The pay might not be great, but the experiences make up for everything else.

Nanase Narue is in charge of the Earth's defense for the Galactic Federation. As the daughter of an alien and a human, she has been given the responsibility to handle the day-to-day inter-galactic dealings in this part of space. There is a lot to do behind the scenes (actually, away from the eyes of humans) but on the surface, it can really be a boring existence. Life for Narue is actually rather rough. She lives with her father, who works as a construction worker to pay the bills, in a rundown single room apartment. Her hobbies include reading tabloids, being frugal and whales. But recently she has been enjoying her time spent with someone who seems to have accepted for her for who she is. Yup, even if she is an alien!

Kazuto's life is not as busy as Narue (he is not as much of a tightwad either). So when he meets Narue, his life turns around completely. What was once a simple existence with a few good friends, is now a regular adventure with a lot of fun and experiences that are literally out of this world. Kazuto may occasionally feel he is not good enough for Narue, but she appreciates him for all he does for her.

Together these two will have a lot of fun learning about each other's lives. Narue may be an earthling, but she does not know some of the basics about being years behind technologically. Kazuto is going to have to research cheap and fun dating spots cause Japan is not cheap and he knows the Galactic Federation doesn't pay well.

Comments
If you ever wanted to know what aliens really do on Earth - the answer is nothing special. Aliens are people, too (they just are not human, that's all). They go to school, do chores, pay bills and are part of the workforce. Life for an alien can be as exciting or as dull as a human's, it all depends on how they look at it.

Friends, family and everyday experiences are a major part of that and that is what Marukawa has shown us in this series. Alien slice of life manga could be the basis for a variety of comedic and action situations. However, Marukawa goes with a more subtle angle, where character development and relationships are what carry this story. It?s an interesting angle at an already unique genre, but this title just falls short. With an episodic structure, there is little time to work on these characters. So lessons are learned in short segments where there is little else besides a few jokes and meaningless action. A little more plot could pick this story up, but as manga readers know plot is hard to find in shonen manga.

CPM labels this title as a sci-fi action-comedy and I guess if you took the more spirited parts of this title, one could describe it as such. I on the other hand would rather call it a sci-fi slice of life comedy. Narue's world is basically dull and so is Kazuto's, but together these two are finding out that life can be fun and exciting if they have other's to share it with. Sometimes there will be problems and miscommunications along the way, but if they trust each other, they should be able to get through them.

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