Manga Review: X-Day and Last Supper

6 02 2009

Title: X-Day
Mangaka: Mizushiro Setona
Synopsis:It’s senior year, and Rika is seriously stressed out. She’s got more homework, exams, and papers than she can handle, and was recently dumped by her boyfriend. In other words: Life sucks! One day, she’s chatting online when she meets three classmates who hate school as much as she does. Together, they hatch a plan to blow up the school when no one is present. The countdown is on for X-Day … – From Tokyopop

First off, I’d like to say that this is a pretty powerful piece of work if one sits through both volumes and doesn’t skip anything. It explores relationships between people, conflicts within the human psyche and methods of escape people would employ to make reality more bearable. Rika deals with her relationship problems by presenting an unaffected front, leading her ex to call her cold and uncaring. Another classmate, Polaris, is unable to express herself when not in her gothic lolita outfit. The biology teacher, Jangalian is stalked by the superintendent’s daughter, and Mr. Money has an abusive mother whom he still cares deeply about but is crippled by a fear of women due to the abuse.

Although the four people met up to blow up their school, the story focuses on their individual problems and the breaking point of these characters as they are pushed to the limit. In fact, Rika’s first meeting with Polaris in person is to prevent her from jumping off the school’s roof. I do not believe this review does the manga justice because it truly is a very moving story that people should read if they are interested in psychological or profound manga. The characters all have problems that most readers should be able to relate to as I feel that a major point of the story is the loneliness Rika and her friends feel although they are all lonely by different means and situations.

I think for the more cynical audience, this manga may border on the emo side of things but I state once again, I found it to be a great read and it should relate well to many people.

X-day also includes a short story about a future where cows no longer exist but humans still desire beef so they engineered a creature with a cow’s DNA. This new creature looks and acts like a human except for the ears and they are treated as animals. One of the cow’s, Lamda decides that he wants more than to be food for his rancher’s family especially after they slaughtered his father figure to celebrate the first day of school of the rancher’s son. Last Supper, in keeping the mood of the main story, is also bittersweet and a profound look into human nature.

I would also like to add that the artwork in this manga is beautiful and in combination with the great story, makes for an amazing read.

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