Sunday, December 13, 2009

Andromeda Stories by Keiko Takemiya

Andromeda Stories is a three-volume manga by the author of To Terra, which I reviewed here. It's basically To Terra only good, and 300 pages shorter.

Where To Terra was a sci-fi story with fantasy workings, this is a fantasy story with sci-fi workings. The setting is the planet? star system? Andromeda, where they have dragon cavalry (awesome!) and a high-fantasy social structure, but advanced technology everywhere you might imagine magic. And where you might have an evil demon army, you have an evil army of mind-controlling machines taking over the planet. The technology parts are really what make the fantasy interesting; they make a very standard fantasy story go in cool new directions.

The characters are fantastic, especially where manga is concerned. Each one has a believable mixture of good and bad qualities unique to them, and they just seem to have a lot more THOUGHTS than other characters. They have reasons for the things they do and they really believe in those reasons.

The ending was one of those Twilight Zone endings... A foreseeable twist, but in a good way. Sad, faintly frightening, kind of cool, and interesting, but kind of off on a tangent where I would've put a more traditional ending.

MINOR SPOILER. Beware brother/sister incest. It worked okay for the story and it's only toward the very end, but the part that kind of squicked me out was that they're supposed to be in their 20s but the girl at least looks about 12. Of course a lot of girls are drawn that way in manga, but still. END SPOILER.

On the whole it's a quick story with interesting ideas and pretty pictures, which sounds to me like good manga! It kind of reminded me of a cross between John Christopher's Tripods series (which is awesome) and Osamu Tezuka's Buddha (which is good manga and written well at the least.)

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