This week I’m starting up with reviews of the Silent Mobius manga. I’ve reviewed the anime earlier, but now it’s finally time to move on to the manga.
Title: Silent Mobius Volume 1
Written and Illustrated by Kia Asamiya
Translated by James D. Hudnall and Matt Thorn
Touch-up by Wayne Truman
Originally Serialized in Comic Dragon
Cover Price: $16.95
Available from Amazon.com.
In the not-too-distant, semi-cyberpunkish future, Humanity is menaced by forces known as the Lucifer Hawk. The only force that can stand against them is the Abnormal Mystery Police, six women with psychic and magical powers.
It’s interesting in that the series basically starts in medias res. Katsumi Liqueur is already a member of AMP, and is accustomed to monster hunting. She’s already accepted the call to adventure, as opposed to her constant flights from the call in the series.
Also, the manga feels much more like an ensemble work at the beginning, instead of the series, where the rest of AMP takes a back seat to Katsumi. Of the three chapters in this volume, two are focused on specific characters, and neither of those characters are Katsumi. One is focused on Nami (and also has Nami’s abilities getting powered up), and the other is Kiddy (and gives her a love interest).
The cost of Katsumi losing the limelight is that she’s also become a little less powerful than the rest of the characters. In the anime and films her “banish” spell basically is a one-hit kill. It’s like the trap in Ghostbusters – once you’ve gotten the ghost over the trap, it’s over, and all you have to do is toss it out. With the manga, the magic circle has to be set up in advance (as opposed to being able to pull it out spontaneously) and it doesn’t always work.
Nudity and Violence
There isn’t much blood here, but there is some significant nudity here, for Nami of all people.
Originality: This is the source material for the anime series, and I really think that this is one of the more original paranormal-SF manga I’ve seen before. 5 out of 6.
Artwork: The artwork is particularly good, even if I think that Asamiya spent a little too much time drawing the water running down Nami’s boobs. 5 out of 6.
Story: The story here is very well written. I remembered second and third chapters here from the anime, and they were some of my favorite episodes of the anime, and they still are great here. 5 out of 6.
Characterization: I like this version of Katsumi a lot more then the anime version. She feels like an active character who can keep up with the other active characters around her. Nami gets a lot more character beats here, as does Lebia, all of which flesh them out in various little bits (Lebia weeping when her spinner is wrecked, Nami making references to Wizardry). 4 out of 6.
Emotional Response: The final scene of Kiddy’s chapter between her and Ralph, where she shows him her prosthetic, has a lot more impact here then it did in the series. This is probably one of the places where nudity really serves the character development – because the detail-free nudity of the series made Kiddy look like something of a neuter, making it not clear how much of her was cybernetic, here it’s used to show how much of her is cyber, how much isn’t, thus making her baring herself to Ralph much more literal as well as figurative. 5 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: This is a really great start to the series, and I’m really thinking I’ll like this manga a lot more then I did the anime. 5 out of 6.
In Total, Silent Mobius Vol. 1 gets 35 out of 42.