A Graphic Novel from Hajime | Xpress Reviews

Week ending June 27, 2014

Hajime, Taguchi (text & illus.). Alive. Gen Manga. 2014. 284p. ISBN 9781939012098. pap. $12.95. MANGA
alive062714This collection of short works explores themes of isolation, identity, and sexuality from a variety of perspectives. Coldly realistic depictions of depression and abuse are followed by stories of magical glasses and talking toad-like creatures, but the mixture works well to hold the reader’s attention. On balance, these stories are thought provoking and carry some real emotional weight, which will please audiences looking for something outside the shounen/shoujo mainstream. Sadly, Gen Manga’s reputation for bringing readers these types of unique works is accompanied by a history of editing errors, and Alive has its share, ranging from simple spelling mistakes to untranslated story titles. The lack of page numbers or a table of contents, as well as the choice of leaving most sound effects untranslated, adds to the “corner-cutting” feel. Better presentation would have enhanced this collection’s appeal greatly.
Verdict Recommended (with reservations) for literary graphic novel fans. The numerous technical errors are a real shame.—Neil Derksen, Pierce Cty. Lib. Syst., Tacoma

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind