By Toshiaki Iwashiro
Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Sci-fi, Shounen, Super Power, Supernatural, Psychological, Mystery, Suspense
Yoshina Ageha is a high school student who offers to help people with their problems for 10,000 yen. He’ll take care of your stalkers, find your lost animal, whatever you want. One day when he’s heading home, a nearby pay phone rings, and he picks it up. The only thing he hears however is his own voice echoing. After finding a mysterious card with the word ‘Psyren’ printed on it, his life suddenly changes as he is drawn into a crazy new world.
Psyren, once the most popular manga title on Manga Fox (then THE SITE TO GO for manga reading), is not your typical Shounen manga (of our generation?). It doesn’t spend all the time on the protagonist and showing how the protagonist can go berserk and relaying his justice to all his enemies. The mood is drastically different. In every chapter, the protagonist is using his intelligence and strength to fight for his life in an unknown world. Somehow, the “protagonist’s halo” is nowhere to be found. It is almost as if we expect the protagonist to die going into every fight. I found that refreshing. Most importantly, in case you haven’t yet noticed, this manga is completed, in only three years since its publication. Finally, a mangaka who knows when to put an end to his story …
Now, I will talk about the Story, Art, Characters, and enjoyment factors of Psyren, like a true MyAnimeList reviewer:
Story: Almost has nothing to do with the introduction that I’ve pasted here, except maybe for the “as he is drawn into a crazy new world” part. No fear, though, as the first half of the story is a combination of mystery, suspense, action, and other-worldly adventure, a recipe for a good thriller with tasty plot. Does that mean the latter half of the manga is bad? Not at all. Iwashiro does a decent job in closing off all the plot threads he created, and ended the series in a satisfactory manner.
Art: As usual, I don’t have much to say about art since I am not that picky. But I’ll say this. Characters are well-drawn, background is detailed, and the mangaka excels at drawing gory details that is so frequently found in this manga.
Characters: This is a thriller, so obviously one wouldn’t expect the greatest depiction of characters in the history of manga. Suffice to say that our protagonist is not similar to Naruto, Luffy, or Ichigo in big three Shounen – who would fight their enemies without considering their own situations – but Ageha would do the right thing at the end of the day. Our female protagonist, interestingly enough, has a cold personality and definitely does not fall for Ageha right away. Beside them, there are many other memorable characters in this story.
Enjoyment: Hell ya. Love this manga. It was no fluke that this had been on the top of the popularity list. I think the mangaka made the right decision of ending this early, because Psyren, without “arcs-styled format”, comes off as a coherent mysterious adventure story.
In conclusion, if you dislike most of the popular Shounen series, but would like to try some Adventure/Superpower manga, Psyren is a really good choice.