E’s #1 by Satol Yuiga Manga Review

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Title:  E’s #1

Author:  Satol Yuiga

Publisher:  Broccoli Books

ISBN:  1597411191

May Contain Spoilers

Set in the future after the devastation of yet another world war, governments were thrown down and dissolved.  Cities and corporations  rule society, and individuals with psychic powers began to be born. Hated by normal humans, they became known as E’s.  Ashurum is a government entity that takes in the E’s and shelters them from the rest of society.

Kai Kudou was raised in Ashurum, and knows nothing about the prejudice shown to his kind by normal humans.  Working for the military branch of Ashurum, he’s sent on a mission to subdue a violent guerilla group and to save the psychics working with them.  As the mission plays out, Kai jeopardizes its success by rescuing a girl in the supposedly evacuated city of Gald.  His actions threaten the lives of his colleagues, as well as his own, and land him in the hands of the people he’s trying to stop.

E’s is an action title that zips quickly by.  There’s a good amount of fighting, though it’s mainly between Kai and his Ashurum rival, Shen-Long.  Their ideals clash constantly as Shen-Long, knowing first hand about the persecution of psychics by normal humans, hates them with a violent passion.  He doesn’t hesitate to use his powers to kill, while Kai, uneasy with bloodshed, is reluctant to hurt others with his.  When his is threatened by a group of citizens in Gald, he is forced to lash out at them with his psychic powers and then to accept the accompanying guilt of his actions.

Eiji, the head of the Ashurum psychic research facility, seems a little shady.  While he tells Kai that they are saving psychics, he orders the death of a man after Kai leaves.  He is conducting experiments on Kai’s younger sister, Hikaru, and lies about Gald being evacuated.  Both the guerilla group and Ashurum are looking for the Sacrament of Calvarias, a mysterious object hidden somewhere in the ruins of Gald.  We are left with little information about its purpose, and I’m quite curious to learn why every one seems to want it so badly.

Kai seems a little too idealistic.  He doesn’t have much knowledge of the world surrounding him, including Ashurum, where he’s lived all his life.  He doesn’t question his sister’s confinement to the hospital, and blindly accepts the treatment she receives.  He is bullied constantly by Shen-Long, and seems hardly able to defend himself.  Hopefully he’s toughen up as the series progresses.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this title.  The battles were fast and accompanied by explosions, fire, and severed body parts raining to the ground.  Who doesn’t like that?

The art was dark and a little cluttered, but the action was easy to follow.  I thought the character designs were a little bland, but I did like Shen-Long’s evil smirk and the way his braid whipped about when he was using his powers.  And the way he thoughtlessly rendered  hapless humans into unrecognizable blobs.  Brutal!

After reading this volume, I’m left with a lot of questions.  What’s the deal with Kai’s sister?  What’s the Sacrament thingy and what does it do?  Why doesn’t Kai like sweets??  I knew there was something fishy about that guy…

Grade:  B

Rated for 16+

Review copy provided by Broccoli Books.

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