Title: Andromeda Stories Vol 1
Story by: Ryu Mitsuse
Art by: Keiko Takemiya
May Contain Spoilers
Something is rotten in Cosmoralia, and it’s not the garbage. An invading army slowly infiltrates the palace, taking control of the governing body. As Queen Lilia watches her husband, King Ithaca, change from a kind and benevolent ruler into an emotionless and frightening tyrant, she wonders what’s gone wrong. Will she be able to protect her unborn child as the forces of evil gain more control of the government?
Andromeda Stories introduces the planet Astria, a peaceful world where everyone lives in harmony. Cosmoralia’s Prince Ithaca is to take the throne and marry Lilia of neighboring Ayodoya during a period of favorable celestial readings. Unknown to the populace, a strange ill-fated star has shown itself in the heavens, heralding the menace that is slowly bearing down on the planet. An invading force of mechanical soldiers is about to make its move and take over the rulers of Cosmoralia.
The world of Andromeda Stories is a blend of fantasy and science fiction, where gladiators battle to entertain the populace and survey crews work to create maps based on aerial photos of the land. Swords and spears share the same space with guns and tanks, making an interesting mix of technologies. Even though the Cosmoralians consider themselves far advanced from their neighbors, they have no chance when confronted with the invading machines that arrive to conquer the planet.
There’s a lot going on in this volume, some times a little too much. The pacing is blistering, and at times, the plot gets a little confusing. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and most aren’t given much background to anchor them in the story. Il was the most intriguing character, a survivor of the machine army’s invasion of another world. She’s on a mission to destroy them and rid the universe of their threat. She’s too late to contain them to their ship and destroy the lot of them, and is forced to watch helplessly as the soldiers, in the form of mechanical bats, swarm over the city.
Lilia, the young princess from Ayodoya, is thrilled with her marriage to Ithaca. Her joy soon turns to fear, as her husband becomes a stranger to her. Cruel and ruthless, he’s not the man she married. Now that she’s pregnant, her servants believe that fatigue is confusing her and making her paranoid. Others, however, know the truth, and also believe that her unborn child will save the world. As ill omens plague the land, the people begin to whisper in fright. What is happening to peaceful Cosmoralia?
I enjoyed the tense atmosphere of the story, and thought that the invaders were frightening as they easily took control of the rulers of Cosmoralia. The prophecy of the Red Dragon Crest added a fantastical element, and the young Prince Jimsa is displaying some pretty amazing powers. There’s a little bit for everyone here, whether it’s sci-fi or a mix of action and psychic powers. Though confusing at times, the story snaps by. I’m looking forward to the second volume.
Rated for 13+