Manga Review: Graineliers V 1 by Rihito Takarai @yenpress

May Contain Spoilers

This was different! In a world were seeds are a vital part of life, they are carefully regulated by the Grainelier Institute Security. Common, cheap seeds can do things like ignite with a touch, while rare seed are cultivated and studied by the National Grainelier Institute. Growing these seeds is against the law, and ingesting them could get someone banished, and the person who provided them charged with murder. Pretty cool!

Luca lives in a small town with his mostly absent father. To make ends meet, he grows and sells illegal seeds. When his father returns home after a long absence, Luca is surprised when his dad expresses the wish to eat dinner together the following evening. Since his mother’s death years ago, his father has been distant, self-possessed, and neglectful.

When the Grainelier Institute Security show up on their doorstep, Luca thinks he might have been busted for selling rare seeds. But no, they are there for his father. His father gives him some seeds, tells him to ingest them, and urges him to flee and hide in the woods. Confused, Luca does as he’s told, changing his life forever.

I enjoyed the premise of this story, and I haven’t read anything like it before. I liked Luca, though he and his friend Abel do some really stupid things. Luca is supposed to be hiding, so he and Abel somehow think it’s a good idea to go to a nearby town in a ridiculous disguise, get outted by a little girl, and help her by growing an illegal plant. Gah. I liked Luca and Abel well enough that I just went with the flow, even though I knew their lack of common sense would bite them in the butt. And it does. It really does.

Graineliers is a unique story with pretty art. I only see that two volumes have been released, so I’m not sure about the status of the series in Japan, but since the library had both volumes, I’ll read them  and see what happens. I can’t find any information about the release of a volume 3, so if you know anything about the series, drop a line the comments!

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Rihito Takarai (Ten Count) pens anything but a garden variety fantasy! In a world where the seeds of plants are imbued with power, the wheels of fate begin to turn for Luca, an illegal seed cultivator, when the government-sanctioned Graineliers come to take away his father, who in turn hands Luca a rare and powerful seed…!