Monday, March 26, 2007

Manga Monday 28: To Terra!

To Terra (Volume 1)
Keiko Takemiya

To Terra is a fantastic space soap opera epic. It was originally serialized between 1977 and 1980 in Japan, and its creator is considered an important figure in shaping modern shoujo manga. And as To Terra is an important historical manga, we of course have Vertical to thank for publishing the three volume Takemiya adventure. The story follows a few different young men who grow up in a time when people are pretty much manufactured to be perfect citizens and as such, not to question their place. Some humans are developing psychic powers as they are raised by foster parents on a nearby planet, and are seen as a threat to the Utopian paradise planned for Terra, or Earth. These psychic "Mu" are treated as outcasts and executed, although a small number has been gathering where they can not be reached, and they wish to get to Terra, or home, like everyone else. Keiko's art looks influenced by Osama Tezuka, and the story reminded me quite a bit of Colleen Doran's A Distant Soil, which contains several similar components. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Doran cites this story as influencial in her work. In the end, I was once again pleasantly surprised when I read this manga, as I wasn't expecting much from a flip-through. Easily one of the best manga I've read so far this year. A

Emma (Volume 3)
Kaoru Mori

Another pleasant surprise. Just when I was debating giving up on the title that underwhelmed me with the last installment, Mori hits a homerun with the latest volume. Within, we see Emma starting over a new life in wake of the tragedy that took place in Volume Two. Great new characters and surroundings bring the story to life around Emma in a time of loneliness, on beautiful pages, as we watch a master leisurely set up her dominos. A+

No comments: