Monday, October 06, 2008

Manga Monday: Blank Slate

Blank Slate (Volume 1)
Aya Kanno
Zen is a wanted man. A notorious criminal without a conscience who is amused with watching the slow corruption of innocents. He is also a man with no memory of his past, save for the occasional flash of echoing words. This is actually a Shojo Beat title, which is interesting, since there's no hint of romance and only a few female characters who appear during one chapter of this first book. But despite the action and suspense of Blank Slate, it's about Zen's journey of self-discovery, and how he relates to other people through a state of detachment. The book begins with the introduction of murdering thief Zen, as a bounty hunter hesitates in killing him, opting to assist his crimes in order to earn Zen's trust. Following this, we see a kidnapping gone awry, with Zen stepping in to use a general's daughter as ransom, in a story that shows a softer side of the murderer that makes one wonder how bad Zen really is. But it's not until the last half of the book, when Zen is joined by an underground doctor, that we get to see memories begin to resurface. We also see Zen lose complete control of himself to the creature within, losing another chunk of memory, and strengthening the mystery behind who Zen is and what made him the way he is. This is a really fast-paced book with great action scenes and plenty of twists and turns. It's intriguing, with some neat characters drifting in and out of the life of a drifting, mysterious man who's hard to completely write off, despite his dark nature.

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