Monday, March 01, 2010

Manga Monday: Biomega

Biomega (Volume 1)
Tsutomu Nihei

From Blame! creator Tsutomu Nihei comes a postapocalyptic manga featuring a world where the N5S virus turns people into zombie-like creatures called drones.  There's a small percentage of the population who have a resistance to the virus, where it mutates into something else in the host body, more like an advanced healing factor (as is demonstrated by the girl Eon Green, who is run down by a motorcycle, her leg torn off, before it reattaches itself as if nothing had happened).  Zouichi Kanoe, a synthetic human, wishes to protect Eon from the many dangers around her and together with his motorcycle full of surprises and loaded with weapons and advanced technology (and an AI that guides Kanoe), attempts to do just that through this fast-paced first volume.  Biomega feels very much like a video game to me, like watching a long cinematic sequence, complete with talking bears, lots of shooting and buckets of blood.  It's extremely violent and since many of the characters can regenerate themselves, nearly everyone seems rather invincible.  Add to that the fact that the characters seem to be able to carry out impossible feat one after the other, and you hardly feel like the characters are hardly in jeopardy, deflating any real sense of danger.  Not that it would matter much whether the characters involved die or not, as the book doesn't slow down enough to let us get to know anybody.  It's all very removed and cold.  But that being said, this book is still nevertheless entertaining.  The storytelling is fluid with some pretty gorgeous art, even if much of the dark art is depicting decapitations and hordes of zombies.  Character designs are top-notch and despite the lack of three-dimensional characters, there's a good dose of suspense and political intrigue layered throughout the story, giving the plot, at least, some dimension.  All-in-all, Biomega is a fun, straight-forward, shoot-em-up horror story with some breathtaking cinematic storytelling.  If you're looking for something with more meat on its bones, you probably want to look elsewhere.

No comments: