Author: Toshiaki Iwashiro
Series: Psyren #2
Published: January 2012 by Viz
Warnings: violence 13+
Summary : Physically drained after surviving his first trip to Psyren, Ageha's psionic powers begin to awaken! Newly reunited with his formerly missing friend Amamiya, now Ageha must meet with a PSI mentor who holds key information about the terrifying rules of the Psyren game!
May contain spoilers for volume one. Which I thought I reviewed, but I obviously didn’t.
Review: Ahega’s been to Psyren again, and while he’d rather not, he’s still going to be called back. However, he’s going to need to get much stronger if he wants to keep on surviving. Luckily, Sakurako knows someone who’s already been to Psyren, and beaten it-her old mentor-Matsuri. Ahega, and Hiryu (Hiryu Asaga, fellow Psyren drifter) begin to learn how to train themselves to fight Psyren-but they must also learn some other things about the game they’re playing.
I found the concept of this really intriguing, even if very slightly (aka heavily) based on Gantz. And while the first volume wasn’t amazing, I still wanted to read on.
So, most of the action takes place in present day Japan, as opposed to Psyren, like last volume. There’s still a bit of fighting though, to be expected with a shonen manga. There aren’t that many twisty turny plot developments, more world building, explaining the rules of the game and building on what we got in volume one.
As well as the seriousness of the training, we are also treated to a fair bit of comedy. Sakurako’s treatment of Ahega and Hiryu during their training, and of course, their really bad attempts at trying to master the psi energy. However, none of this detracted from the main plot-which is good, because there wasn’t that much to this volume.
The characters are believable. My favourite was Matsuri-a world famous pianist with a complete disregard for schedules and managing to fight her way through Psyren without dying? What’s not to like about her? Ahega-I’m still not loving him. Or Hiryu. But I do like Hiryu’s hair. They’re good characters, stock ones really, but quite amazing and a little interesting.
The art is good. The shading and drawing style are typical of this kind of manga, but it’s not my favourite kind of art style. There’s also something out of place with Sakurako’s face. Too soft for her character. And there’s some other annoying little things.
The ending is a little cliffhanger. Someone turns up and we don’t know who it is. Until volume three, anyway.
Overall: Strength 2 tea to a nice continuation, but nothing special.