Friday, February 22, 2008

Translucent, v.1

by Kazuhiro Okamoto
Published in the US by Dark Horse Manga

Slugline: Teenagers feel invisible. That much never changes.

Invisibility as a cycling, mysterious illness -- it's a reasonable enough story idea. Even when set in the mundane world of middle school. But volume 1 proceeds to introduce us to a group of familiar characters, all of whom are dead set on being as normal as possible. Here's a disease whose only physical effect is invisibility, and everyone's ignoring the obvious implications.

Furthermore, the storyline insinuates that the disease is partly psychological. Which could lead to interesting stories too, but there isn't much sign of anything interesting happening so far. I couldn't even guess what volume 2 would be about -- there's no apparent conflict or goal in mind. The girl suffering from this disease wants to be an actress, but the story of reaching that goal hardly needs an invented disease to be interesting. The added "problem" actually detracts from that, in my opinion.

You can also check out Ferdinand's review!

Translucent, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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