Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Istota zła - when does a manga become shoujo

Original title: 悪性 -アクサガ
Polish title: Istota zła (omnibus edition 2 in 1, published in series Jednotomówki Waneko)
Author: Kanno Aya
Publisher: Waneko
Language: Polish
English edition: Blank Slate published by Viz (two separate volumes)
Genre: Action, drama, mystery, said to be shoujo

I've preordered this manga a long time ago (in June!) lured by the cover. I wasn't familiar neither with the story nor the author, but the description provided by Waneko, Polish publisher of the title, made me curious. And you know what? I'm not disappointed at all.

First of all, I didn't expect any great story, but Istota zła turned out to be a really decent action manga. I can't say it's brilliant or anything, but it was well written and drawn and very entertaining. Polish edition is an omnibus one, two volumes in one with a dustcover in enlarged format. I haven't spotted any typos, the language used by characters is well fitted and natural. There is, however, one error in page numbers - spotted not by me, but by my boyfriend, but I guess it counts nevertheless.

The author's style of drawing is surprisingly nice. I enjoyed the use of shadows and rasters. Kanno Aya draws really amazing eyes. I like well drawn eyes. I guess I have been bought. Although the style of plot-telling might not be my thing (too pompous) and the timeline is inconsistent, overall the manga is really nice and worth reading.

One thing, however, doesn't feel right about this story. On every manga site it's classified as shoujo. What does it take for manga to become a shoujo? I wouldn't call Istota zła a shoujo manga - josei, maybe, but definitely not shoujo! But, if it means that one hot guy makes manga a shoujo, then I guess I have to apologize to the genre. Yes, Zen is hot (and apparently I'm a simpleton), so why not another photo?


  1. I was hoping that each photo of manga would have its unique background. Sad & disappointed. Your short reviews are good, though. It's just a bit more than you need to know before buying a book. Keep it up.

    1. Aaaww, the very first comment on the blog! I owe you a good tea, D. :D