Jen's Reviews > Scryed, Volume 1

Scryed, Volume 1 by Yasunari Toda
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's review
Jul 29, 12

bookshelves: manga, library-borrowed, adventure, science-fiction

Twenty-two years ago, Japan's Yokohama region was thrust skyward by an unknown seismic phenomenon. Now known as the Lost Ground, this post-apocalyptic landscape is home to a population of superhuman Alter Users, who can modify physical reality. "Native" Alter Users, like Monster Maestro (who can absorb others' bodies into his own to become a giant) or the carnivorous Lady Mantis (who-surprise!-can turn into a bug) build themselves fiefdoms and terrorize the weak. Opposing them is the borderline fascist Lost Ground Special Mission Police Force. In the middle is Kazuma Torusuna ("The Treasoner"), an independent Alter User with a prickly temper, a Lolita complex and a metallic arm that shoots emotional bullets. Confused? You ain't seen nothing yet. This hit manga series succeeded because of deliriously over-the-top action scenes and kinkiness that's just this side of actual fetish art, so story logic may not have been a concern. Instead, Kuroda's goal seems to be to take the most extreme features of the science fiction and superhero genres and combine them into a form that holds still long enough for Toda to illustrate it. Toda's art is competent and at times achieves a joyously trashy sense of movement. However, like Kuroda's script, the art also suffers from an excess of "kewl" and "extreme" aesthetics. Monster Maestro isn't just a Hulk clone-he's also got pecs four times as wide as his waist and six extra abdominal muscles. Lady Mantis isn't just a sexy Lady Death rip-off-she's a topless dominatrix. Scryed is the X-Men on steroids, for better and for worse.

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