Wow, there's hardly anything to find on this series online. That's a shame, because I'd really like to know more. (Not even wikipedia or TVtropes or eWow, there's hardly anything to find on this series online. That's a shame, because I'd really like to know more. (Not even wikipedia or TVtropes or even a tumblr tag! What.)
Okay, let's go for a review! I'll be reviewing the entire series here, so be aware of spoilers for the two earlier volumes.
So, four stars. I was actually going for 3.5, but rounded it up because of the potential of the world building. Damn, I really want to know more. Let's talk about it for a while. I'll try not to recap the entire series, emphasis on 'try'.
We get some glimpses of the almost-apocalypse as the magnetic poles of the Earth were switching and human kind tried to stop it by creating an artificial ring around the planet. This created the magnetic sea, an ever-expanding wasteland in which no living creature can live - except for Aoi, our main character. Aoi is a ravant (also called clone, though the ravants seem to have no identity crisis and are apparently their own persons, which is something I'd like to see explored as well). He's a special ordered one, and his life span is artificially set to end at 18. When we first meet him, his time is running out and he's on a mission to find Arcline Cole the war hero, who killed his childhood friend and ravant Yoshino. (I also want to know more about Yoshino herself, as a side story in volume 2 revealed she was the one who taught Aoi how to kick someone's ass. Ah, Yoshino, we hardly knew ye. In fact, don't expect many female characters with names that don't die for plot, period. I can only think of Kaede. And I just noticed the summary for vol. 1 here on goodreads calls Yoshino a 'he', eh. Pretty sure she's called a girl in the volumes, and on the Japanese wikipedia, so I assume the Japanese original called Yoshino a girl too, but I digress.)
The story shifts halfway through as Aoi gives up on his revenge, after finding out Dis is Arcline, and he can't kill the Dis he's come to know. The story instead focuses more on Tristram's work at the church, and how it is suspicious how a large group of the ravant children he takes care of display special powers, like Zion, who is able to read minds. (Oh, poor Zion. His name is Shion in katakana, so here's a wise lesson, never name your kid Shion if you want it to have a nice life. See also No. 6 and Kingdom Hearts (Xion is written as Shion in katakana as well)) Near the end, we also get a view of the world at large, and what the consequences of our characters might be in this world. (view spoiler)[So apparently there is some kind of paradise for ravant children, high up in the ring. And Aoi's ability to cross the magnetic sea might help human kind to find a way to survive in this waste land, which is ever expanding. And of course we have the return of Arcline, who uses his influence for good this time, with Aoi by his side. (hide spoiler)] A lot happens in the last volume, and I had to reread the entire series a couple of times to make sure I understood it all, but it does make sense in the end. (I'm actually not too sure about the translation in parts, but I don't think there was many censorship at play here (apparently CMX Manga was involved in a scandal in which they did end up censoring a series, so I was a little skeptical for a while, but the Japanese sources I found back up the translation).) The only problem is how it left me wanting to know much, much more, about both the characters and the world.
One thing I'd like to comment on is the art style, which changes quite a bit over the course of three volumes. Especially Aoi and Dis - Aoi's eyes are noticeably narrower in the first chapter and grow pretty big later on, and I think his hair grows out too, though that might just be a marker of time passing. Dis instead seems to look older in the later chapters, noticeably so. Actually, the Aoi we get to know later on doesn't really seem like the Aoi we meet in the first chapter, who seemed quite the rebel and had no qualms about fighting or the prospect of killing someone. Then again, later developments establish that though he clings to the thought of killing Yoshino's murderer, actually taking that step is quite another thing. Once he gets to actually consider his own time is limited and that perhaps he's better of just enjoying that time rather than going out as a murderer, he changes a lot compared to Aoi in chapter 1, becoming much kinder and gentler and quite possibly the 'real' Aoi, if that makes sense.
We get some glimpses in the lives of some of the main characters, like Tris and Aoi, but Dis' past is only told by others and he only mentions himself how he's ashamed of it. We know he fought in the army when he was still young, that he became a war hero and preached for peace despite of what the war brought, but... what did he do to become a hero? Did he really kill Yoshino and the villagers or was he only the one to give the command? He doesn't seem to know himself exactly what he did to hurt Aoi, so I'm leaning towards the latter, but still. These are the things I want to know. Moreover, pretty much everyone around him has every right to blame him for losses - both Aoi and Tris lost people important to them to Arcline, or at least the war he fought. We don't know what happened to Shirakusa, but Dis said he did 'something' to him and by the fact that his hair constantly covers his right eye and he sometimes wears an eyepatch, I'm going to go ahead and assume he lost that eye, or at least the vision in it. Yet all these people come to quickly trust Dis at least to a certain degree, with Aoi being the one to actually make him raise his head again. As said, a lot of potential for further exploration of both characters and the war. (view spoiler)[Not to mention how the final volume gives us a peek into Aoi's future - will his ability to cross the magnetic sea unharmed actually be useful to help the human race survive? If that's the case, how about ravant rights? (hide spoiler)] How did the ravants come into being anyway? Are they clones with their own personalities? We only meet custom made ravants, so does that mean there are entire groups of ravants that look exactly the same because they were cloned from the same origin or have they evolved into a whole new race, as implied in the second volume? These are actually questions the manga hardly touches upon, focusing instead more on the human future and the ravant research facility, but it got me thinking a lot, as you can see by the length of the review.
Oh, screw this. Brb fixing that 'no wiki for this manga' problem.