Manga Review: Jyu-Oh-Sei

Manga Review: Jyu-Oh-SeiJyu-Oh-Sei by Natsumi Itsuki
Published by TOKYOPOP on August 1, 2008
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

In 2436 AD, young twins Thor and Rai are living on the space station Space Colony Juno. Their entire lives are turned upside down when one day they discover their parents are murdered, and then they are kidnapped and ushered to the foresaken 'Planet of the Beast King' by unknown masked men.

This science fiction manga never really entertained me. And yet, I kept hoping it would do something interesting. Nope. Why oh why did I waste my precious reading time on this series? Bleh! Warning: this will be a spoilertastic review.

The series opens with two brothers: Thor and the other one whose name I cannot recall. Their parents are murdered, and they are sent to the secret prison planet, Kimaera, as punishment for whatever happened to their parents. The brothers are barely equipped to survive on this planet, which turns so slowly that it has hundreds of days of night followed by hundreds of days of sunlight. It also has carnivorous plants and some seriously violent folks.

They manage to survive by befriending another white boy, Zagi, in the forests where the children live, abandoned by parents to get by if they’re strong or die if they’re not. Zagi eventually leaves them and the two boys must fend for themselves. Thor and his brother are separated, because Thor fights some folks to protect the weak one. While running away, the weak one dies falling into a chasm. For the whole of the first volume (which is really long), I had to read about children.

Thor rises to the top of their political system and ends up having to confront Zagi, who has some crazy plans to abolish the Ring and Beast King system on the planet. He gets Thor named Beast King, so the people from the other planets come to get him, as is the deal. He is told that he is special, born of the DNA of all of the previous Beast Kings, and not actually his mother’s son at all. He is meant to revitalize mankind, which lives a limited lifespan and can no longer reproduce (except for those on Kimaera). He refuses and leaves all of the folks in the rest of the system to die, when he realizes that they have lied about Earth still existing for all of these years (apparently it was destroyed at some point).

The series ends with him going back to Kimaera, his skin having changed color for some reason (which is explained, but is still stupid). The love of his life (aka the prettiest girl he’d ever seen) was killed partway through the story and the girl who was obsessed with him (and wanted to have his baby, though he thought of her only as a friend and sister) also died, protecting the creepy Zagi. At the end of the series, they find a child who has survived all of the crazy stuff that went down (as part of the people in the other planet’s plot to make Kimaera their salvation) and he names her after the girl who loved him. This felt like him grooming himself a little bride. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to, but I am super creeped out and angered that I wasted my time.

Although this definitely is a dystopia, I hated it and do not recommend it to manga or dystopia fans.

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