How to start a review of Bokurano, when as mentioned above, the manga is about the end? I'll start off with the comparison to Evangelion; it isn't like it. It makes sense, has characters with depth, and all of them deserve our sympathy. The art is somewhat 'soft' and light, but it fits most situations fairly well. The action scenes are fairly clever, making full use of Zearth and the enemy's capabilities, and the music (in the anime) has a haunting, lyrical beauty. So what about the story? Without warning, fifteen middle-school children are thrust into a competition that will determine the fate of all life in their universe, and worst of all, their victory will be bittersweet; regardless of the result, they will die. It follows the children's lives, giving us their thoughts and feelings. Some of them face the end with courage, some with resignation, and some with cowardice. Regardless of what they feel, though, it feels human; it's both constructed and portrayed well. And unlike the pseudo-philosophical meandering of Evangelion, the main focus of the story, how they face the end, isn't cluttered and tangled with a non-sensical plot and characters that dull, predictable characters: It's central question, 'how we face the end', remains simple and beautiful. So, what are the flaws? As I mentioned above, the art style is somewhat 'soft' and light; although it works well much of the time, it can also create near-transparent scenes, like mediocre watercoloring. And although the characters are well made, only the ones that live to latter parts of the manga get substantive characterization; the ones who die early only receive a small, if descriptive portrait. Final analysis? The manga is definitely worth reading; with good characters, story, and action, it has a multi-layered approach and appeal. However, the subject matter and tone may not appeal to others; those unable to hold back tears (as I was on occasion), read the story with caution. PS If anyone actually reads this review and feels offended at my jabs at Evangelion, I have two things to say. First off, the comparisons were made on the first page, so I think the comparisons are justified. Second, Evangelion isn't deep or intelligent; it's a mish-mash of bad characters, nonsensical plot, and a overabundance of useless symbolism. Debate me on my Tropes page if you want.
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