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Facing the End
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.
You don't have a vandalism section on your page, and I've not the right to make one. That said, challenge accepted:

"Non-sensical plot"? Arguably. Although as Film Crit Hulk realized, coherence is among the most over vauled things in any art form. "Overabundance of useless symbolism." Even Wordof God agrees with you there. They're less symbols and more just images, as Hidekai Anno himself has said. "Bad characters"- now hold the fuck up. For one, you're an english major, and instead of picking a word that actually describes the central flaw of the characters you just go with "bad"? Twice, no less?

Please describe what you mean by "bad." And of course, as I have to always mention to people when discussing Final Fantasy VIII, there's a big difference between a badly-written, not-at-all explored or developed character, and one you simply happen not to like. Hey, I don't even lik Asuka, but she's not a bad character, she just has the personality of someone who would push me away in Real Life.

Begin.
comment #12863 ScanVisor 18th Feb 12
Have to agree with Scan Visor. This is less a review about Bokurano, more about using its comparison to Evangelion to bash the shit out of it because you don't like it. Also, Evangelion was less about giant Kaiju fights, more about the frailty and near incomprehensible nature of the human mind, as has been explicitly stated on numerous occasions by Word Of God. If that's not your thing, then fine. That's your opinion, but it belongs on the Evangelion review page, not the Bokurano one. If you truly want to use the comparison between the two as basis for your review, I'd suggest looking at how each subverts the Super Robot Genre and its associated tropes differently or why they are compared, rather than saying "X is better than Y because...". That said, bear in mind that just because you can't make sense of something doesn't make it truly "nonsensical" anymore than not liking something can make it "bad".
comment #15924 Halberd 27th Aug 12
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