Reviews: Variante

Seen it before, but still enjoyable.

A tale of loss, bewilderment and belonging.

Variante has an interesting, but not too original, premise. It more or less revolves around the theme of What Measure Is A Non Human. The protagonist tries to prove to the world (and herself) that she isn't a monster and tries to find a way to fit in. I've seen it before in Deadman Wonderland and Parasyte. I can even liken the series with D Gray Man, what with the giant mutant arm and the not trying to be the enemy. Other aspects remind me of Elfen Lied. I also commend the author on his research on genetics. I ain't no expert, but the shit the scientists spurt out of their mouths sounds like cold hard science to me.

As for the story itself, it was short, but fun. I, myself, was quite fascinated by all the Body Horror, especially on cute young girls. And the further descent of the cute girl's psyche into despair and desensitization to violence and gore. Either the internet has pounded rule 15 very deeply into me or I'm a sick motherfuck. Anyhow, the characters at first seem kind of bland, fitting more or less into cliché stereotypes and you can't really relate to them. No one felt special to me. What kept me reading was the plot. I was very much intrigued by how Aiko was going to develop. However, later on, most important characters do mature and reveal nuances.

Variante nevertheless has (minor) problems, although this might just be me. I felt that the story lacked something. At first I thought it might be that some important turning-points in the plot where either not foreshadowed at all or could be seen a mile away, but, upon further reflection, I think the author might just lack subtlety in his storytelling. Everything seems a little straightforward and to the point. Although it tries, you don't really feel surprised at most plot twists. Other times, it seems straight out Ass Pull ( WTF does divinity have anything to do with morally unsound genetic research?! Where did you get a magic altar?!). Also, The art is good, but a little too generic, being of the stereotypical manga/anime style. However, these aspects only prevent this good story from being a great story.

All in all, I quite enjoyed Variante.