The first manga I have ever read was the Bleach manga which I started in order to finish the story after the end of the anime. It made me fall in love with the world of manga and ever since then I’ve never looked back. I’ve been reading a few different manga here and there trying to discern what kinds of manga I do and don’t like.
About three weeks ago I came across the name of Hiro Mashima on a manga that isn’t called Fairy Tail. I really enjoy the Fairy Tail anime; the characters are fun, the story is pretty good and the fighting is great, so finding out that Hiro Mashima created a manga called RAVE before he made Fairy Tail got my manga senses tingling!
Rave follows the story of Haru Glory, a charismatic young man from Garage Island who inherits the title of Rave Master and sets off on a quest to save the world from the nefarious Demon Card organisation. Along the way Haru makes new friends and allies such as Elie, a young women with no memory of her past, and a guy called Musica, a suarve street thug with the power to control silver known as silver claiming. Rave is full of interesting characters that join Haru’s team as he ventures forth on his journey. The world is unique and vibrant with a multitude of different species from mermaids, to dragon people, and even talking penguins and starfish!
The manga consists of 289 volumes of which I am currently at volume 240. Looking back at how this Manga started and where it is now 200 volumes later, there has been a real feel of growth and progression. One of my only gripes about Fairy Tail is that I feel it plays it too safe sometimes, it feels scared to kill off a character and the protagonists are always victorious in everything they do. Rave doesn’t coddle the reader. Whilst the main cast of characters never ceases to survive, there are a number of supporting characters that feel as though they are making their way into the main group before Hiro decides to rip your heart out and kill them off just as you start to want more from them. I really like this in a story as it builds up so much emotion in me and gives me a genuine sense of loss.
The artwork grows along with the characters and story too. In the first 40 or so volumes the artistry wasn’t lacking but it had more of a cartoon feel to the character design. As the manga has progressed and evolved it is clear that Hiro Mashima went through a similar process, refining the details of his work in both visuals and exposition of the narrative. At times there are incredibly dark moments that have me strenuously gripping at the edges of my tablet wanting to see what happens next; at other times Rave has me in fits of laughter at the simple but enjoyable humor incorporated into the characters. One of my favourite moments is when the Rave Barer, Plue, joins in getting drunk with a flamboyant homeless guy much to Haru’s disdain.
Its safe to say that I have revelled in the wonderland world of Rave over the past month. For people that are new to manga I would recommend this series as a great place to start. In summary, Rave offers a simple, easy to follow but enjoyable story of a quest to save the world from the forces of evil. It is filled with so many wonders of the imagination I sometimes find myself so drawn into the world that I feel I’m living it myself.
Next up I think I will go for something more modern, maybe One Punch Man or Attack on Titan. Give me some suggestions manga fans!
Have you read Rave? Whats your thoughts on Fairy Tail? Who’s your favourite characters? Let me know in the comments, im always looking for a discussion! Thanks for reading!