Manga Review – Creature!

Creature! Volume 1

Creature!
ハカイジュウ (Hakaijuu)
HONDA Shingo
Shounen – Horror
1 Volume of 21 Volumes (complete)
Media Do (Akita Publishing)

Summary:

Akira feels like he’s falling further and further behind his best friend, Eiji, in basketball. But when he gets promoted to a starter, Eiji suggests they compete to see who will confess to Miku, their childhood friend. But when an earthquake hits, the day the two can play together and also face-off may never come…

Review:

This review will be really short because not much happened.

Well, okay, technically a lot happened to protagonist Akira. He finally is getting his chance to shine at basketball, and his friend Miku is in Tokyo for a school trip. Friend Eiji suggests that this would be a good time to compete for Miku’s heart: whoever scores the most points in the game gets a chance to tell her his feelings. While they are rivals, they’re still best friends. Akira goes to get a ball to practice with when an earthquake strikes. When he wakes up after falling unconscious, he opens the door…

… and see Eiji’s severed arm. And in the darkness behind it is a mysterious monster-thing.

Right now, Creature! is still in its very early stages. So early that most of it is just running, running, and more running. Akira does find some survivors, most notably Nao, the student body president, and Tadakoro (given name unknown), a bully. So the group of survivors all try to figure out what’s going on and how to survive a monster attack.

Creature! Sample 1

The three (current) main characters all have very different personalities. Akira is the usual nice guy who doesn’t want to see anyone else die. Nao is the cool, pragmatic beauty. Tadokoro is a hot-headed jerk. I don’t know how far they’ll make it together, but I could see this being an interesting long-term dynamic, even if it’s the usual grouping of brains, brawn, and heart. The fact that Tadokoro is so abrasive and abusive even in a crisis means he’ll have to have quite the character development in order for readers to like him. I do like how Nao is incredibly shook by this whole situation (and she even had to hide under dead bodies to escape being killed), but she also hasn’t spent this whole time crying. It looks like she goes into her student body prez mode in order to not fall apart.

But so far, the biggest draw is, of course, the titular creature. Akira and the rest aren’t sure if it’s one creature or many creature, and it’s at least somewhat sentient. The being is large and has multi-faceted, and the author does a great job showcasing not only its mish-mash design but the destruction it leaves in its wake. The designs of the characters aren’t nearly as impressive, as I’m sure you’ve seen dozens, perhaps hundreds featuring a blonde-haired delinquent and a long, dark-haired beauty. Maybe depending on how the story goes — whether they have to live in some secret facility, become part of a fighting squad, etc. — we’ll see more interesting designs for the people trying to defeat this threat. But otherwise, this horror manga looks good. There’s not a lot of long survival manga that’s relatively recent and completed, so that should draw readers to Creature!

Translation:

Honorifics are used. I didn’t notice problems that other Media Do titles have, like typos and awkward speech.

Final Comments:

Creature! is still too early in its run to see exactly what kind of survival manga this will be (heavily mystery, action, etc.), but it does a good job of establishing the initial panic, even if one of the first survivors we meet is hardly someone to root for to live.

Media Do has also released Honda’s Ping-Pong Dash.

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