Earthian by Yun Kouga
Official Rating: Older teen
My Rating: 13+, no sex, language or nudity. Homosexual themes nothing graphic.
First published in Japan in the 1980’s this is definitely an ‘old’ manga. However unlike many older manga and anime the art style is timeless fitting in seamlessly with more modern series. The anime is dated and I have to admit it did put me off watching it, it lacked a certain quality that modern anime has. Although this also may have to do with the fact that like so many film and programs, the book was just way better.
I admit I only read Earthian because it was by Yun Kouga who is, despite me only have read this and Loveless, one of my favourite Manga-ka. I figured out long ago one yaoi story is much like another and while I love the sappy romance I refuse to read manga with poor artwork. Yun Kouga’s art is simply stunning, I enjoy looking at her work more than I do reading it. The Earthian manga volumes are beautiful books in themselves without even opening the cover, and when you do it only becomes better.
Artwork aside, Yun has an interesting and often confusing plot line, I found myself relying on comments by other readers online to figure it out sometimes. The story is set in what amounts to heaven, the angels that live there are a race living about Earth, and it’s inhabitants the Earthian. The story focus’s on Kagetsuya and Chihaya, the plot revolves around the idea that it is judgement day for Earth and in order to decide whether or not it is destroyed angels are sent in pairs to look for positive and negative points. Chihaya and Kagetsuya one such pair.
This is considered a shonen-ai manga, however it is pointed out from the beginning that homosexuality is a crime in Eden punishable by death. The relationship between Kagetsuya and Chihaya is slow and wandering, almost seeming incidental at time, it’s a frustrating and slightly irritating to read. The plot meanders all over the place and digresses seemingly at random to side plots, although eventually coming together at the end they still seem pointless. It almost feels like Yun has started to develop a plot but hasn’t really followed through.
I did thoroughly enjoy reading the series, and having to wait to buy each new volume was a long wait. The three volumes are more expensive than usual at about £10.00 each as opposed to the usual £6 or £7. But then you have to consider that since they were reprinted each volume now is actually two of the original volumes. There is also a fourth ‘accompaniment’ volume focussing on the life and relationship of Chihaya’s father and his lover, as well as a lot of the unexplained past from the first three volumes.
I would consider this a must to any shonen-ai/yaoi collection, the typically beautiful style of Yun Kouga’s art coupled with an overall satisfying story, despite the meandering, comes together to provide something I will never regret spending my allowance on.
Recommend to someone else: 8/10
Story Potential: 5/10
Actual Story: 6/10
Final Score: 7/10