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Scribbly's Manga Hole

Started by Scribbly, June 06, 2023, 09:17:20 AM

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Scribbly

I've been reading a bunch of manga lately. A friend of mine got me back into it and I've been amazed at the quality of the storytelling on display. I want to ramble about them, so, good luck.

Gonna start with Frieren: Beyond Journey's End



The premise for this is simple. A party of adventurers have slain the Demon King and then go their separate ways. The elf mage, Frieren, decides to take a short break of 60 years or so to go and study magic. When she returns, she is horrified to see how the passage of time has not been kind to her allies - something she knew intellectually but was not emotionally prepared for.

Frieren is a series which uses the long lifespan of elves in the most interesting way I have seen in fantasy bar none. It is a touching exploration of grief, love, friendship and the difficulty of relating to people who have fundamentally different worldviews than your own. And the pain of dealing with a love you only see in retrospect. It is about legacy, and how the small acts of kindness we take part in throughout our lives are incredibly meaningful. Perhaps even more meaningful than the huge acts we think define us.

It is also a series about growth, with Frieren taking on a mentor role as she retraces the steps of her legendary journey as a pilgrimmage in the memory of her old friends. The development of her apprentice and the other characters they meet along the way is genuinely beautiful, with the story told from Frieren's perspective and months or years passing very quickly. We see a child grow into a young woman, and I have no doubt that as the story continues we will see that young woman become even greater.

On top of all that strong emotional foundation we also have moments of genuine comedy and action scenes that had me whooping. Unlike many fantasy manga, Frieren's battle scenes are not used only to show off the characters. Every fight tells us something about the participants within it, with the more learned about them through their actions in combat than could be revealed in the calmer, more slice-of-life moments.

There are seven volumes out right now with the eighth due in two weeks. There's also an anime due by the end of this year. I hope it does well; I love these characters and the world they live in. Without a doubt the best piece of fantasy literature I've read in years.

It's also the only not-gay series that has gripped me so. Be ready for that in following reviews.
I had an existential crisis and all I got was this stupid gender.

Scribbly

Just finished Volume 8. It was as good as the rest. And they released the subtitled version of the trailer for the anime, which also looks wonderful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwr1aLEDpe4

I'll probably review some more stuff here eventually but wanted to share the Frieren love. If they pull it off I strongly believe this will be the best piece of media released this year and it won't even be close.
I had an existential crisis and all I got was this stupid gender.