Flame of Recca manga review

February 15, 2011 at 3:08 am | Posted in Complete Manga Review, Manga Reviews | Leave a comment
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He just got shot down!

First of all, I’d like to point out that if you’ve ever tried any other work by Anzai Nobuyuki, none of them even begin to compare with Flame of Recca. His other works include Mar, Mar Omega and Mixim 11. Mar was alright, haven’t tried Mar Omega and Mixim 11 is his latest work but also his worst. I couldn’t even read more than a couple chapters of Mixim, he tries to appeal to a younger audience while making mature type perverted humor. It simply didn’t work and came across as really weird and uninteresting. But this isn’t a review about Mixim 11 so I’ll end that rant here.

Flame of Recca is Anzai’s earlier work but it’s also his best, in my opinion. Recca is a manga that isn’t afraid to be dark. There are moments where you realize how twisted and dark it’s become and how well it fits into the story, even with the silly moments. Recca is a 33 volume manga so it’s not a quick read but you may be amazed at how quickly you can get through it.

Stop making us look bad

Honestly, I’ve reread Flame of Recca 3 or 4 times. Each time through I realize just how entertaining and well done Recca is, which is why his later works disappoint me as much as they do. I may be biased when it comes to Recca because it’s one of the first manga I read many years ago but that doesn’t change the overall picture. The art starts off rough but he eventually refines it into eye candy. His art is quite distinct and it’s easy to recognize anywhere.

For some reason he likes to write stories with middle school protagonists but don’t let that distract you from the actual story. It starts off a bit goofy, which he eventually works into a half serious, half funny introduction of characters. After the main cast is  complete the story takes a darker turn, the tone becomes more serious. The second half of the story is very dark and even asks some hard questions and gives you difficult dilemmas. There are very emotional bits which are sometimes inappropriately disturbed by silliness meant to soften the mood. The story was great but there are times when the humor actually drags it down a notch. I’m not saying the humor is bad, there are just moments where it interjects and interrupts the flow. Keep in mind that even though the story is dark there are still telltale signs of Recca being a shounen manga. These shounen elements may turn off some but if you can get passed them you’ll find a great story to enjoy.

One of the best characters in Flame of Recca

The characters aren’t exactly deep but there are a couple very complex characters which make up for those who are shallow. There’s enough variety of characters to keep you on your toes. Plenty of crazy ass villains who have some fucked up lines. Some of the darker characters are very human, their backstories will get you to feel for them. Then there are the unique and fucked up characters who are either awesome or just dumb.

Recca is a manga with a story which gets better as you go. The art improves over time, especially since this is such a long manga, it was inevitable that Anzai’s art became what it does. As you read more, you become more invested, more immersed and you’ll find that it’s easier to look passed some of the downfalls the manga may have and enjoy what is great about Recca.

Eeep

Reading Recca is like getting slapped in the face on accident by a stranger. After he says sorry you two become friends and as you get to know each other you find out he smokes, which you hate. But just because someone smokes isn’t a big deal or detriment to a friendship. You find out he is a great person with good ethics, he’s reliable and although he can be obnoxious, he’ll occasionally make you laugh out loud. Sometimes he pulls a prank on you or he’ll do something assholish but that’s what adds to your relationship as friends. As you bond as friends you realize he’s become irreplaceable and you don’t want to lose him. He teaches you many things you didn’t know before. Despite any misgivings you’ve found that they don’t matter. Flame of Recca may have shortcomings but it has so much to offer you. So yes, I recommend Recca to anyone who is willing to give it a try with an open mind.

Dude, I'm so cool right now

Overall: 10

I may be biased about my score but you should be able to find a great read in Flame of Recca.

Though I prefer the B&W version, I figured I'd share something colorful

This is one of my favorite pictures in manga.

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