Manga-ka: Ryo Saenagi
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: November 2007
Synopsis: “When an accident awakens a mysterious power within high school teen Nanaki, he discovers he is a psychic and is recruited to the Paranormal Task Force to help solve supernatural mysteries. But after he’s paired up with a peculiar partner and put on an extraordinary case, Nanaki’s average life quickly turns into one filled with the bizarre, the mind-boggling, and the unimaginable. Welcome to the power of Nanaki!”
Psychic Power Nanaki starts off with a bang, rather literally, as its title character is hit by a car. Quick flash-forward to the future and Nanaki is alive and well, heading back to school and ready to get on with his life. Suddenly some odd things seem to be happening around him and a visit from the aloof Ao reveals to Nanaki that he himself is the cause. Nanaki learns the crash has left him with strong psychic powers and he needs to get them under control, something that the secretive Paranormal Task Force can help with, if he agrees to join that is.
What stand out the most in this book are the characters. Nanaki’s enthusiastic view towards his newfound abilities feels refreshing and Ao successfully manages to come across soft-spoken and mysterious without seeming too overdone. The contrast between the two makes for compelling interaction and, though they get along fairly well, the tension that remains between them helps bring an energetic spark to the dialogue. Learning more about their individual powers and motivations are very luring reasons to finish reading. Several of their first missions together make up this initial volume and act as varied backdrops for these developing characters, and a few secondary introductions, to be set against.
The artwork works very well with the subject matter. All the characters are easy to tell apart from each other (even if they may prove a little hard to tell apart from characters in Ryo Saenagi’s other series) and have eye-pleasing designs that suit them. Ao in particular manages to have very feminine features while still clearly being a boy. The panel layouts are diverse and well placed and though sometimes the art itself can come across as a bit flat, it redeems itself when things pick up and the artist’s ability to render a good action scene is showcased.
In the end, there may not be a lot that sets this book apart from others like it but it’s still an entertaining read. Volume one has done a good job of foreshadowing some interesting events with its unique characters and is a strong enough release to warrant checking out the second. Psychic Power Nanaki is the newest Ryo Saenagi (manga-ka of Sequence and Satisfaction Guaranteed) release from Tokyopop and will appeal most to fans of her work.