Author: Tadashi Kawashima
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: February 2008
“Taisuke and Yuta are searching for their kidnapped friends when they are ambushed by the wind-weiling Morio. Can Taisuke use his burgeoning powers to escape? Whom can Taisuke and Yuta trust?”
Taisuke and Yuta continue their blind trip North in the hopes of finding their friends who’re in the hands of the ‘comrades’. Assassins are now being sent after Taisuke, to stop him before his powers awaken any further, and some with powers unlike anything Taisuke has ever imagined. The pair suddenly find themselves in the company of a boy and his younger sister, who’re running from their homicidal father whose powers are quite possibly the strongest any of them have seen yet.
Alive is one of those series that I can’t wait for; it had me hooked from volume one. Volume three continues the pretty linear story direction begun in volume two and the eerie chill-factor from earlier volumes is replaced by fight scenes and desperate flees for life. It’s a different kind of tension but still an interesting one. I eagerly await more to be explained about what gives people their powers and, despite minor wince-age at the predictability of it, look forward to seeing Taisuke discover the extent of his powers.
The artwork remains consistent with what I first saw in volume one and I love how it manages to be so simple while still incorporating an attractive level of detail. Adachitoka does a great job with the fight scenes, though admittedly one or two spots did require a double take to keep up with had happened; a small qualm in an otherwise great reading experience.
Despite many attributes that could place Alive in the stereotypical shonen category, there are too many other elements that make this story unique. Though volume three lacks of the wow-factor I felt reading one and two, it was still a riveting and often thought-provoking book and I greatly look forward to volume four.