Manga-ka: Aya Kanno
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: December 2008
Synopsis: “What does it take to find you true innter self? Zen’s memory has been wiped, and he can’t remember if he’s a killer or a hero. And a l ot of people will do anything they can to keep it that way? At an abandoned military base, Zen finally finds the trth about his identity. Now that he knows who he is, does that mean his destiny is written in stone? Conspiracies, espionage and attempted coups d-etat all tie into the conclusion of Aya Kanno’s intense tale of lost identity.”
Zen along with his doctor acquaintance, Hakka, travel back to a location that triggered pain in Zen’s mind, a pain that could signify a connection to his forgotten past. On his trail is the now ex-soldier, Kyrie, determined to defeat the deadly Zen, and protect the blind Rian who, determined to find her own freedom after her encounter with Zen, follows Kyrie on the dangerous mission.
To my surprise, final two of Blank Slate marks the end of this series, and final volumes are hard to write about, especially one with an ending like this one. I don’t want to spoil anything and thus I’ll do my best not to, admist the little I have to say.
Zen remains more inigma than character, bound to find his past and destroy the force that controls him. Even when the story ends and he has his predictable past revealed, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a deadpan, super-killing machine pretty boy with a passion for freedom and a will to sloosh through blood to find it. His origin story doesn’t get much more unoriginal than it is but thankfully Blank Slate has some other surprises that managed to balance out that flaw nicely. Kudos for the lose-end tie ups which were more thorough in some cases that I expected and oddly refreshing.
The artwork is still pretty though its charm failed to impress me as much this time around, more in part I think because the story itself didn’t really do much for me. The beautiful men and flowing hair mark Blank Slate‘s place in the Shoujo Beat line-up and amidst the military uniforms and blood-splattered guns, there’s still enough shoujo sensibility from an artistic point of view to appeal to the target.
Overall, after reading this second volume I wasn’t as disappointed that this was the end. I really enjoyed the first, and though I didn’t not enjoy this second, persay, it did fail to impress in comparison. Predictability made it dull and while I did enjoy the sharp twists that the end brought, it still lacked much of the character interaction and depth I had hopes would develop from the first. An interesting two-part read for sure, but Blank Slate‘s charm fizzles out with less gusto than it premiered with.
Review written December 12, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo.
Book purchased from independant hobby-store, The Batter’s Box