I’ve found that a good way to discover new stories is to just grab something that looks interesting off the library shelf. At times this has been successful and others not so much, but overall it’s worth the chance.
Rave Master is one of those that fit into the first category. When looking through the manga shelf, I saw that there were several available books in this series. I had gotten sick of finding a good manga, only to realize that the next volume is not available or has a long delay before being released. So I took a chance on this one, knowing that if I want to continue, I can.
At first, when looking at the cover, there were two things that made me hesitate. (1) the name RAVE MASTER is as close to cheesy as anything I’ve seen, and (2) the picture of a ridiculous “cutesy” looking creature, with a big round head and a snow cone nose, made me want to hurl, but flipping through the pages, seeing clips of the main character, and heck, it was free, so I went ahead and grabbed it. And I’m glad I did.
A sixteen-year-old boy named Haru lives on an island with his sister, and what looks to be a talking sunflower that is attached to the outside of their house.
When Haru’s sister visits their mother’s grave, he is out fishing for food. To his dismay, rather than catching a taste fish, a strange dog-like creature emerges from the water and follows Haru home. At first he wasn’t too keen on the animal, but it quickly grew on the boy and joins him when he goes into town.
In town, while hanging out at his favorite food establishment–and getting laughed at by the owner–Haru is taken aback when an old man named Shiba barges into the store. They quickly become friends, and Haru finds himself protecting the old man with the help of a stone he is given called Rave. Shiba realizes that he is no longer the chosen carrier of the magical stone, as it had chosen Haru as its new master. But can Haru go on a quest and fight against the dreaded Demon Card organization? Can he rid the world of the evil power of the Dark Stone? Or will he have to stay on the island to protect his sister?
I love the humor in the story and the character attributes of Haru. He is very considerate, noble, yet humble; and kicks butt too. Not only that, but he doesn’t have totally off-the-wall anime hair (thank goodness). I will for sure be acquiring the next book in the series.
Things to consider:
There are violence scenes with blood spilling (but no “guts” type gore). So far there are no scantily dressed girls, which are common in manga, nor foul language. I would rate this for pre-teens and note that it is geared more towards boys.
Opportunities for discussion:
The main character’s example shows that one should not abandon a friend in need. In addition there’s a good opportunity to discuss when it is and isn’t good to give up something important for the sake of someone else.