Posts Tagged ‘Issa Kazuma’

DragonEye V2Over forty years after the attack of the D Virus–which wiped out a huge amount of the population by turning them into monster-like Dracule–humanity survives by living in protected cities guarded by members of an organization called VIUS (translated: Epidemic-preventing City System.)

The leader of the VIUS Squad Zero, Issa Kazuma, gathers together new members for his team after losing his old ones from a mysterious disbandment. His first new recruit is the intelligent Leila Mikami, who one day hopes to poses Issa’s secret Dragon Eye.

The second recruit is Sōsei Yukimura, who temporarily left his squad to investigate Issa’s involvement in the death of his twin sister. When we left off in the first volume, the team was facing a high-level Dracule who had entered the Mikuni city limits.

Story overview:

After covering Issa in a pile of rubble, the Dracule searches for another VIUS to challenge. It comes across Leila, who swore to protect the guy who somewhat-unknowingly brought the Dracule into the city. Sōsei comes in after having carried a couple of children to safety. Issa returns shortly after and remembers a deal he made with this Dracule a long time ago. The creature agrees to leave the city and fight with Issa in private.

Upon request, Issa shows the Dracule his Dragon Eye. Seconds later the Dracule dies in what seems to be a satisfying way. Issa says they will meet again someday, with both of them human next time (A hint toward’s Issa not being totally human?) As always, Issa gets punished for the way he handled the Dracule situation. He gets dropped and spun off a tower several times on a long rope. His stomach becomes an uneasy mess, but he doesn’t have time to recover as Squad Zero is called to another mission, accompanied by a new volunteer team.

One of the team members is an old friend of Issa (whom he happened to forget) named Kajiyama, who’s task is to record Issa’s actions. Should Issa make more bad decisions, a demotion may be in order. After what seemed to be a simple mission, the team gets split up: Issa and Sōsei in one group, and Leila and the rest in the other. Shortly after, it becomes apparent that a huge number of highly skilled Dracule are gathered together and it’s up to each team to investigate and come back alive.

My thoughts:

I continue to really enjoy observing the characters and how they interact. There’s a lot of good mystery and we learn a little more since the last volume. In addition, there’s some really good humor. This is at the top of my manga list at the moment; I highly recommend it.

Things to consider:

This is rated for thirteen plus, and I would agree with that for the most part. It’s also geared towards boys. There is a poster of a sexy girl that gets mistaken for an instructional document, but the characters treat it with a fair amount of distaste. There’s little to no cursing, but there is a fair amount of action violence. I didn’t see anything inappropriate for this age group.

Opportunities for discussion:

I want to focus on something the bird-like Dracule said to Leila: “This is why you humans are such fun! You contain both fear and hope simultaneously.” This is a good statement, and contains much truth. We face many fears in our walk, and yet as believers we hold onto a hope that surpasses all understanding. Ask your kids what some of their fears are, and if they have any hope that they will be overcome. If they have none, share with them.

Past reviews in this series:

1) Dragon Eye (Volume 1)

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Dragon Eye v1It’s my pleasure to introduce a new manga series called Dragon Eye. It was first released in 2007 and we’re coming up to Volume 8, which should be out Sep 29, 2009.

Here’s a brief history of what’s going on it the story. Humanity was close to becoming extinct when a virus called the “D Virus” infected the majority of the populace; including animals. Those infected turned into vicious beasts called “Dracules,” which quickly lose their mind and go on murderous rampages.

Those who survived the virus were ones who posed strong antibodies; they were able escape infection 99% of the time. They developed an anti-Dracule civil organization and built cities to protect all future citizens (ones who do not have the high-level of antibodies.)  This group also gathered super-warriors called “VIUS,” who use techniques incorporating sorcery and martial arts. Their purpose is to fight off Dracules and protect those not infected. Those who become infected have only one cure: death.
 
Story overview:

Forty years or so after the infection, in the city of Mikuni, candidates go on a hunt for Dracule in order to pass their final test to become a VIUS. There’s an unexpected turn as high-level Dracules show up. These creatues attack the candidates in order to prevent future, potential enemies, but thankfully there was a hidden enlistment exam inspector named Issa Kazuma.

Issa reviles the secret Dragon Eye (hidden in the center of his forehead) to one of the candidates, Leila Mikami, who said it was her life’s mission to possess one in order to avenge her parent’s death. Easily defeating the foes, Issa tests Leila and finds that her motives may one day be genuine.  He tells her that, in the future, he will give her his eye if she has a good reason (other than revenge) to use it.

Leila finds herself as part of the dreaded Squad Zero, only to learn that Issa is the leader. Since the old Squad Zero had been disbanded, she is the only member. Because of the small group, volunteers join Squad Zero on a mission. In the process one of the volunteers named Sōsei Yukimura attacks Issa. We learn that he was waiting for an opportunity to face Issa so that he could kill him. He claims that Issa killed his twin sister many years ago. Rather than be mad about the accusation, Issa convinces Sōsei to join his squad. The young man agrees as a way of getting more info from Issa and an easier way to fulfill his revenge. On their first mission together as a team, Squad Zero discovers that an extremely powerful Dracule was able to get into the city limits and it’s up to them to work together to stop it.

My thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I love the casual personality of the main character, Issa, who has a serious side he covers up. The other characters are very dynamic as well and a pleasure to watch interact. I also liked the chart of Japanese Honorifics at the beginning which explains the different indications of relationship/status when characters speak to each other. For example -san is similar to “Mr. or Ms.” and can be used like Isaa-san (name first, then the honorific).

Things to consider:

This is targeted more towards boys at around the age of thirteen. Older ages can easily enjoy it too, and Mom and Dad can feel safe that it’s pretty clean in the area of sexuality and foul language. There is a considerable amount of action violence and blood though: great for thirteen-year-old boys 😉

Opportunities for discussion:

There is a strong theme of revenge. We learn that Issa is not an advocate of revenge; instead, he is extremely unbinding. That’s an ironic comment, since we learn that Issa is actually bound by fetters that restrict his powers. But when it comes to Sōsei wanting to kill Issa for revenge, Issa does not refute the accusation, nor does he offer up an excuse. One might expect Issa to jump right in and defend himself, or want to have nothing to do with his accuser. Rather, he takes a hit and offers the young man a position in his team. This is a great example of how we should respond when we feel someone accusing us. Obviously it’s good to defend one’s self and not allow ourselves to be walked on, but if we offer grace for wrath, forgiveness for blame, kindness for hostility, then perhaps, as the Bible says: Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Talk to your kids and ask them when the last time it was that someone accused them of wrongdoing. Ask them how they responded and offer up this solution to them for future incidents.