Manga Shelf

Manga First Look: Karneval Volume 1

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Karneval, with its interesting spelling, is a Josei manga that stars an innocent country boy named Nai who sets foot into the sordid cutthroat realm of the big ol city. He might as well have painted a big fat target on his back — he’s that unprepared.

Kidnappers, murders, and the desperados are all around, and are totally waiting for him to cross their path. He’s innocent enough to think that blood is “red water.” <_< eventually his innocence gets him framed for a murder but luckily there’s a bandit named Gareki who gets him out of the situation.

Gareki is quite shrewd and sharp eyed and a thief and has in own motives which aren’t all that pure. Nai, in the mean times, is looking for a friend who has disappeared and left behind something that’s particularly intriguing – an ID bracelet from the organization called “Circus.” They’re known as the country’s supreme defense agency. Gareki has his eyes on the bracelet but Circus has their eyes set on our two boys.

And so starts our story.

While the manga has a thirteen episode anime, the manga goes into more depth and is worth the extra material.

From the beginning there’s more to it than you’d think. There’s a much darker aura that permeates the material. As a matter of fact the manga makes sure to point this out to you much quicker. You’re given some good examples and they do a great job at highlighting themes. It’s more grotesque and murder feels more present.

The manga isn’t shy to show the different parts to its characters. They all have unique parts of their character that are explored ever so subtly even in the beginning.

But not everything is all dark as the manga does a good job of melding the more thoughtful tones with the humor that creeps up in the story. You’ll also have the sweet moments to counter the dark moments thus making for a pretty varied reading experience.

Overall, you’re getting into a pretty enjoyable manga. They’re a fun group to go along with on this journey and now that the manga is available in an omnibus version, it’s even more accessible, so check it out!