Manga Review: 12 Beast vol. 1 & 2

I happened to run across both volumes on the same bargain shelf in a bookstore, so I took the chance of buying them both at once. I’m glad I did, because it takes Okayado a little time to hit stride with the characters in volume 1, and it was good to see it didn’t slow down in volume 2.

There is an Ordinary High School Student, Touga Eita. There is secret ninja training. There is a lovely girl from another world, Aero, who may be just a bit bird-brained, and the obligatory giant robot attack by the bad guys. And… there is fanservice.

Oh my, there is fanservice.

Mostly busty Cute Monster Girls. But there are also a fair number of Cute Monster Guys for the other half of humanity to drool over- er, artistically appreciate. πŸ˜‰

But when you get past the big busts and occasional nudity, there’s a pretty good light action-adventure story here. Eita has the training to be a truly dangerous ninja, but he’d rather do anything than fight… until it’s literally life or death. Which is the sane and practical view of the martial arts: violence is supposed to be a last resort, not a flashy tool for showing off. Aero is quite serious about trying to help her people. She’s also a total ninja fan. Fortunately for Eita’s sanity, Jawea is far more skeptical of legendary ninjas from another world. Unfortunately for his health, she wants to prove he’s no hero by beating him to a pulp….

Put together, the harpy city defense in volume 1 was an interesting mix of game-inspired improvisation, frantic efforts on Eita’s part to avoid anything heroic, and quite a bit of being a hero. Volume 2 starts off with “find the legendary blacksmith”, goes through an entertaining dungeon crawl, and eventually results in Eita admitting to himself he really is a shinobi – whether he likes it or not.

All told, if you want some serious philosophy and deep characters in your manga, this is not the series for you. If, however, you just want a fun adventure with lovely art and plausible heroic characters to take you out of this world, then check it out. πŸ™‚

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14 thoughts on “Manga Review: 12 Beast vol. 1 & 2

  1. Well hopefully the harpies in MCO while (likely) still being cute monster girls, are not as scatter-brained/Attention Deficit…Ooh, Shiny! as Okayado’s creations.

    Because sometimes those feather-brains are in the ‘how has your species managed to survive?’ category.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Are we talking chainmail bikini level fan service? Because while Kill la Kill was interesting, the fan service was so overkilled I literally could not watch it…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not nearly Kill la Kill level, despite minor tentacle action (heroically averted) in the first chapter.

      Haven’t read past that, just because I’m not in the mood for action adventure today.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just wondering… if a suggestion wouldn’t offend you? Have you ever read “To the abandoned sacred beasts” by Maybe? Given the implications of the ongoing story arc and themes thereof, I’d be really interested in your views on it, especially since it’s a Japanese manga with an AU take on a period of US history that seems to be… interesting, to say the least.
    It’s kind of depressing, thought, so you might want to try the library. The 4th volume was published in english in February.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. …Heh, that last paragraph honestly sounds very much like how I’ve described The Seven Deadly Sins anime to all my roomies.
    I’ve seen series that were far worse than The Seven Deadly Sins for fanservice, and there’s no new philosophical ground being tred (which I feel like even a relatively light-hearted Adventure series can do without gratuitous death if they’re willing to try). But the heroes are heroic – once you give ’em a bit of a chance – and in a group where seven theme characters are in-setting officially titled after the 7 Deadly Sins it was nice seeing Lust not going to a female member even when there was more than one girl amongst the seven putting boot to arse. Not highly recommended but if you’re bored with nothing to watch and free access to your roommate’s Netflix worth sitting through.

    … Sounds like 12 Beast hit about the same spot.

    Liked by 1 person

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