When it comes to manga, my taste stays pretty firmly in the shonen (teen guy) and seinen (adult male) camps. Even though I’m a girl I don’t typically respond well to the titles marketed to my demographic. I prefer more action and adventure than most of the girl stuff usually provides. I’m also not overly fond of how women are portrayed in manga in general. There are exceptions to every rule of course, but for the most part I pick up a manga when I’m looking for an adventure that won’t make me think too hard. When I feel like I need a brain vacation with a lot of action Psyren is a great option. And it’s one of the better offerings in the shonen genre.
In the series main character Ageha Yoshina is pulled through a public phone into a mysterious, monster-filled world known as Psyren. He is joined there by Sakurako Amamiya, a girl in his class, and several other random characters, many of which don’t last very long. The air on Psyren awakens psychic powers in those who are lucky enough to survive their first round in the wasteland. Unfortunately the characters must master those new powers quickly since they can be pulled back into Psyren at any time.
Many manga in the shonen genre tend to follow the Dragon Ball formula of story writing. Step 1: Character discovers hidden powers. Step 2: Character learns to control hidden powers. Step 3: Character goes up against foes. It’s a very simple process which is repeated often and requires the main character to always discover some new power or well of inner strength in order to defeat stronger enemies. It starts getting old after a while. Especially with all of the pages and pages devoted to training. Psyren tends to gloss over the training or at least makes it more interesting by making it about fighting smarter rather than fighting harder. The story also grows more complex as time goes on. Not only are new characters added to the story, the truth of Psyren and its implications for the future of the world are revealed. The characters are actually kind of forgettable in this one. Psyren is all about the action and the growing plot. Pick up Psyren if you’re looking for some action without too many tedious training sequences.
Get it here!