Review

by Chris Shepard, Aug 27th 2002

Sarai

Vol. 1

Synopsis:
Sarai GN 1
Genetic disorders have destroyed the future. Among humankind's remnants, teenage warrior maids like Sarai fight for honor and survival in a land where no one lives past their 17th year.
Review:
Sometimes I think to myself that living forever might not be such a good idea. No, not because I'd get bored. I can easily amuse myself with the simplest of things. I guess it's just the fear of being around in a crazy post-apocalyptic world where I'll probably end up a mutant or brutally dead, anyway. Reading Sarai didn't help out much with this either; it just strengthened my fears.

Sarai is a “battle-maid” living in a world similar to what I described above. Avoiding the terrible fate of transforming into a hideous mutant beast from all the contamination in the world, she travels around with her friend looking for jobs. Her work ranges from house cleaning to fighting off invaders; usually a combination of both.

Sarai has a very twisted atmosphere. Besides the majority of living creatures being extremely deformed, Sarai's employers aren't always the greatest of people either. A serial killing gangster rapist describes one of them pretty well. And this manga doesn't hold much back, either. Scenes of bloody deaths and perverted sex are quite abundant.

Though post-apocalyptic stories may be a little clichéd, they usually make for an interesting premise. And thankfully, Sarai seems to be succeeding in setting up this type of world. Fans of this genre will probably be interested.

Volume one in the series mainly focuses on character development in what looks to be the two main characters as they travel from job to job. Their interactions with each other and the people they come across seem to be laying out the foundation for later volumes, when I'd assume the story turns itself up a notch and a main plot comes into focus. As we're just getting to know the characters now, nothing terribly exciting has happened yet, though the first “segment” does get a bit extreme to help hook the readers. Sarai has started off very well and has the potential to get very good.

Story and art is done by Masahrio Shibata, who is popular with several other series in Japan such as “Akai Kiba Series: Blue Sonnet” and “Love Syncloid”. There is a good level of detail in his art and it's a pleasure to look at. The action scenes are exciting and character designs of the mutants look superb. Mr. Shibata does a job well done.

Sarai has demonstrated that it may have what it takes to become a sleeper hit in America. If only the series continues to progress and take form of its potential, it'll become a great investment. Fans of broken down and bleak future stories should be interested in this one. It's worth reading.
Grade:
Production Info:
Story : B
Art : B

+ Good art and direction.
The series is still only starting off.

Story & Art:Masahiro Shibata

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Sarai (manga)

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