Karnevel Vol.1 by Touya Mikanagi
Series: Karneval #1
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Shounen, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Synopsis: When innocent country boy Nai sets foot into the sordid cutthroat realm of the city, he might as well have painted a target on his own back. Kidnappers, murderers and desperados abound, waiting to take advantage of a boy guileless enough to believe blood is merely “red water”. When he is framed for a murder, it is the bandit Gareki who bails him out. Being a shrewd and sharp-eyed thief, however, Gareki’s motives are less than pure. Nai is looking for a friend who has disappeared and left behind something particularly intriguing – an I.D bracelet from the organisation named “Circus”, the country’s supreme defense agency. While Gareki has his sights set firmly on the bracelet, “Circus” in turn, has shifted its eye onto the duo as well…
For a first volume, this volume was pretty great. Yes, it was a bit hard to follow, but it promises that the it’s the beginning of a series that has much potential. And to be honest, I am kind of in love with the title.
Right from the start the reader is thrown into the story. Information is shown little by little. This can cause some confusion–heck, even I had some question marks floating over my head at times– but I thought it was well done for the most part. The volume is pretty fast paced with tons of action, so I was never bored and stuck in my seat!
I have always loved stories in which powerful organizations play a important rule. This is pretty apparent in my obvious love for Pandora Hearts. But instead of the organization Pandora, we have Circus, an organization that keeps control of crime and sets up circus carnivals as an apology for disrupting the daily life of citizens. So yeah, I am sort of attracted to this manga because of Circus.
The characters are quite interesting… Nai gives a whole new meaning to the word naive (he consistently calls blood ‘red water’). This naivete might grate on the nerves of some readers but I actually think that this trait makes him adorable. Normally I am very irritated by extreme naivete, but I feel different about it this time. And Gareki is very mysterious at the moment but right now he seems like the type of character that is outwardly cold but kind in the inside. I think there is a developing friendship between the two!
Some other noteable characters are Yogi and Tsukumo. Yogi is pretty silly which makes him very entertaining to read and Tsukumo is very quiet right now, but she does seem very tough.
To be honest, I wish there was more ‘Circus stuff’ in this volume. Sure, we get some scenes with the organization, but I want to see the conflict within the organization of Circus and really see the personalities of all the people working for it. It’s only the first volume so hopefully we get some of that in the future.
The art, awhile rough, is beautiful. There is a lot of close attention payed to small details like the creases in clothing and strands of hair. If you are a sucker for pretty art like I am, then this manga might just be for you. The art is to die for.
Overall, this was a pretty neat first volume. It wasn’t perfect but it was a great beginning to a probably great series (I have heard nothing but good things about it). Thank you, Delaney for wildly recommending this!