Manga is not my forte. I’m all about bringing new formats and subject matters to comics in the United States, these are some of the major reasons why I do indie comics. The Big 2 aren’t doing a whole lot for the future of comics so it has to come from somewhere. But, my own failure is that I just have not read much Manga. Of what I’ve read, I really enjoy the out there stuff like Cinderalla by Junko Mizuno. In the end though, storytelling is storytelling and no matter the format or subject matter, it’s all about communicating to the reader.
Euri: Revelation definitely plays the part of Manga. The story is pretty out there but in some ways, most importantly, the art meets the expectations of what audiences expect from the style. The art and character design of Euri is actually quite nice with smart range coming through on many levels. There is a large diversity of scenes and action as well as creatures ranging from plain old humans to angelic beings and Kraken-like, giant crabby-beasts. With all of this range though, I felt a little lost as to what was happening.
Manga is inherently “foreign” to western readers – the format is “strange” and the topics are generally “different” – none of these things are actually true but these are the perception of most American readers. I’ve had some experience in this myself, when I published a Manga-style comic and as I work to sell it at comic book shows. In Manga, it is ultimately necessary that the writer doesn’t lose the reader, that they’re story maintains consistant, logical transitions and that it holds to many of the core, storytelling conventions so that it is not perceived as any more alien than most people already see it. Euri fails here.
I often found myself going from page to page of Euri and wondering where the beautifully drawn characters were and why I did not understand how they got there. While Euri looks great and the story concepts are out there enough to be Manga, the writing needs to be fine-tuned just enough to keep the reader for more than just a few cool scenes.