Karneval, ep01 – Review

So I noticed that Yen Press (one of the all time greatest manga publishers) was releasing ‘Karneval’ this March. The cover looks adorable. Why wouldn’t you want to look further into a book that has a boy-child in ripped clothing, covered in bandages and smiling against a background of butterfly silhouettes?

To the seasoned manga reader that isn’t as weird as it sounds.

Ok, yes it is. But weird is not synonymous with bad. You don’t judge books by covers, so stop judging people by their interests. If a manga or anime exists, I will consume before deciding whether I like it. Even if your first impression is a beaten up but happy boy-child.

There are spoilers ahead as I re-enact my thoughts while watching the episode.

NB. I wrote this ages ago, but never published it, like many blogs. But today I have decided to follow a new philosphy called ‘no screw you that’s why’ whereby I will post on my blog and not care about being judged. I think to and so I have thunk and this is where my thoughts lie. Expect more.

I was constantly confused by the first episode. It is obviously a mash up of a fair few manga chapters. Nai (beaten up kid) is handcauffed and lying in a field calling a name . Then through a montage of pretty lace-like background images with more butterfly silhouettes, Nai is lying in a bed with some predator woman on top of him. Innocently, a calm but perhaps confused Nai tells the woman she is heavy and pushing his stomach makes him nauseous.

Then there are some bombs, she runs off and down jumps Gareki all Mission Impossible style. After deciding books are worthless (how dare he) he takes note to Nai’s bracelet. Something about he’ll have that and then get the kid out of the mansion.

Predator woman comes back and then goes full predator, with extended arms and a gaunt face with sharp teeth. Then some chasing, gun shots, she kills her own guard. More bombs. Standard stuff. At this point we still have no idea what is happening.

Cut to some well suited individuals smiling on a train and more flying about a town.

Predator woman blasted away and the Nai and Gereki stow away on a train because police like people are in town. The first lots of well suited people are taken hostage, and the other flying set crash into the train. Some fighting, some gun shots. Then Nai can hear sounds, finds a bomb type thing that couldnt be found with magical electrical devices and Gareki gets his geek on, just for flying man to cut the train carriage in half and save the day.

The episode ended with the flying guy being suspicious of well suited guy, but who casually walks away and then reveals himself as a bad guy to the audience. Then everybody starts talking about Nai and they should capture him.

Now the credits are rolling, I’m still not quite sure what to make of this all. In one respect, the art work and colouring is beautiful. It is a pleasant anime to watch, which make me suspect that the manga artwork will be equally stunning.

It was just the first episode, so it would be hard to encapsulate a truly gripping storyline in just 20 minutes. What anime doesn’t have an innocent main character who has some innate talent or power unbeknown to them only to save the world eventually? It’s not original. But like beaten up boys on covers, that doesn’t make it bad.

I probably will end up watching the rest, but that could be because I am an anime-addict and would do it anyway. Plus, anything with a supernatural edge (flying people, magical electrical weapons) will draw me in. But should you?

Yes. Is the simple answer.

Why? Because of the coming Neji (see feature image) that they so delightfully tease you with in the credits? Runnind around with their adorable tails? Yes and no.

You should also check it out as the characters seem strong. Which is odd, because everyone is reserved and suspicious of each other. Except for Nai, who will obviously turn out to be some stange little experiment and everyone will love him anyway.

On to episode 2! (Except I just started and One Piece, and there’s quite a few episodes to get through…)


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