Review

Psyren, Volume 1

by Toshiaki Iwashiro

Ageha lives in a pretty dismal world, where the suicide rate is high, people are often missing, and he believes the planet is doomed.

His world is about to get a lot more dismal. And dangerous.

Ageha does quite a bit of fighting, though he believes he does this for a noble cause. His sister, who’s in charge of him, doesn’t believe a word of that. Some people think that Ageha fights for the sake of the downtrodden, while others speculate that Ageha just fights because he can. Whatever the real reason, it’s clear he gets into fights.

One night, after another fight, he’s hurrying home when the phone rings at a nearby phone booth. He goes ahead and answers it. When he does, some sort of monster lands on the booth and freaks Ageha out. But the monster is gone seconds later, so Ageha thinks he must have hallucinated it simply because he’s tired. That’s when he sees a phone card that says “Psyren” and decides to keep it.

Ageha may be the lead, but his classmate Sakurako, nicknamed the Ice Queen, is soon going to be a major part of his life. Friendless and always reading, she suddenly says the startling words, “Psyren is coming!” She has the same “phone card” Ageha has, but when he asks her about it, she coldly tells him there are things in this world he’s better off not knowing.

After that, she goes missing.

So Ageha decides to do some research on Psyren. He learns that there are rumors of a Psyren Secret Society and that it’s behind all the missing people lately. Wanting to learn more, he takes his “phone card” to a telephone booth and puts it in the phone. A recording asks him all sorts of odd questions, and after that, the police are after him, though Ageha suspects they’re not real police officers. After fleeing from them, he somehow ends up in another world, a wasteland, and finds Sakurako there.

The art style is very shonen, from the look of the characters to the action sequences. Backgrounds are often sparse or blank. Some of it feels formulaic, but it’s still entertaining. It has a good mystery going on, and I like the character Sakurako, especially after Ageha finds her in the wasteland and she saves his life by fighting off monsters with her sword. There’s quite a bit of action, and some humor, so I think it might entice reluctant readers who like fast-paced stories.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on November 7, 2011

Psyren, Volume 1
by Toshiaki Iwashiro

  • Publication Date: October 4, 2011
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • ISBN-10: 1421536765
  • ISBN-13: 9781421536767