Sunday, August 30, 2009
Zero opens the curtain on a pair of siblings and a kid born from the older sister with another man in a distant county. Things are peaceful here, over the green meadows and boundless green landscapes of mountains and fresh air around. However, things are not what they seem. Asakawa Shuuichi and Asakawa Sumire are not ordinary siblings, rather, Shuuichi isn't; he is an established E.S.P. power user, and by that, someone of military grade powers or higher, capable of a bunch of E.S.P. related skills.
A chanced attack from Level A. LEED which is an organization harnessing the power of the E.S.P. users widely available in this world (the story world), proves to the LEED pending investigation of a mysterious, unsigned military level E.S.P. which happens to be Shuuichi does exist. They launched two attacks back to back, sending one even beyond the level of A that is SA level E.S.P. user to attack him. However, with some luck, Shuuichi and Sumire pulled out injured but alive.
Another society, apparently formerly being together with LEED as the counterpart that experiment with no regards for any moral judgments on E.S.P. users called the E.C.S. approached the injured siblings and offered asylum. However, Shuuichi refused at first because it was revealed that E.C.S. have dark dealings that caused him and Sumire to become fugitives in the first place in that faraway area away from the hands of the E.C.S. or LEED. However, after much persuasion, Shuuichi is encouraged by the kindness offered by Natsuko whom is a member of the E.C.S. team of people to enroll in a school sponsored by the E.C.S. for E.S.P. users.
School life begins, amidst dangerous plots to rip Shuuichi from the hands of the protectors that are the E.C.S. instigated by the powerful LEED organization armed with their own arsenal of powerful military grade E.S.P. users. Will Shuuichi survive high school? A very daunting experience indeed.
I am beginning to wonder if all the Korean Manhwa are in fact plots of story that includes the male on top category, which is strange consider their women are easily violated, with characters whom are male largely being violent to the female characters, but the females tend to just shrug it off despite being oppressed.
Of course, besides that bit, Zero proves to be a very good read all round.
The art leaves much to be desired, with very large inconsistencies proving on the sloppy general execution of the facial and body structure and lines that are messy and uncouth. However, contrary to the whole art thing, the story is engaging with constant development between the characters and a view of the world from an ESP user threatened for his life if he doesn't side with a choice to be good or evil.
Shuuichi takes the character route of being a hillbilly from the hills, armed with extensive power of ESP. To date, he has demonstrated being able to shoot energy bolts into the human body directly and crushing the organs inside the body; teleportation, psychokinesis and ventral shielding, mentally choking an enemy, withstand up to 35G (the stuff use to count how powerful an impact is to the body, G force, used in calibration of roller coasters, or gun recoil rates) and can cause damage up to 80+G which is so powerful that even SA level Espers fear him.
With great power comes responsibility, having to choose between becoming a student, or a skeptic who cannot trust the power he is given and those people around him for fear of them wanting to use him for their own gains; Shuuichi is both a conflicted hero and the anti-thesis of the Spiderman trope, engaging in both becoming a person first before choosing to protect the welfare of others.
In a way, Shuuichi here demonstrates very believing characteristics normally hard to associate with Manga characters, very Peter Parker, yet much much more powerful and hence even more conflicting issues. In words of the story itself, the names are a bit of a mouthful, with ECS that and LEED this, and a bunch of other programs that are all sorts of jargon confusion.
However, given chance, beyond chapter 5 is a story well worth of shonen and seinen genres that are excellent to read and beautiful to catch up on.
If there is a story that I loved to read about shonen and seinen styles? This is it, albeit, likewise, the art still leaves much to be desired.