Friday, February 11, 2011

Favorite Manga #15: Rave Master

A normal boy from an isolated island is chosen as the new wielder of the legendary Rave sword and sets out on a quest as the new Rave Master.  Along the way he gains many new friends as they battle a mysterious organization and search for the remaining fragments of Rave in order to save the world.

 Haru: A bit rambunctious, but he's a pure hero.  He wants desperately to help people and save the world, though he often comes off as immature.  He's a completely like-able guy that you have no problems rooting for. 

Elie: A strong female, she's a good fighter and an avid gambler. She's unsure of her past and has no clue why she bears a striking resemblance to the girl who gave her life to create the Rave 50 years before. She's the first one to join Haru on his journey. 

Musica: A bad boy type, he was the leader of a band of thieves before joining Haru (who also became his best friend).  He's able to manipulate silver, which means that not only does he have an awesome fighting style, he's the only one capable of fixing the broken Rave sword.

Plue: Throughout the story, Plue is referred to as a dog, but its obvious that they only say that for lack of another name for whatever he is.  Much of the comic relief in the story revolves around him.  He's also the only one who can locate the missing Rave stones.

***I have not finished this series yet, but I've read 32 out of the 35 volumes.  Currently, its only available through 32 in the US.  Toykopop who was releasing the series lost the license, but it has since been picked up by DelRey who will be releasing the last 3 volumes as an omnibus this May***

Like many shonen manga (boy comics) Rave goes from one arc to the next, each with its own major villain all leading up to one final boss.  Unlike many series though, this one does not seem to drag, and each arc does further the main plot.  The characters that you meet along the way are enjoyable and really make the series, and even though they may leave that doesn't mean you won't see them again.  There is a lot of action sequences, as well as back story, so you're never left questioning why something is happening (or if you are there's a reason for it, and the truth will be revealed) and you're never bored. 

I kept ending up with a back log of these to read, once because I had no time to read, and once because I bought a few off ebay, and both times, I found that once I picked up the first new volume I very quickly had read through all of them. 

The art in the very begin of the series is rough, but he quickly improves, possibly finding his groove or just getting used to his characters.  As with the last series I reviewed, if you are used to reading shoujo manga the character design here isn't as pretty, but this is a shonen title, and pretty isn't really what they are going for.  I would give this series a 5 out of 5 on the art.  Seriously, after those first couple of volumes the art actually is almost as pretty as shoujo.  The women are all pretty, and their are even a couple of pretty  The villains are often comical looking, which is a common trait in shonen series, but the big bosses aren't as you get farther into it. 


  1. I haven't read this title, but I did watch the majority of the episodes when they were on tv. Thanks for the review, I'm happy to hear that the drawing, while starting out rough, gets better the further along it goes. I might just look into reading the manga now. ^_^

  2. Haru and Plue!! <3 And Ellie too! <3 I love the anime! I've always wanted to read the manga (because the manga is always better than the anime and because the anime was not finished). I love Mashima's art. I think he's really consistent, though his style for his other manga, Fairy Tail, is somewhat similar to Eiichiro Oda's (One Piece manga-ka). Which means it was kind of exaggerated. Or maybe it's only in the anime.

  3. Mithee, I actually was going to mention that in my review. There are quite a bit of similarities between the art style in One Piece and Rave, especially when you look at the villains. From what I understand this is due in large part because they were both influenced by the artist who did Dragon Ball.