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Customer Review

After watching two incarnations of this as an anime series I felt it was about time I explored the roots of the story which got me into anime in the first place. Volume 1 of the Guyver Manga contains 6 distinct chapters, the first chapter sets up the story quickly and the action starts almost immediately.

For those unfamiliar with Guyver, it details the story of a Sho; a student who inadvertently discovers a biological weapon which bonds to the user and when activated and has the appearance of armour. It is capable of giving the user incredible strength and destructive powers - needless to say it's a desired bit of technology and the Kronos organisation are after it at any cost.

Kronos are a global group with a dark history, they are in the business of creating `Zoanoids' - humans who can change form into beastly monsters - the possibility of combining a Zoanoid with the power of the Guyver unit is a tantalising concept.

That may all sound a bit far-fetched, but Kronos are an underground movement and most of the story during this first volume takes place in more 'everyday' real life settings, such as school. This isn't a super-hero style comic book story, it tackles the issues Sho faces after becoming the Guyver in a pretty realistic fashion . His life is turned up-side-down as he comes to realise that it isn't just him in danger, his family and friends are also now vulnerable by association. His best friend Testsuro is a science-fiction fan and his wild theories on how the Guyver works are more-or-less accurate and act as a great way to explain the intricacies of the device.

It doesn't take long to get to know the characters in the story. The first volume focuses on a small group, it establishes the scope of Kronos and the extent of their technological capabilities while also developing the main characters and their relationships with each other. After a few pages you are familiar with the characters and are aware of the awesome power of the Guyver. The artwork is often simplistic and although it's mainly black and white - it doesn't suffer because of it. The images of the Guyver and the Zoanoids are where the book excels - you get a real sense of the transformation.

In a nutshell: The manga series which resulted in two great anime adaptation may lack colour but it doesn't fair badly in terms of substance. For all the incredulous concepts, this still remains a believable story with strong characters.
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