Sanrock Reviews

looking at things from a literary viewpoint

Cirque du Freak Manga

As with  many things that gain some type of popularity, Cirque du Freak has had a comic based off of it. More specifically, a manga by  Takahiro Arai.  After spending some time with it, I can safely say Arai has done a decent job with it.

As with making anything into a comic, there’ the whole “does this character look like how I imagined him/her to be?” The thing is Darren doesn’t have that much of a description. He is essentially described as any normal teenager. You can’t blame Arai for that. What you can blame him is giving Steve white hair. On top of that, Mr. Crepsley and the other vampires have this weird skin tone. It’s sort of silvery and unnatural. They are supposed to look like normal humans and not stand out at all except if they’re the Vampaneze.

Beyond that, the art is above average manga fare. He manages to make every scene as close to the novels and possible and he does a good job of it. He doesn’t take any advantages except to make the scene work in a comic setting. Remember, what works in a novel does not necessarily work in a comic.

You can chock this up to Arai being a huge fan of the novels. He even says to himself and that’s the only reason he made the manga in the first place.

For the people who complain that it looks way too much like a typical shonen manga, remember that the series is YA and thus the manga will be shonen. There’s nothing wrong with shonen at all if the series is well written and has nice art. Look at One Piece of Attack on Titan (even though AoT’s art is pretty bad, the story is still top notch.) Also, just like the novels, it’s lots of fun so there really is no need to expect Dickens or Shakespeare here. Hell, even Shakespeare wrote for the audience of the day. He had no intention of being “literary.”

One thing that the manga does better than the novels is pacing. The pacing seems much better written and it keeps your attention better than the novels. It’s either because manga tends to be father paced or Arai is better at pacing than Shan.

In all, if you’re a fan of the Cirque du Freak series, the manga is a nice addition to your fandom. Just get used to the shonen style and it’ll be enjoyable.






Categories: Comics

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