manga, Reviews

[REVIEW] BARRAGE! – An Adventure of ASTROnomical Proportions

I’m super sad writing this, guys. I didn’t do my research when looking up a new manga to start, and settled on Barrage! I thought ‘Hey, this reminds me of Boku no Hero Academia’ (same mangaka, duh), and settled down to read it.

…16 chapters later, it’s over. WHAAAAT?! But I was having so much fun!

BARRAGE (SENSEI NO BULGE) by Horikoshi Kouhei

shsa_st01c87058300101_57_cover

“On the once-peaceful planet of Industria, constant battles have been fought over control of the planet. Astro is a dim witted but kind boy who tirelessly works to feed his “family,” a group of orphaned children. One day, after being fired from his most recent job, the prince of Industria, Bulge, appears in front of him. And even more shocking, Prince Bulge looks and sounds exactly like Astro! One thing leads to another, and Astro now has to take Bulge’s place as the heir to the throne of Industria! Suddenly, he’s faced with the task of bringing peace and harmony back to this war-torn planet!” (From MyAnimeList)

From the description, the manga has an obvious connection to the Prince and the Pauper – that’s essentially what the synopsis says, right? But that story has been done time and time again. Luckily, Horikoshi manages to keep the story fresh with the setting and events going on.

sensei-no-bulge-3315967

Whilst we have the typical ‘Medieval style’ kingdom that our protagonist, Astro finds himself thrown into, the setting is given a modern twist, for the Kingdom is not a land far away, but is in fact a planet under attack. And if you haven’t figured it out, the planet is under attack by not rival kingdoms, but shape shifting aliens from other planets. The aliens to me are particularly stylish, as Horikoshi toys with the idea of both mixing the aliens in with us (using a type of skin-magic to mask their identity), or making them about as grotesque as one could get away with in Shounen Jump.

Unfortunately, we’re not treated to those designs as much as I’d hope, as the manga faced an early demise, cancelled after 16 chapters and, in my opinion, just when it really found it’s pacing. Still, as it can’t be helped, I’ll go through what I loved about the manga, so hopefully more people can appreciate what we had.

The art, as expected of the mangaka of Boku no Hero Academia, is lovely. The fight scenes are very crisp and detailed. The character designs (which will seem very familiar now with Boku no Hero Academia’s popularity) are also both unique and easy on the eyes. There wasn’t a character that was sloppily drawn, nor difficult to look at. Of course, there was a lot more to be seen in the future, but for now I love the look of the main trio.

sensei_no_bulge_tico_astro_manga_anime_colors_by_amanomoon-dbqtcqf

I also really enjoyed the theme of ‘family’ that was prominent in the story. Whilst the shounen genre is no stranger to the power of love or friendship as a driving force, it isn’t often that family is cited as their strongest superpower. Particularly, in Astro’s case, when he doesn’t really have one anyway. I would’ve loved to have seen where this would’ve gone had the manga continued. What about when your family lets you down? Can you accept that blood is thicker than water in those cases?

Going back to the setting I mentioned earlier, I believe this was the biggest detail that set Barrage apart as something different and to me, gave it so much unused potential. I mean, come on. A fantasy setting in space? Isn’t that what we ask for with all of our huge blockbuster movies? The possibilities with what could’ve happened, and the limits to Horikoshi’s imagination are endless. We were given a taste of what to expect, but I can’t help being hungry for just a little more…

20121215_115157-e1355569801338

Overall, I’m disappointed that Barrage was ultimately underrated to the point of cancellation, and I believe that with due time, it really could’ve grown to be something special. However, what we were left with was a wonderful, fun adventure. A quick and feel good read for any shounen fan, or indeed if you just need cheering up!

Rating: 8/10

Let me know if you guys have read Barrage – what did you think? Are you planning on giving it a shot?

Until next time!

3 thoughts on “[REVIEW] BARRAGE! – An Adventure of ASTROnomical Proportions”

  1. Is the ending satisfying despite being cancelled? I mean, can one read it or am I gonna be met with a to be continued. I have a manga like that and I felt empty when I realized that I would never get to read the end. The mangaka died. 😔 Now i always make sure the manga is completed before I buy it or start to read it.

    Like

    1. I think so. I mean, the story is completed somewhat. It’s satisfying in the ‘I got all my answers’ way, but kind of disappointing since it was left pretty obvious that the Mangaka obviously had a lot more ideas. I wouldn’t say it hinders it, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds interesting and the art looks cool so maybe it’s worth a look then. 😀 It sucks when a manga gets cancelled because of bad reception. 😐

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s