Comic Books Magazine

Marin Vol 1 Review

Posted on the 14 November 2013 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Marin Vol 1Title: Marin
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural
Publisher: Shusuisha (JP), Digital Manga (US)
Artist: Miyoko Satomi
Original Release Date: August 20, 2013
Free Preview >>HERE<<

There is a lot that will jump out at you when reading Miyoko Satomi’s Marin for the first time. The first is that distinctive 90′s shoujo art style that will either make you sick or feel like it’s old hat. The second is the precocious and eerily feminine male main protagonist Marin with a personality that you can’t even hate, but you can only respect. The third is that trying to find any sort of context for this work is not all that easy. The only thing I can gather is that these were one shot stories published in Apple Mystery DX, a magazine (or issue) I can’t seem to find any reliable information out there on the internet. Why does any of this matter? Well, it sets up how rare it is to be able to read a title like this. It’s a shame that it has too many issues concerning action scenes, the rest of the characters, the artwork, and a few of the one shots themselves for me to tell you to read it.

Marin Hayami is a confident, assured high school kid who has the ability to foresee life and death with his tarot cards, and is a magic user. He just wants to be an ordinary high school student however, so despite his grandpa trying his best to get him to train and study, he loathes it and doesn’t want to try. The problem is a number of unnatural and mythical events take place at almost every turn,

Marin Vol 1 2
leaving him with having to deal with trouble on a daily basis. Along with his friend Rikiishi and Astrologist/Magic user Ryuu Kazema, Marin’s gonna have to accept his fate, whether he wants to or not.

This manga set itself up for disappointment on its very first page. Usually it’s rare for that to happen, but it did. With having a head cut off and just tossed around (I should point out this is listed as 13+ on EManga’s page), you’re sending a message that this is going to get pretty dark and messed up. The artwork is not capable of showing that this is pretty dark and messed up. Maybe it worked in 1993. I have my doubts about that being the case. Then, take the artwork out of the equation, you realize that at the very least, you’ll be expecting characters with solid motivations and actually have compelling personalities. This unfortunately is not the case at all. You don’t really get to learn about any of the characters because you’re immediately thrust into evil baddie of the week, and they’re not really that impressive. For example, the main baddie in the first one shot is the principal of Marin’s high school, and his reasons for wanting what he wants are lame since he barely got any time in the manga.

Another issue is that the stories themselves aren’t all that impressive. You read them, events actually take place, and even fights happen as well…and yet, none of them stick out to me as well executed. The artwork itself again manages to be the culprit. It’s just not that interesting, as fighting motions are cut off, no real attention is given to create a sense of excitement, and moments where you should feel emotion are nullified because of how it’s portrayed. One poignant example is when Marin is being crushed by briars. I should be feeling Marin in pain. Instead, that scene washes over me, as it feels too light and done too quickly for me to feel Marin’s pain. That’s also another problem: the pacing for most of the pages is pretty weird. There’s times where it doesn’t showcase secondary emotions, or doesn’t accurately reflect what’s going on in the scene. That leads to me thinking there’s nothing to latch onto when talking about this manga.

Marin Vol 1 1

Well ok now.

It’s kind of shame I can’t recommend you read this, mostly because Marin is a pretty good character. He’s obviously drawn to please the standard shoujo fans, but he’s funny, assured of what he wants to do, and he literally was the reason I could keep reading this. But really, unless you’re very familiar with tarot cards, or you’re just looking to read a manga with an actual character and not a bland one, this is a manga you should avoid. Unless you really just want to read a mediocre, unsatisfying, not as dark as you think it is manga.

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