Bokurano: Ours Vol. 1 by Mohiro Kitoh (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
February 16, 2010 by Dennis Amith
“Bokurano: Ours” is one of the darker mecha sci-fi manga series one will read. Not for a reader who is depressed, nor for one who is looking for uplifting storylines. But for those who want something different and are able to take in a storyline with not much glimmer of hope, then this manga series is for you.
© 2004 Mohiro Kitoh/Shogakukan. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Bokurano: Ours Vol. 1 (ぼくらの)
STORY AND ART BY: Mohiro Kitoh (鬼頭 莫宏)
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHOGAKUKAN, Inc.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Ikki Comix
RATED: OT for Older Teen
RELEASE DATE: February 16, 2010
One summer, 15 kids innocently wander into a nearby seaside cave. There they meet a strange man who invites them to play an exciting new video game. Sounds like fun, right? This game, he explains, pits a lone giant robot against a horde of alien invaders. All they have to do is sign a simple little contract. The game stops being fun when the kids find out the true purpose of their deadly pact.
Mohiro Kitoh is a mangaka who began his career in 1996 with the manga “Vendemiaire no Tsubasa” and became known for his work “Shadow Star” which was released as a manga and anime (and released in the U.S.).
After the completion of “Shadow Star”, Kitoh began his work on “Bokurano: Ours”, a sci-fi manga which was serialized in the monthly magazine “Ikki” from 2003 to 2009 and an anime adaptation which was released in 2007. And now, the manga series will be released in the U.S. courtesy of Viz Media.
“Bokurano: Ours” begins with 14 teenage boys and girls (8 boys and 7 girls) and one fourth grader on the beach for a junior high field trip to observe nature.
While walking around the area, the kids discover a cave and see computers everywhere. A man named Kokopelli comes out of nowhere and tells the kids if they want to play a game by piloting a giant robot to defeat enemies. All but the fourth grader, Kana Ushiro, agree to take part in the game by taking part of a contract.
All wake up on the side of the cave which is now block, thinking maybe it was a dream but they are soon visited by a small creature known as “Koyemshi” that tries to guide them and teleports them into the huge black robot. Their goal is to defeat the white enemy robot and as all the kids think it’s all fun and games, one hears Kokopelli saying “I’m sorry”.
But the kids learn that this game is actually reality and that the robot they are controlling can lead to deaths of many by having it walk on homes or cars.
But to make things worse…they will soon find out that the contract they signed can be more than they bargained for.
“Bokurano: Ours” is probably one of the darker sci-fi mecha manga series that one will ever get to read. It’s a storyline unlike other mecha series that provide hope or happiness and to show how dark the original manga is, for the anime adaptation, director Hiroyuki Morita wrote on his blog that he dislikes the original manga story and told people that the anime version is not expanding the story and if you are fans of the manga, don’t watch the anime.
So, for one who has watched the anime first, you’re probably not going to like the manga. It’s dismal…it’s the first manga series where nothing good can come out of the characters featured in the series. Even for series such as “Battle Royale” where the numbers go up in death toll, there is hope for individual(s).
The first volume features 15 children who think they are playing a game to control a mecha but in truth, where an arcade game requires a coin or coins to play, in “Bokurano: Ours”, that coin is your life. The first volume features the first two children who take part in the game and the children trying to learn more about the game they are about to play.
As for the manga, character and mecha designs by are good, while backgrounds are often sparse.
But one who is not familiar with Mohiro Kitoh ‘s work should know that his work is more towards tragedy and focuses on the vulnerability and the different perspectives one may have towards humanity. His work tends to feature violence in children and the series is not for the faint of heart or anyone wanting something happy or searching for hope. This is a manga series that one should not expect many happy moments. So be warned!
Overall, “Bokurano: Ours” is one of the darker mecha sci-fi manga series one will read. Not for a reader who is depressed, nor for one who is looking for uplifting storylines. But for those who want something different and are able to take in a storyline with not much glimmer of hope, then this manga series is for you.
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