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PSYREN Vol. 7 by Toshiaki Iwashiro (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 27, 2012 by  



Toshiaki Iwashiro’s “PSYREN” has quickly become one of my favorite manga’s of 2012. Action-packed from beginning to end, W.I.S.E has now revealed themselves in the present, the future has been altered and now Ageha and friends must take on the new and improved Fifth Star Commander, Dolkey once again!  If you love action and manga, “PSYREN” is highly recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2007 by Toshiaki Iwashiro. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: PSYREN Vol. 7

STORY AND ART BY: Toshiaki Iwashiro (岩代 俊明)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Older Teen

Available on November 6, 2012

 Ageha and his fellow Psionists discover that their actions in the present may be altering the outcome of the future. Now everything they know – and everyone they love – is in danger, including their mentor Elmore Tenjuin. But their attempt to save their beloved Elmore is interrupted… by a sudden, jolting return to the Psyren world!

Kagetora Hyodo was hunting for corrupt psionists and had asked for Ageha’s help.  But with Ageha pre-occupied with saving the psionic children from their death in the future, he declines.

So, Kaegetora goes on to hunt the psionists all alone and in the process, gets trapped, captured and is now being tortured.  But before he was caught, he was able to contact Ageha.

While Ageha is away from his own psionic friends, Grandma Elmore Tenjuin knows that Ageha is important for the future of the world.  She doesn’t why she has that feeling but it is in her best interest to keep him protected, so she sends out her psionic orphan children to assist in rescuing Kagetora.

As the children battled against the corrupt psionists, during the interrogation with their leader, the twisted man tells them that he is W.IS.E. and was born to take the decayed world and wipe the slate clean under the leadership of Miroku Amagi.    But the twisted man immediately is killed and his brother, who is thought to be harmless, turns out to be the true Miroku Amagi an nearly slaughters the psionic child, Kyle with his “Tree of Sephiroth! Gevurah!”.

As Miroku leaves, he nearly kills everyone with an explosive blast.

What will happen now that W.I.S.E leader has been revealed in the present time?

Find out in volume 7 of “PSYREN”!

What is “PSYREN”?

The manga series which is featured in Japan on Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine (as well as the American edition) and is reminiscent of manga such as “Yu Yu Hakusho”, “Gantz” and “Bleach” is full of action as a group of high school students are whisked into a futuristic, apocalyptic version of Japan. The only way they can get back home is by reaching a gate, but between that gate and their starting point are monsters and things waiting to kill them.

“Psyren” focuses on Ageha Yoshina, a high-school student who is known to take people’s money (10,000 yen) to provide his service and he will take care of their problem. Known for getting into fights and being a troublemaker, helping people is his good side and even at times not charging the pretty students at school for his services.

But not so supportive of his fighting is his older sister Fubuki, his guardian who is a pretty strong fighter herself and will not put up with him being late or getting in trouble.

One day, while Ageha is coming home, he hears a payphone ringing. He goes to answer it but hears nothing, but sees a phone card inside with the words “Psyren” but thinks nothing of it.

The following day, he sees his old former childhood friend Sakurako Amamiya coming into class and thinks about the old days when she was popular, friendly, social and caring. But now she’s anti-social, often coming to class with bruises and cuts and he can only wonder what is going on in her life.

Later in the day, he sees a few female students stealing her stuff and hiding it. As he goes to see what they have hidden, he realizes that the girls stole her wallet which has her “Psyren” card. As he goes to return it to her, she notices that she was frantic. As Ageha reminds her that for 10,000 yen ($100 bucks) he can help her, she cries out “Save Me” which startles him.

The following day, Sakurako had stopped showing up to school.

His friends tell him that Sakurako has been caught up with the whole “Psyren” legend and that there is a secret society and people have been disappearing. He also learns that for anyone with an unused Psyren card, people are willing to pay 5 million yen for one.

Worried about Sakurako, Ageha chooses to use the card and suddenly he is asked all these questions. The next day at school, men posing as police men are going after him, men who want his Psyren card. As he fights these men, the two are overpowering him and he runs away. While running away, his cell phone rings and while he is being chased, he disappears and ends up in an unknown location.

While he walks around the devastated area, he sees a giant caterpillar going after a man who screams for help. As Ageha goes to help, Sakurako with her sword comes out of nowhere and defeats it.

But Sakurako is very sick and before she faints in Ageha’s arms, she tells him that they need to clear the stage before they can get back home. And she asks him to please clear the stage with her.

As Ageha carries Sakurako, he seeks shelter in a building where people are gathered. He quickly realizes that the people gathering are a bunch of punks who have been wanting a Psyren card for the purpose of making money.

And within this group, each seem as if they will kill each other for the sake of making money.

When the phone rings, the group are told that they need to find a gate and everyone except Ageha and Sakurako go out and search for this gate. But when Sakurako awakens and finds out that everyone has headed towards a dangerous area, she fears that all of them will be slaughtered and feels that they need to be warned.

So, now Ageha and a sick Sakurako must hurry and get to the group before they are slaughtered. Will they make it in time?

In volume 3 of “Psyren”, Ageha, Hiryu and Sakurako are joined by two more members, Oboro Michizuki and Kabuto Kirisaki. As Oboro is out temporarily due to him developing his Psy power, an unknown being and a large worm is standing in their way of getting to the gate.

The unknown being appears to be the classmate and best friend of Hiryu Asaga who was whisked into the world of Psyren, but it is not known if he is the same person, as the guy that Hiryu knew was weak-minded and not a good fighter. The person that is awaiting them has a weapon that charges on Psy power and he is quite deadly.

But as part of the game, Ageha and friends must find a way to get to the gate and study their enemy. But if this unknown person is Hiryu’s best friend Tatsuo…the person he has been looking for all this time, will they need to kill him?

In volume 3, Ageha managed to activate the power known as Melzez Door, a pitch black sphere of blast energy that consumes energy completely and can kill everything in its path. Knowing that Ageha can probably be killed (along with his friends), Sakurako goes to Matsuri Yagumo for help.

In volume 4, as Ageha and friends are trained by these powerful children with psionic powers, during their next entry to Psyren, Kabuto Kirisaki looks for his uncle’s underground facility (which his uncle stayed in, as he feared of disaster hitting Japan). Because he was underground, Kabuto along with the others hope their may be details of what happened to Tokyo in the future and when the catastrophic disaster took place. And what they find is a video of these kids fighting against an evil group known as W.I.S.E.

Which leads us to volume 5 of “PSYREN”. In the video, one person of W.I.S.E. manages to kill the children with his sephiroth move. But while the group are watching the video, Dolkey of W.I.S.E. shows up and it leads to the first battle between Ageha and friends vs. W.I.S.E. With their new psionic powers and training, will they be powerful enough to take on a member of W.I.S.E.?

In volume 6, W.I.S.E. are shocked that Ageha defeated Dolkey and now want him to join their group. Meanwhile, having transported back to the present time, as they try to find a way to prevent the children from being killed and Tokyo from being destroyed, Kagetora Hyodo is on a mission to hunt down corrupt psionists and asks Ageha to join them. Ageha turns him down because of his goal to save the future (and he is unable to reveal the future as he or any of his friends will be killed by Nemesis Q if they reveal to anyone outside of their group of the future).

But when Kagetora Hyodo goes to hunt down the corrupt psionists, he is unaware that the group may have ties to the group that will one day become known as W.I.S.E.

Also, as Ageha tries to find what he is allowed to do to save the future without being killed, he is revealed by Nemesis Q that it is a psionic program being controlled by some other entity. But who?

In volume 7, as the group manages to rescue Kagetora Hyodo, they also run into Miroku Amagi, the leader of W.I.S.E. who intends to destroy the world in order to create a new slate.

While, Ageha and the children managed to escape and Kyle managing to be healed, because the children had contact with W.I.S.E. in the present, has now altered the future.  And on the video that originally showing the children being killed by Miroku Amagi’s “Tree of Sephiroth”, the video has now changed from the children being killed by Junas and Dolkey.  But on the video, they mention grandma Elmore Tenjuin dying on a plane accident in July and interesting enough, during the present time, it’s July and Elmore is about to go on a flight.

Fearing that Elmore is going to die that very day, Ageha and friends do all they can to rescue Elmore Tenjuin but because it goes against their rules of warning someone from the future, Nemesis Q appears and tries to prevent them from rescuing her.

Will Ageha and friends manage to send a message to Elmore in time and prevent her death?  Or will Nemesis Q get to them first?

“Psyren” features the following characters:

Ageha Yoshina: The tough troublemaker in school who will help people with their problems for 10,000 yen. Although, he tends to not take money from pretty girls at his school. He lives with his sister Fubuki who is very tough on him. One day, while walking home, Ageha hears a payphone ringing and discovers a Psyren telephone card. Very good at fighting. He has shown amazing Psi powers, especially the devastating Melzez Door…but at this time, unable to control it.

Sakurako Amamiya: She was once a popular, smiling, sociable student. Now she has become anti-social, no longer smiling and comes to school looking as if she was beaten up. One day, a group of girls steal her purse and inside is a psyren card. Fortunately, Ageha finds it but when he returns it to her, he tells her that if she needs him, he’ll be there…for 10,000 yen. Her request to Ageha was to save her. Sakuro is the most knowledgeable when it comes to Psyren and is a powerful fighter.

Hiryu Asaga – One of the tough guys that Ageha meets when he enters the Psyren world. Hiryu has been searching for his friend and agrees to help Ageha, who saved his life in the Psyren world.

Oboro Mochizuki – One of the newer students whisked into Psyren and is developing his Psy powers. In reality, Oboro is a popular idol in Japan. Looked at as unusual by his teammates (wanting to hug them), he has the ability to cure them with they are injured.

Kabuto Kirisaki – One of the newer members in Psyren to join Ageha and friends, selfish unless it comes to helping a beautiful girl, Kabuto.

Matsuri Yagumo – A famous concert pianist and a veteran of Psyren. She was able to escape the final gate from Psyren and now tries to help those who are battling in Psyren. She is the person who helped train Sakurako and is now training the other members in controlling their powers. She wishes she can go back to Psyren.

Kagetora Hyodo – A friend of Matsuri and he adores her. He has the appearance of a yakuza member and is quite powerful. He takes part in the physical combat training of Ageha and friends. He is unaware of Psyren and was born with his psi powers.

Ian – A superior psi cure user but is not aware of Psyren. He is unfriendly and only cares about Matsuri.

Fubiki Yoshina – Ageha’s older sister and guardian. She is very strict with Ageha and doesn’t like him being late or getting into trouble. She is also a fighter and adores the idol Oboro.

Nemesis Q – A mysterious being that is sent from the future to find people worthy of using PSI and teaching them about the future and stop Psyren from occurring. Revealed to also be a psionic program to kill any helpers who threaten to reveal the future.

Elmore Tenjuin – A wealthy old woman and a clairvoyant Psychicer who’s husband Koper was disintegrated when he told her about Psyren. She now raises orphaned children with Psi abilities.

Shao – A Chinese boy who can track people and also sense their power level, as well as their true nature. He is being taken care of by Elmore Tenjuin.

Frederica – A spoiled young girl with the power of pyrokinesis. Ageha was inspired by her ability to control her devastating power. She is being taken care of by Elmore Tenjuin.

Mari – A shy girl who uses telekinesis. Often picked on by Frederica and is taken care of by Elmore Tenjuin.

Kyle – A mischievous but powerful boy who later looks up to Ageha (as they are both brash). He is being taken care of by Elmore Tenjuin.

Van – A quiet and kind boy who can heal. He is being taken care of by Elmore Tenjuin.

Dolkey – The Fifth Star Commander of W.I.S.E. who is impulsive and the first to attack Ageha and friends.

Shiner – The Third Star Commander of W.I.S.E.

Junas – Second Star Commander of W.I.S.E.

“PSYREN” is a manga series that just gets better and better and now, W.I.S.E. has revealed their presence in the present time!

With the future changed but the result being the same, there is one bit of information left on the video tape about the death of Elmore Tenjuin, the guardian of the psionic children.  Seeing the power of W.I.S.E. and wanting to save the children, Ageha and friends need to find a way to warn Elmore of her pending death without Nemesis Q killing them for breaking the rules.

Meanwhile, waiting for them in the future is W.I.S.E. and a new and improved Dolkey wants a rematch against Ageha.  Once again, it’s another action-pack and thrilling volume of “PSYREN” and it is now becoming one of my favorite action manga series!

I’m really enjoying the series and Toshiaki Iwashiro’s ability to focus on the character’s development and the actual strategy of the game and each battle. And for volume 7 alone, what I enjoy about this series is the balance of story and action, where action-driven manga series tend to be focused on action and less story.  So, it’s great to have a manga series that is driven with its storyline first and then the action.  Illustrations are well-done, but it’s one of the few manga series out now where you find that good balance of story and action and once you start reading it, it’s a series that will easily captivate you and leave you craving for more!

Also, it’s a series that is not too long (with only a total of 16 volumes) and a two-volume “PSYREN -Another Call 2-“, so unlike action manga such as “BLEACH” or “NARUTO”, there is no worry of trying to catch up with 40-50 volumes.

If you are looking for a well-written, action-packed manga series, “PSYREN” is highly recommended.

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