Manga and the apocalypse are no strangers to each other. With every new release, the concept becomes diluted and predictable, begging the question: what is left after the apocalypse? Masayuki Taguchi’s Lives looks to add its own spin of the dystopian drama with an over abundance of violence, monsters, and nudity.
Originally released back in 2007, Lives introduces us to an unassuming group of pop starlets, performing a concert when a shower of meteors rains down on Tokyo. How did no one know this was coming? Shouldn’t there have been a news broadcast or something? In any event, the ensuing destruction lays waste to the city. Eventually they all wake to find that they somehow survived the event, only to have two thirds wiped out in grisly manner, leaving the girl named Kyoka to sort it all out.
Unfortunately, humanity has been reduced to animalistic creatures, with some retaining their sense of morality while others regress to savage beasts. Kyoko is eventually rescued by such a creature and later on discovers other survivors.
The series is reminiscent of Lost, with a tragedy striking right out of the gate, and cast of survivors struggling to make heads and tails of their new environment while sorting out the various mysteries involved. To a degree, the manga is a bit more convoluted than one might expect from seeing the cover. There is plenty of action and sex appeal housed in the first volume but there is also a sense of intrigue as to what really happened to the world and the purpose the survivors serve in the grand scheme of things.
The artwork is a mixed bag, with satisfactory character designs that appear to be clones of other more well known characters. The main problem is the odd angles in which the characters move and their unnatural ability to contort their bodies in every which way.
Lives Volume 1 is a good introduction to the series. While the focus tends to be on boobs for a majority of the book, the premise is intriguing enough that it builds interest for future volumes.