Bokurano Ours Volume 4
By Chris Zimmerman
August 25, 2011 - 14:14

Viz Media
Writer(s): Mohiro Kitoh
Penciller(s): Mohiro Kitoh
ISBN: 978-1-4215-3391-9
$12.99 US

Mecha-based manga more often than not follow a formula that involves multiple giant robots duking it out and causing wanton destruction. Series like Mobile Suit Gunadm and Evangelion instill their own set of values and themes that set them apart from the genre but for the rest, the central focus is usually on the machines rather than the humans. Bokurano Ours breaks from the norm in its approach, focusing more on the character’s psyche and their handling of their fate rather than their mission to save humanity.

The volume is divided by its arcs, with each one focusing on one of the main characters. The first half of the book follows Chizuru and her inner turmoil. Filled with anger and depression at her life and the problems that have plagued her, she is the first among the children to contemplate using the robot as a tool for revenge against those who she has perceived to have wronged her. It’s a dramatic affair that is touching and bittersweet.

Afterward, the volume turns its attention on Moji, the most composed and intelligent member of the group. The volume takes readers back to his childhood where we see his attempts at winning the affections of his crush. Unfortunately things didn’t turn out in his favor, but with only a few hours left to him, he preps another plan that serves as an ultimate gesture of love to the one he cherishes.

Both arcs are driven by emotion and tug at the heartstrings as both pilots are forced to come to terms with their lives and mortality. The stories are touching in very different ways, but accomplish the desired effect of giving the reader insight into the character’s motivations and feelings.

Unfortunately the grim outcome of every arc might prove to dreary for most. The artwork also hurts the series, appearing bland, with several panels being talking heads devoid of backgrounds. At times the lack of background threatens to distract from the drama taking place.

In the end, Bokurano Ours continues to be a compelling series based upon a very depressing idea. The individual arcs focusing on the characters have been unique and executed to gut wrenching perfection and while they lack the abundance of action associated with the genre, they succeed in wreaking havoc on the reader’s emotions.

Rating: 8.5/10

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