“ Genre: Graphic Novels / Comics / Author: Hitoshi Tomizawa / Paperback / 224 Pages / Book is published 2003-05-14 by Central Park Media,US „
Warning spoilers ahead
If I were to describe this series simply to someone with limited knowledge of Japanese manga (comics) and anime (Japanese animation) I would say that it is like Pokémon except these Pokémon would like nothing better to either brutally assault you, eat you or screw up your mental or genetic composition.
The story begins with three twelve year old girls in junior high in your typical Japanese school. For an unknown reason the principal always picks three girls entering puberty to defend the school against alien monsters who constantly want to attack the school again for an unknown reason. This seems to be rather unorthodox as should this be any other anime the government would usually send out giant robots or the army but this doesn't happen. From beginning to end there is something really unnerving going on. The reason for using these girls as organic weapons is very intentional.
In the beginning all the girls have to do is collect and capture primarily herbivore aliens that break into the school and protect civilians. However as the story carries through the teachers in charge of the project start to realise they are out of their depth and things get out of control.
The three girls are as follows:
Kasumi class A loves everything including people, aliens and dancing the head mistress refers to her as the "favourite".
Kumi class B has been living with only a mum and is almost like the second provider for her family.
Yuri class C is somewhat of a cry-baby. She is not particularly good at anything and fears aliens more than anything else on the planet. The only reason she is an alien fighter is because she was voted for the position by her class mates as nobody else wanted to do it.
The girls become fast friends and some unexplained telekinetic force which the borgs have also allows the girls to experience each other's emotions and fears. Kumi however seems to develop more and more into a borg however and starts to develop personal feelings for Yuri in being her constant protector. Kasumi becomes envious, paranoid and excessively lonely.
The girls all start off with a protective symbiotic alien who defends them on the battlefield much like the starter Pokémon each looks slightly different and have different personalities which are influenced by the girl's emotions and their psyche. These aliens all look very much like bicycle helmets with eyes, mouths, wings, chameleon like sticky tongues and a concealed set of razor sharp and extendable drills. These aliens are collectively known as borg. They are one of the three main symbiotes that humans can communicate with on a sentient and intelligent level.
Strangely enough though one of the girls Kasumi the A star student who comes from a rich family and who is even good at sports and design and technology accepts the opportunity openly and really enjoys her work, she would like nothing better to run around spaceships all day capturing aliens as if they were something really cute like butterfly's or puppies. It is later revealed that she has severe abandonment issues as her older brother who she was really close to moved away to study and never came back. She abandons her borg leaving him distressed and is integrated into a different troop of sentient aliens called yellow knives which look like skyscraper sized reptilian platypus with giant frogs with arms, legs and super sharp teeth for wings decide to eat her. Not in the intent of eating her but in order to understand human beings better. Unfortunately yellow knives are one of the borgs biggest enemies and Kasumi is returned to the school a totally different person mutated into a whole new species.
Yuri is then targeted by other symbiotes, but seeing as the other girls now have a feel for what being an alien is decide to protect her from ever becoming part alien.
Shortly after the B level candidate who also volunteered to be an alien fighter to avoid being class president is brutally mutilated and partially eaten alive by another unknown species.
Unfortunately the manga doesn't really end as such; there are lots of things left unexplained and very much a mystery. It is hinted at that initially it was possibly humans that first dragged these poor aliens from other areas of space to be used as weapons, to be dissected for medical purposes or simply to eat.
We seem to be introduced in the middle of the story where aliens have already started to colonise the earth forming spaceship forests with giant man eating golems, flying creatures and some really deformed looking beings and animals that look like they are trying to be human. It is a really terrifying looking world.
Why they use young girls as weapons is a little bit of a mystery. It just seems to be that girls of that age are at their most likely to fuse with aliens which me think of the story on a whole different level. Though you do have to think about things a good bit in this manga to maybe come to your own conclusion. You could quite easily debate and question the happenings in this manga for hours and still not really know what is going on. It is not unlike the Neon Genesis Evangelion series in this way.
After reading the series through a couple of times it becomes more and more apparent that aliens are perhaps running the show here and mankind have absolutely no idea what is going on around them and that this has become the norm. It's scary to think that humans could ever be toppled from the top of the food and evolutionary chain by alien crossbreeds and syndicates that don't value money or wealth but have an insatiable appetite for absorbing and fusing with the entire human population.
Shockingly enough borgs and the yellow knives are the nice aliens, the aliens that are yet to come have no problem with dicing up humans and other aliens who won't fuse or follow their dictatorship.
I have to say this is one of the goriest Science fiction manga I have ever read; there is lots of blood and mutilation in both the alien and human side of things this really isn't one for under 15s. It also contains elements of lesbianism and explores the human psyche. This isn't happy flappy you're my best friend forever stuff. Instead of I catch you your mine, it's more like I've caught you now I will either rip you apart or take over your self conscious. Although the artwork especially in the eyes and faces of this manga look very similar to that of Pokémon do not be confused it is a totally different genre and story.
Funnily enough though in the anime the voice actress that plays the role of the girls manager and teacher also plays the original Ash Ketchum from the Pokémon anime series but that is the main similarity that these series share.
This is the story of three junior high school girls Kumi, Kasumi and Yuri. Kasumi is the genius type who does dance recitals, plays musical instruments and sports. Kumi is highly well read and mature for her age and has been class president ever since first grade. Yuri...hates aliens.
This is a manga based in the future where alien invasions are a common occurrence the first book takes us through the girls first term as alien fighters. They maybe only kids but it is their sole responsibility to capture any aliens which appear at school and store them away.
The girls have to form a symbiotic bond with a defensive alien called a borg which looks like a cross between a cycling helmet and a frog with wings. The aliens are not cute cuddly Pokemon creatures. They are brutal, some species try to dice the girls up into tiny pieces with drill like antennas or are giant monstrosities which try to eat and digest the girls.
The girls head trainer for alien fighting Megumi Hisakawa forbids the girls under any circumstance to kill any of the wild aliens even though they are severely dangerous and try to obliterate the girls existence either physically or mentally. The first book shows glimpses of aliens showing greater or equal intelligence to human beings.
The book is very gory the suggested rating is 16+ as it shows the girls on a regular basis being mutilated by aliens. Yuri begins to have a mental breakdown having no skills what so ever.
The aliens in this series are very grotesque and are unlike any creatures I have ever seen before. There is also some nudity and lesbian themes in this series but nothing overly explicit its mainly given the rating of 16+ because of the violence.
You can pick these up on ebay and amazon from 12-15 pounds each they are much longer than most other manga on sale because the English version is produced by the US manga corps and not shonnen jump or tokyo pop, which are the usual producers. This book reads from back to front and right to left.