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Cross X Break, Volume 1 by Duo Brand
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Cross X Break, Volume 1

by Duo Brand

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A 'kid gets teleported into fantasy-ish world' series. I decided to pick it up after reading in a review that it had the story/framework of a shounen manga but the character sensibilities of shojo. Liking shounen but a little sad at times they don't take closer looks at character feelings, motivations, and relationships, the description of this manga sounded promising to me. Plus, I though I'd heard of Duo Brand writing BL, so hey, possible slashiness/BL fanservice not a bad thing.

As it turns out, not so much BL fanservice. And a wimpy puppy-dog like heroine that sort of surprised me (I thought a lot of BL fans started reading BL just to escape lame female love interests like that...?). The world presented, full of glowing mushrooms and people with marks on their bodies designating where in the world they belong and 'Warlocks' chasing them around, isn't half bad. But the plot (consisting mostly of the characters meeting a man who knows their brother and wants to help them, trying to find food, and then trying to find help for a character that falls ill) is a little random and lacks any building tension. One gets the feeling this is supposed to be sort of a coming-of-age-by-harrowing-events story for the main character, but so far it's not terribly convincing. The characters are some of your usual standard archetypes (energetic/brusque boy, sweet bumbling girl, genki/friendly mystery man) without having much more to their personality beyond that.

The art is attractive, though, and the fairly fact pace and decently interesting world and familiar character types will probably be enough for some to enjoy this. It's pretty insubstantial, though, and I failed to find it compelling. ( )
  narwhaltortellini | May 30, 2009 |
So much is left unrevealed that it’s difficult to evaluate Cross x Break by volume one alone, but on the whole this is a good mainstream debut.
 
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