Manga Village

AiON Volume 1

February 28, 2011

Mermaids and mind-controlling parasites wage are in this much anticipated series from the creator of Chibi Vampire! Tatsuya Tsugawa has just lost both of his parents in a car accident. While trying to live up to his father’s dying wish of becoming an upstanding man, Tatsuya rushes to help Seine – his bizarre classmate- from bullies. Little does he know he is about to find himself in the middle of a supernatural war between the immortal Seine and sea creatures that can control humans. So much for being Mr. Nice Guy!

By: Yuna Kagesaki
Publisher: Tokyopop
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Price: $10.99

At first glance, AiON doesn’t appear to be anything special. The story is pretty generic. High school boy loses his rich parents and then becomes mixed up with a girl with supernatural powers. Nothing new there. This title seems like another mediocre shoujo, but, there does seem to be just enough potential that it could become something better.

The story starts out by introducing Tatsuya. He’s a typical nice-guy lead. He’s friendly, non-threatening, and wants to help out people, even if he doesn’t know them. He’s a little emotional, as we see him start to cry when Seine calls him petty, but it’s only been a week since his parents died, so that’s understandable. Seine is the opposite of Tatsuya. She rarely smiles and isn’t friendly to anyone. She isn’t as interested in helping people. She just wants to hunt the parasites, and that people are helped along the way is only incidental. At first, neither character seems very interesting or even likable, but they did slowly grow on me. By the end of the volume my curiosity was piqued enough that I wanted to see more of both of them. Seine’s shadowy creature, AiON helped a lot too. He’s cute and dragon-like in appearance. Seine treats me a lot like a child.

The plot of the series is the more intriguing. We are tantalized with little details in this volume about the threat of the parasites from the sea. They attack without warning, taking over humans who go near the sea. People don’t realize they’ve been taken over until the parasite starts exerting its influence, which usually happens when they see Seine. There seems to be some mutual hate between the parasites of the sea and Seine. She wants to kill them as much as they want to kill her. Finding out the reasons for this animosity, who the mermaids are, and why the parasites are coming on land are the questions that give this series potential. I’m curious to find out more, and may risk another volume for answers.

It’s not a perfect book by any means. The art is serviceable. I enjoy Kagesaki’s art, but it isn’t anything special. One thing I did find annoying was the cameo appearances of Tatsuya’s friends. Yoshiyuki is introduced in the first pages, where it appears that she’s known Tatsuya for a while and might have a crush on him. Past these pages, she’s never seen again. The same for Higuchi, who is a male friend of Tatsuya’s. Once Tatsuya and Seine meet outside of school, it’s like there are no other characters but them and the infected. I really would have liked to have seen more of them than just the short scenes they go, since it felt like they had a real history. Maybe the next volume will show them more.

Overall, I liked AiON, but I didn’t love it. I’ll probably give it another volume or two to see if it can develop the potential I can see here. When I first started reading this, my initial reaction was “This is mediocre, move on.” But by the end, I was ready to give it more of a chance. I really hope it doesn’t dash my hopes.


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