Characters & their development: 4
Personal enjoyment: 4
What did I like
-The world building
-The steampunk vibes
What didn’t I like
-The pacing was a little off
It’s the 19th century, and the world has entered the Era of Rebirth, recovering from the devastating flames of war. The sport of Mechanical Martial Arts has galvanized the nations. Cybernetically augmented fighters turn their blood into steam and their bodies into brutal fighting—and killing—machines.
Having fought his way into the top grade of Mechanical Martial Arts, Levius faces an ever-changing world that grows more threatening by the day. The shadowy megacorporation Amethyst wields its military might across the world through advancements in the arena. Can Levius be the fighter who changes the course of the world’s fate?
I knew going into this, that it would be something I enjoyed, but I was pleasently surprised while reading this. This Manga follows our main character LEVIUS, after a trauamtic event that leaves him in a coma. We follow the aftermath of this event, and see where both the world and Levius are.
Now, the first thing I should mention is that this is a continuation series of LEVIUS. Which is a 3 volume series that shows the origins of him which I really adore the idea of. I did NOT get to read that before this, so my review is going in blind from this series and explaining things as a newbie.
you CAN start this series here. I wouldn’t recommend it of course, as like me, you’ll be missing out on some information. But, the Mangaka really makes this series accessable for anyone starting out. The first 50 pages are a brief recap of the world that has been created, and the major events that occured in the first series. Sure, it’s spoilers, but it leaves you ready to continue this series right from this point. I’m hoping to get my hands on the original series and read all of that, and then continue this.
The world building is phenomenal. I think, in all honesty that is my favourite part of this Manga. We are introduced into a alternate history. By harvesting a new mineral, we created something called ‘starpower’ which is a form of steam that can kill people but needs blood to fuel it. It becomes a super weapon, and the world falls into chaos. However it has it’s positives, this ‘starpower’ also makes mechanical limbs easier to control, which makes a niche for MMA, mechanical martial arts. It’s a lethal type of fighting that carries this story.
The characters were based off cliche stereotypes, but they really expanded on those stereotypes quickly. We see the stoic and silent hero, the ‘crazy’ girl in love with him, the other quiet girl, the wise uncle etc. But there is something about each of them that makes them feel more alive, and three dimensional. They all have wants that don’t relate to the sterotypes they fit into and it makes them expand past their limits. I really enjoyed seeing the Mangaka explore and expand on these cliches
However, the only real negative I have is, the pacing was off. We jumped between two paces, the recap being super fast, everything thrown at you at full speed, and then we slowed right down when the actually new story got going. I feel like the change in pacing really throws you off for a minute. You have to stop and think about what you’ve read and then adjust to the new pace. I think, if the pace was either fast or slow, it would be fine but the jump between them was a bit of a reading issue for me.
Personally, I will DEFINIETLY be continuing this. I want to go back and see how it started, and I want to follow it right to the end already.
I would recommend it to people who love Alternate history, steampunk, fighting based, save the world type of stories.