820https://i8.mangareader.net/outlanders/1/outlanders2302105.jpg Outlanders is a mid 80s manga series by Johji Manabe that was originally brought to the states via Dark Horse Comics. At thirtythree chapters even with the chapters being forty pages on average it wont take you long to read. But brevity alone isnt enough to recommend a work. Fortunately Outlanders is has proven to be quite a good read. Outlanders tells the story of Tetsuya Wakatsuki a news photographer who finds himself in the middle of an alien invasion when the warmongering Santovaski Empire touches down in Tokyo. Soon he meets the Kahm the princess of this empire and the two grow closer in spite of the war. Before going on as an aside I just want to point out how one can get a very different picture of this manga just going by the description on the site. First off it should be noted that the invasion is underway well before Kahm has met Tetsuya and her relationship with him isnt what sparks the war unlike what this description suggests. Additionally unless Im missing somethingvirtually none of the characters on the cover image appear in the actual story. Most erroneously the story is listed as a comedy with romance nowhere in sight. Romance is a large part of Outlanders while comedy is decidedly not. There are comedic elements sure but youll be in for a bad time if youre expecting this to be a lighthearted comedy. Luckily I was able to change gears and realize the type of story I was reading. Spaceopera is more of an apt genre for Outlanders than action and adventure are. I was impressed and taken aback by just how epic and grand in scale the story was. Realistically the entire planet gets caught up in the war to defend the Earth. I appreciated how realistically the two powers the Earth military and the Santovaski were portrayed. Earth is the underdog in Outlanders and it serves to make the story more tense. Theres a grim tone throughout the story. While I wouldnt say its crushingly dark its something to keep in mind. The comedic moments help to brighten the mood. I will say I found the antagonists quite onenote though and while it was annoying it wasnt to the point of downright irritation. The art is classic eighties fare. The characters look pleasing though theyre nothing to write home about. Theyre quite expressive but their expressions lean more towards comedic. Theyre sure to make you laugh but they dont quite hit the right notes during more dramatic moments. The alien architecture and ships however are a beauty to behold and I cant think of anything bad to say about them. I should note that theres fanservice. Kahm herself dresses in whats basically bikini armor and there are a few occasions where she or other female characters are topless. If youre not interested for what its worth theyre infrequent and dont really detract from the plot. If fanservice is your thing then the art looks good though its not hypersexualized. While romance is a big part of the story that doesnt necessarily mean its written well. Specifically its not developed well. Kham and Tetsuyas relationship progresses unsatisfyingly quickly. Theres a part in the story where theyre at each others throats and the next chapter they seem enamoured with each other. It seems like the author rushed the development stages of the romance just so he could get them together and as a result it feels a bit flat. Its a substantial part of the story so if you dont like it your impression of the story as a whole might be soured. Im a sucker for romance however and even if it wasnt very realistic I was ultimately fine with it. It could have been better but it didnt take away from my enjoyment too much. Even if was a bit out of nowhere Kahm and Tetsuya make a cute couple. If youre a fan of scifi mixed with Fantasy in a tense setting I think youll enjoy Outlanders. Youll come to love the colorful cast of characters. Both the journey and the destination were wellexecuted. Pick it up if you want something quick and exciting to read. If youre not a big fan of romance however you might want to sit this one out. P.S. Theres a Chapter 0 though its often referred to as Book 1. Its a story about Kahm trying to obtain a mystical key. It definitely plays up the comedy and has no relation to the story as a whole. While it is a good introduction to Kahms personality feel free to skip it because it can feel a bit jarring starting the story after reading it. Theres also an epilogue. While it may seem bad at first I suggest sticking to the end. It enhances the standard ending. 7.8/10
78 /100
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