Vital Statistics:Title: Night Head Genesis
Story: George Iida
Script & Art: You Higuri
Original Publisher: Kodansha
Genre: Sci-Fi/Supernatural, Drama
Release Info:Release Date: 11/24/09
US Publisher: Del Rey Manga
Translator: Alethea and Athena Nibley
Length: 208 pages
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Disclosure: This review is based on a review copy from the publisher.
After the death of "old man Misaki," whose spiritual powers kept the boys bound to the facility, the twosome head out into the real world, where they're quickly swept up into trying to save the world from a disaster predicted by a man who sees visions of the future.
Night Head Genesis is a manga based on an anime that was based on a live-action television drama called Night Head.
But the art is beautiful and I can't fault it here. Higuri also has a good balance between detailed and less-detailed backgrounds, packing the panels with story and information without overloading them.
...Unfortunately, there's story to deal with. Bishounen fans will probably find something to like between Naoya's meek sweetness and Naoto's constant righteous anger, but I find them both rather whiny. The story's pacing is a little off: the boys are born, kicked out by their parents, kept at the facility, then grown and gone from it within the first chapter. They mysteriously have enough money for a nice apartment, clothes, food, and everything else that they need, as well as a woman on their heels who wants to kill them because she thinks they're the key to the world's destruction.
The story is so fast-paced I never felt like I was really grounded in the characters, their powers, or their world before we ran headlong into a world-saving plot, and by the end of the book I still can't tell you anything about either boy except that Naoya is a wuss and Naoto is protective and sometimes a jerk.
This is a Del Rey Manga release, so the translation is solid and flows well. There are translation notes, and a word from the original creator (George Iida) and the mangaka (You Higuri) at the beginning and end, respectively.
All in all, I'm not very impressed with NHG. But if you like your boys pretty and emo, and your stories simple and dramatic, you could probably kill a half-hour with this book...I just recommend borrowing it from a friend or the library. There are better ways to spend your cash. (Might I suggest a couple of other Del Rey supernatural dramas, like xxxHOLiC or Ghost Hunt?)