I was disappointed at how short this Manga was, not that it isn’t still ongoing; it is. But it was just about to get good, or rather i was just starting to get into it before there was suddenly no more, and i usually like to read a considerable chunk of a manga before i can make my mind up about how good it is, unless the story is gripping enough to intrigue me from the get go, which Deus Ex machine didn’t.
Machina a member of the CWA, the Clock workers Association, an association created to reign in the activities of clock workers. IN times gone by when war ravaged most of the land, the powerful Exequia house rose to the fro, inventing, developing and mass producing the powerful humanoid machines known as clock workers, the purpose of which was to use their mechanical bodies to bring death upon the enemies of the empire enmass.
Years later, the war ended but the clock workers persevered. Built to war but with no battles to fight, many of them went rogue and either committed evil under the aegis of criminal elements or brought about death in their unique ways based on reasons governed by their unique personalities.
It has been the objective of the CWA for years to find and destroy all remaining clock workers causing havoc in the world. Machina, a young girl, armed with a shotgun and her own clock worker, Deus, a holy book wielding machine, traverses the continent fighting clock workers from all walks of life. Along the way she meets new people, connects with old acquaintances, many CWA agents like her, all the while fleeing from the shameful past that comes with the name Exequia, much hated and despised by most of the known world.
Deus Ex Machina is the story of a girl and her clock worker trying to overcome past hardships in the face of a new and dark foe.
It would be premature to call Deus Ex Machina a good series or a bad one, considering that it is only 22 chapters long so far, but rahter than wait until their is substantial material upon which to make a review, i will give my opinion based on what i have seen so far, though that might change with time.
The first criticism i was ready to aim at this manga was its rather nebulous and wonky art. But that was only in the first five chapters; things seemed to clear up in the following chapters, revealing that it wasn’t the art that was bad but whoever did the cleaning of the scans.
As it turns out the art in this manga is quite descent, especially in the depiction of the some what western style world that Machina and her cohorts inhabit. There were some less than stellar moments during the battles, where things didn’t exactly make sense to me; and while this is most observed in the first five chapters i cannot entirely blame the cleaners because even the depictions didn’t exactly make sense.
A number of panels later on also prove to be difficult to interpret, usually involving Machina and her shot gun. Most times i cannot differentiate bullet trajectories from random lines in the page depicting movement; it actually reminds me of BREAK BLADE and the problems i had with interpreting bullet related panels. None the less the art is clear enough that you can follow events with one or two glances.
Of course Deus Ex Machina is quite wordy, so you will not be flipping for one page to another in mere seconds. There is quite a lot to read, providing explanations about the CWA, the empire, continent, clock workers, a basic break down of the manga. Most of this information is delivered through dialogue which can last several pages, but it is informative.
Some of the panels will elicit confusion because of how they are arranged, especially when trying to figure out what element in a panel comes first, what follows and which of the two links to which image in the next panel. This is observed most in action scenes, especially with panels that have a large image, usually focusing on the specific action of a character, imposed over another smaller image in the background displaying the same action from a another perspective.
A considerable portion of the first few chapters of this manga focus on Machina’s battles with clock workers, allowing us a taste of what exactly is involved in a battle between these machines. Any story progress that occurs here focuses on Luke, the little boy that is seemingly endeared to Machina and her mean nature. Her interactions with him and the life lessons he learns from those around her in relation to how Machina treats him allow for an fairly interesting story to develop, though mostly secondary and not nearly intriguing enough to keep you hooked to the manga.
This manga, as far as the story is concerned, is mostly character based. 22 chapters in and any mysteries that have developed have revolved around machina herself and her past. Beyond this though, the manga is mostly one clock worker battler after another.
There is an attempt to infuse an investigative element into the story, with Machina and Deus doing less fighting and more investigating, what with the clock workers taking actions based on actual human like personalities, requiring an analytical mind to pin down the purpose of whatever violence a clock worker commits.
I do not think there is an underlying plot building beneath what we have seen so far, and based on the current chapters we are going to delve into the currently introduced character’s pasts and what they mean to the future before we can have a primary plot develop. For now though i would describe this story as Luke’s journey to convince Machina to accept him as an apprentice and train her in her craft.
He takes up a considerable portion of the non action scenes in fact, which means he will play a bigger role in the future than just being the pet that chases Machina and gets stung repeatedly.
Rating:6/10 i will wait and see to make my judgment.
This is why i am still sticking to this manga; Machina, while the primary protagonist, comes off as quite annoying, with her attitude becoming increasingly nastier and meaner with each passing chapter. We of course get hints that she wasn’t always like that, dismissive of the sufferings of others, showing little concern for human life and the safety of innocent lives when fighting clock workers, constantly throwing little kids that bother her into the river.
She mean, cold and raw, and despite my distaste with her initially, she is a major reason why i am still reading this manga. She is mysterious as many protagonists should be. We know what it means to have a last name like hers, and clearly her coldness emanates from her past and the distaste and hate she has received from a population that has grown to detest the murderous monsters her family created.
Deus comes off as the more interesting character though. A clock worker, we are yet to understand why he carries around and reads a holy book, considering that he is a machine. We learn early on that he isn’t a battle clock worker, more of a diplomatically inclined machine, yet he has proven competent in dismantling clock workers. HE and machina share a past, one that allows him to show more restraint no matter the cruel words she aims his direction.
There relationship is quite interesting. IN most anime and manga series of this type, the protagonist is usually the only one that treats that hated or feared entity, a demon, robot, spirit, whatever, with respect, as thought it were human. Machina treats Deus like a clock worker, a servant that she expects to follow her every command without fail, despite Deus’ own clear intelligence and capabilities.
And for some reason he accepts and takes her abuse. None the less the two form a dynamic pair. The question is where Luke the orphan fits into the scheme. Machina shows little restraint through out this manga in treating him like worthless trash, pretty much saying those exact words each time Luke acts like what he is, a little boy, with weaknesses and failings logical for his age.
The series does a good job of creating its characters, especially the director of CWA, the little girl no older than Luke (who i think is ten years old) but with a crazy look in her eyes and somewhat maniacal smile.
Verdict: Overall this is a good series, not brilliant but doing a good job in its 22 chapters to create a world worth my time. The mysteries are starting to unravel regarding the war that led to the creation of the clock workers, and a new villain has emerged on the scene, one that knows of the secrets of house Exequia, secrets that haven't seen the light of day since before the war.
RATING:> I am using a ten star here because it allows me more wiggle room to describe this manga’s quality numerically. 7/10; there is great potential here, and at the very least Deus Ex Machina has managed to make me want to read more.
I came across this Manga while searching for GAMARAN (which i am yet to finish) and while i was skeptical at first, i have seen enough to recommend this series.