Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
This Japanese comic (manga) is based on an animated television series that's over 25 years old and still going strong. It tells the story of a futuristic civil war between the people of Earth and those who live on orbiting satellite bases, both of whom have giant robots (the mobile suits) they sit their troops in to fight one another. The basic premise of this first book is that a young man from one side is caught on an enemy space-ship with his friends, and is forced to jump into a mobile suit and fight his own side in order to save them.
If it sounds like a confusing scenario it isn't helped by the fact that there's a certain amount of self-awareness about the story. Should you be one of the millions who've caught the TV series in any capacity over the years, it will probably make perfect sense. For the rest of us, there's a feeling of being thrown in at the deep end that doesn't really go away until you're nearing the end of the book.
The artwork doesn't particularly help either, as it's a bit of a struggle to keep track of who is on what side, based on little more than subtle uniform changes. Since there appear to be characters from either side who look virtually identical, with only hair styling or shade to tell them apart, linked with the deliberate confusion in the plot around who is fighting for who, it's all a little bit too much. Even the inevitable action scenes are a flurry of battling robots that seem, to the untrained eye, to look remarkably similar to one another. A splash of colour could probably sort the issue - we found the monochrome hues a distinct disadvantage to this title.
If you're a big enough fan of giant battling robots to persist or you already know about the series, this is probably a fun little book. The rest of you will undoubtedly get more enjoyment from a different comic.
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