Akira is a high schooler unfairly on probation for being a Good Samaritan at the wrong time. He attempted to rescue a woman, but was sued by her attacker. Now, he must attend a new school and try to keep his nose clean for a year. On his way to school on his first day, he and a classmate, Ryuji, get transported into another reality, the Metaverse, where the demented desires of adults can manifest into palaces of warped perceptions. Akira and Ryuji must battle their way back to their reality, and they uncover much about the wrongdoings of one of their teachers, Coach Kamoshida. Once what they’ve learned clashes with reality, they take it upon themselves to defeat the palace version of Kamoshida to effect change in their reality.
I feel that Akira, being modeled after the player character from the game, is a great audience surrogate. I was confused right alongside him about the mysterious app on his phone, and I immediately sympathized with his plight of being wrongly targeted for doing what he thought was right. Kamoshida really got under my skin, like he’s supposed to, to the point where the last few panels of him in volume 1 started to give me the heebie jeebies. I also really liked the Personas. Their reveals were full of flourish and fanfare. I am not familiar with the video game, but the basic plot points seem to be the same based on the short summary I read. Hopefully, fans will appreciate this adaptation of the beloved game.
VIZ has this rated for Teen Plus, and I would agree with their placement. There are several heavy topics In the first volume: attempted suicide, implied child abuse, and implied sexual assault of a minor.
Sara's rating: 8/10
Suitability level: grades 10-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Fantasy, School-Age, Action Adventure
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