Several years ago, strange portals formed over the city and let in alien monsters referred to as "Neighbors". An organization called "Border" sprung up to combat the neighbors, and the city returned to relative peace. In present day, we follow Osamu, seemingly an average high school student who meets and befriends a transfer student, Yuma, a foreigner becoming accustomed to Japan. Turns out, neither boy is who they say they are. Osamu is a trainee for Border, and Yuma is a mysterious boy who claims to be a Neighbor. One thing is for sure, Yuma is extremely powerful and knows quite a bit out Neighbor monsters, including how to take them down. Osamu is initially conflicted in whether to report Yuma or not, but decides to keep an eye on Yuma and find out his true intentions for coming to Earth.
I absolutely enjoyed this story from cover to cover. The characters are interesting, and I really need to know more about Yuma and his special gifts. Osamu has a good heart and isn't a boring, overpowered main character that happens occasionally in Manga. I think this story has a really good set up in this volume with a manageable amount of world building going on. After reading this volume, there are elements that are still confusing, like the real mechanics of "Trion" - which power the "trigger" border agents use in combat - and how Trion fits in with the Neighbors, but that is sure to be something that will be explained in future volumes. The art style for this one is a little interesting. Yuma has a silly face he makes all the time, and I'm not entirely sure if it is the mangaka's intention of having the silly face be Yuma's normal face. Otherwise, the characters are all really beautiful, and the background scenery is especially detailed.
VIZ has rated this title for Teen, and this is really an adventure story with sci-fi and fantasy elements that would be great for junior high and high school audiences.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Science Fiction
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