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Narutaru
by Master_M2K on September 18th, 2008, 11:49am

Rating - 8.2 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 4.5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 4 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4 out of 5
Overall - 4 out of 5

Click here for series information

Shadow Star (Narutaru) is a unique blend of Supernatural, Military, Action & Drama with a really promising story, which was let down by the way things concluded. Just like this mangaka’s other works, Shadow Star revolves around kids but that doesn’t make it any less disturbing.

Plot / Story
It all begins when an energetic young girl named Shiina Tamai discovers a star-shaped creature, whilst visiting her grandparents over the holidays. Ever since then she becomes involved in some strange and dangerous incidents, involving other kids who have similar creatures to hers. It is later explained that these things are known by the term Dragon Child/Shadow Dragon and the kids themselves are mentally linked with their respective Dragon Child, allowing them to do what they want with them. Shadow Star is just one of those manga where you are left in the dark about all the important stuff and it just shuffles between Military and Dragon Child issues. Although when it does explain things, the explanations can leave you with a feeling of bewilderment. At least it is possible to grasp an understanding of what this manga is all about and the story finally gets interesting, but being drawn back into confusion is inevitable once it reaches the halfway point. After the sudden change in the story, it just feels like trying to understand this confusing premise all over again.

Characters
The manga revolves mainly around a bunch of kids/young adolescence, all different in some way, but they share the same bond of being a Dragon Child bearer. Shiina Tamai is just one of the kids the manga focuses on and just like all the others, the reader will become familiar with their family & social life, as the story progresses. There are various other characters that come into play as you advance through the story, but not only can some be hard to figure out, there are also those who’s motives aren’t made clear.

Drawing Style
Just like with Mohiro Kitoh’s other works, the artwork of this manga has a similar style. Nonetheless this comes with its problems; the details of the characters are very inconsistent and some of the character designs lack any distinctive features so you can find yourself constantly wondering, “who is this again?” The military hardware and the Dragon’s designs are about the only note worthy thing about the artwork, having a lot of thought and detail put into them along with the scenery.

Overall / Enjoyment
Overall Shadow Star is certainly a great read but when reading it; expect to experience lots of confusion whilst trying to comprehend the purpose behind the story. The story itself has a simple structure where each volume focuses on its respective arc. Though there are a few complications along the way and by the end you will be left with a bunch of unanswered question like: why are only kids Dragon Child bearers? And what was up with that ending? We’ve all heard the term “Kids can be so cruel…” Well that term is put into practice with some really intense and disturbing moments. If these words have put you off from checking out this fine manga, then there’s no point in giving it a try.

^_^
 
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