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Himoto Sora is a transfer student with a sense of justice and dreams of becoming a knight. Upon arriving at Utopia Gakuen, she learns of a virtual reality-like game played by the male students in which they use girls as weapons in battles for status and treat them as commodities. Seeing one of these girls being abused she steps in and through some sort of error unwittingly becomes the first female participant of the game.
失乐园 失楽園 สวรรค์สาบสูญ Lost Paradise (French) Paradise Lost (NAOMURA Tooru)
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The beginning was very good and it has lots of potential, but it end up being very confusing at the end. The art is very good, very pleasant to the eye. The characters (the main character and her companions, that is) are likable, although some characters have low self esteem and can be irritating sometime, but that can be forgiven due to the experience they went through. The story is somewhat cheesy. It's one of those story where the bad guys turn out to be good, or there's always some goodness in the bad guys. It also doesn't explain the story clearly, such as what the symbol's for and how did the main character defeat the system.
Overall, it's an enjoyable read.
I enjoyed the series, thought that it was an interesting premise and even found the protagonist growing on me. Although she is ditzy, her moments of being very knightly do redeem her. However, I found it all a bit rushed. There were lots of truly beautiful moments and you were skillfully manipulated along the same path and feelings of the protagonist- it really involved you. However, the pairing at the end seemed abrupt, the romance underdeveloped and the story seemed wrapped up too easily. It would have been nice to have had a little more to explore it all a bit deeper.
The True End....
This series is good, I mean it. The plot came from a simple beginning, and move on to more depth with all the characters having their own 'reasons' to do that. And then tie all the problems into single conclusion, which told us the truth.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Actually, shame for me, I've already set my mind as I read the first chapter and think that this series will have the same ending as Revolutionary Girl Utena, which the main char end up with the girl. But as I continue to read it (before the true end), I change my 'mindset' with "maybe the main char will end up with the Devil King", and got shocked, because she 'may' end up with red haired guy. But as I haven't recovered, the true end comes up with, "she end up with her childhood friend". I'm not offending such a yuri genre, in fact I like series like Kanaduki no Miiko or Mariasama ga Miteru, but deep in my heart I want the main character to end up with the Devil King or the Red Haired Guy.....
Hahaha so that's all in my mind after reading this series until the last chapter.
Sounds like the series being cut (uchi kiri)
was expecting this to be a good series, don't care about it being the same as utena or not as long as it can bring out the 'interesting' thing in this kind of plot, but after reading it through the end, well even before reading the last volume I had already lost a bit interest of it since it looked like a half-ass story to me. Worst thing is the last volume which conclude any interest left in me (although Tsuki is cute) seeing everyone mainly the boys were actually a good person just like how the saying of "blame the system not the person" works.....
Honestly, up to chapter 7 I was like "huh, I hate all those guys but what I find the most stupid is the thing as a hole". Then, after reading three or so more chapters, I was like "Goddammit, just hurry and give me the next chapter!" because it actually started making sense. I've never read something that made me have such a turnover. Maybe it's thanks to the fact that mangas are done chapter by chapter, but anyway, it got good as hell. I could even appreciate the first chapters knowing what would happen later on. The last two chapters were what a lot of last chapters aren't : Good. A good ending for a not-so-good start. Seeing as most endings for manga or anime are fucked up, this adds well to me. also, the art is great.
So much to say but I'd rather keep things simple
When I started this manga, I wanted to give up immediately. The premise was utterly detestable. It was filled with holes, didn't make sense, and was hateful. Unless this was a system established in a third world country, there is no way to keep a system like that in place without every single person involved being thrown in prison.
The art was quite good and while the premise was silly and incomprehensible, the story itself didn't indulge in it in a sickening way. It was a mediocre ride until right before the end. I am happy to say that Shitsurakuen is a manga with a good ending. Few manga and even less anime have good endings. I'm glad I kept reading and found a satisfying conclusion.
... Last updated on June 30th, 2012, 11:53pm
So... What do I say?
Shitsurakuen is a good story with an ending that'll leave some people strongly dissatisfied, while other people won't mind it.
I have to say, the execution wasn't so great, but it could've been worse. There's a lot of stuff crammed in in some way, that makes sense at the moment, more or less, but it doesn't let you absorb everything. The manga really could have used a little bit less cramming. I can't really remember much of the manga, even though I read it in one go and finished just now, but I'm one of those, who understand why the ending is as it is and I'm okay with it. There's a lot hidden in it and I'm really not up to talking about it, but I'm satisfied.
Give it a twirl and then decide whether it's worth buying, or maybe just borrowing.
... Last updated on April 15th, 2012, 6:36am
So much potential, yet ARGHHHH
There was so much here to exploit. The art was pretty, the characters were tolerable, and the set-up . The set-up was everything , and yet what do we get? A half-baked story about a girl who seems like the female version of Naruto saving a bunch of other girls in a not so very good battle manga. What you're just going to get rid of the overwhelmingly sexist environment of the school so quickly? What about the Iwahijiri - are they still pulling the same crap they did with the school? The list could go on... Also, a lot of the characters had random changes in heart, which I felt the author threw in to be able to end the story, rather than to be able develop a complex one that could have broken a lot of norms generally associated with shounen.
I really wish someone else had been put in charge of this story after the initial set-up. It's a fairly shallow read if you don't want something too meaningful, but for a story that could have been amazing, it just doesn't get there.
... Last updated on February 24th, 2012, 11:49am
Too similar to Utena.
After watching Utena, my rating on Shitsurakuen dropped.
And indeed, Shitsurakuen is using a lot of Utena's elements with no surrealism. The new elements that the author add are: - Virtual reality unlike the projector in Utena - Harem instead of one girl - More shoujo-ai elements (Like the Utena Movie) - The protagonist is given a glove instead of a ring like in Utena - It hasn't to do anything with revolution or the world - More stupid characters
Okay, the first thing you wonder is, why the girls attend and they do not simple leave to attend to another when they face such circumstances. It is never explained but it is letting you to assume that they probably have a scholarship and they must attend to this reputed school. Or they are spied and they are unable to tell to their parents. Either way, it is not excused so it makes it more stupid.
And let's see... Utopia is an Academy where all of the guys torture the girls and the girls cling on them. It's just so pathetic... They enjoy being puppets. Basically all of them act like Anthy from Utena. And one day, the girl that wants to become a knight and save Princesses appear and start saving them. (And yes, in a male uniform like Utena.)
Sora is kind of annoying she is repeating like 4757383845 times that she will save each girl. And all of the guys are trying to eliminate her, except this guy that is pretty much like Akio. (Without the amazing car scenes of course.)
Sora's harem has no development at all. Take for example, Kohaku; She is a girl with no personality whatsoever. She is just blushing whenever she is around Sora. The second girl? Pretty much the same. It was only Reiko as a tsundere that showed something better. And we have the mysterious girl that is an old friend of Sora (And apparently Sora's yuri interest that is LIKE Anthy) whom she needs to be saved and later she has also a symbolic presence.)
Of course, the fairytale-like plot is not missing from here either; We see some scenes where the knight save the princess, etc. Utena much, again?
I have to admit though, that the designs are better than the ones in Utena. Although the fights suck and neither Utena did had any good fights.
I know I did a lot of comparison to Utena but it is just so damn similar. Anyways, entertaining for a one time read.
I loved this manga, I once gave it a ten, but now it's a nine. Once readers get to the last chapter they would think "WTF?!" The last two chapters messed up everything. I don't know if this manga should even be labeled as "shoujo-ai."
But the manga is superb as a whole. It might not be my top 5 best manga anymore, but it's still great.