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Bokurano  
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Description
During summer vacation a group of fifteen children discover a mysterious man living in a cave surrounded by high tech gadgets, the man claims to be a game developer, creating a video game with a giant robot defending Earth from fifteen alien invaders. He asked the children to test the game for him and they agreed.

Notes: Received Excellence Prize from Japan Media Arts Festival in 2010

Type
Manga

Related Series
Bokurano Alternative (Novel) (Alternate Story)

Associated Names
Bokurano: Ours
Sống còn
ぼくらの
地球防衛少年

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
c.65 (end) by Hox over 11 years ago
c.63-64 by Hox over 11 years ago
c.62 by Hox over 11 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status
in Country of Origin
11 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?
Yes

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
Ends at Vol 5, Chap 28 (Changed story with a different continuation)

User Reviews
Bokurano by bully_jesus

Forum

User Rating
Average: 8.3 / 10.0 (672 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.22 / 10.0
10
 
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9+
 
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 13%
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 2%
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Last Updated
June 4th 2020, 1:35am PST


Genre

Categories

Category Recommendations

Recommendations

Author(s)

Artist(s)

Year
2003

Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Ikki (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)
Yes

English Publisher
Viz (11 Vols - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #432 increased(+143)
Monthly Pos #870 increased(+381)
3 Month Pos #1676 decreased(-142)
6 Month Pos #1832 decreased(-38)
Year Pos #1915 decreased(-105)

List Stats
On 720 reading lists
On 1326 wish lists
On 1456 completed lists
On 89 unfinished lists
On 435 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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The only consistent and real aspect of this series was buried under a mess of weaknesses  
by Shellshock
July 30th, 2020, 9:41am
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
Bokurano ours is a story about a man who convinces 14 (I think) middle schoolers to join his crew to fight aliens(?). However the man doesn't use traditional methods to fight aliens. You see he had sadly watched too much anime and decides the only thing capable of fighting giant aliens is a giant robot. Now these kids must randomly take turns to pilot this giant robot and save the world. But Unbeknownst to them piloting a giant robot comes at a great cost. A cost they must live with the rest of there life. So this becomes an Eeny, meeny, miny, moe game from hell.

Despite the complicated issues this series has (as well as the reveals later), the idea is pretty simple. Big giant alien needs to be defeated using the big giant robot. So the story needs to be carried specifically due the characters and there personality, likability and traits. However when the AI looking thing has more personality than literally any other character in the series thats when you have fucked up. Every character is this person who's suffering from this dark past or this guy who the most generic good guy type you can find. Its like the author one archetype and put them in each character without playing around. They were definitely some moments where these characters felt alive and fun. But majority wise they did pretty much what i expected them too and it was boring. Maybe the author wanted to say these are middle schoolers of course they are predictable. But he's also writing himself by not making them interesting most of the time. I think the only characters i liked was 1 of them. The rest felt acceptable and some downright bad.

The action i had massive issues with. They were 2 good fights in this series and they had barely any contact with each other why? Because they were supposed this tactical. People had to use there brain whilst knowing each second they waste is another innocent's man death. I really liked that aspect of the series. Most of the fights were just hit them harder and considering the scale of the series it wasn't really all that great. Each fight had a good moment but that was small considering the overall scope of the fights. There is also this massive issue with giving the characters more *depth* by giving them a backstory during every fight. No one wants a backstory during keep them separate. You are ruining both the fights and the story. It also doesn't help like i said some of them have the worst backstories ever. Like we are just supposed to suddenly like these characters now who have been predictable this entire way.

The art is also a mess. All the effort has been put into the mecha and aliens the characters themselves look like they were drawn by an entirely different inexperienced artist. This series also throws in tons of philosophical nonsense as if we are supposed to forget the weak characters, the mundane action the weak art. Some of the bad guys in the series get away scott free. I think the author wanted to imply that they are fighting not just for themselves but everyone on earth which means every life needs to be protected. Of course reality is often different but whatever.

My issue with the philosophical nonsense is that its all been done before. Nothing i haven't seen before. Its thinking aspect is probably its strongest suit but all these thinking has already done by series both better and older than this. I honestly don't understand what the author was thinking adding all that nonsense in it. Its also never really explained why they used middle schoolers at all.

I guess some of the good parts would be how each character has to deal with the cost. And i liked that part. Most handled as expected but the ones that handled differently. Those are the interesting ones. They are ones that kept me engaged and wanting to read this series. However too many issues with unlikable cast. Underage pointless nudity. Which i can't even call fan service because the author doesn't know how to draw characters. Too many issues, too many problem, too many complication. Every single one bringing the series down. This might have been worth it if you are massive Psychological fanatic. But don't expect anything knew. If you are a psychological fanatic you've seen all this shit before.

TLDR: Too many issues to make this series actually fun and enjoyable. The only consistent and real aspect of this series was buried under a mess of weaknesses. 3/10
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Entertaining but not a masterpiece  
by jeffreymgibson
December 25th, 2015, 6:18pm
Rating: N/A
It's entertaining but not really a masterpiece. For starters, just the same story every 2 pr 3 chapter, except with the focus on a different child. The Kids are in the 7th grade but sure don't act like it. They just seem to accept things too well which is something 7th graders are not normally good at. No 7th grader would ever be so well adjusted or self sacrificing. My biggest gripe is they never show the friends or family of the character after the battles so you never find out what happens there and that's a major letdown.

... Last updated on December 25th, 2015, 6:20pm
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Masterpiece  
by Suxinn
August 1st, 2015, 7:46pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Now, I'm not usually one to throw around the word, "Masterpiece," lightly. In fact, this is only the second time I've ever rated a series a perfect ten. But, Bokurano is, no doubts about it, a manga that I can find no faults with. It's also the manga I would pick every time if I was asked, "What manga would you recommend to everyone?"

When I first read this, years ago, it blew me away, and it was deeply influential to my own sense of morality. Now, rereading it years later, with the Viz editions in hand, it still delivers, maybe even better than I remember.

Bokurano is, at its heart, a story about humanity. It's about the actions of humanity when faced with pain and destruction, death and despair. Ultimately, it's about finding hope, even at the most difficult of times.

Bokurano is composed of a fairly big cast, around 20 significant people, give or take, not including the families of the pilots. While not all of these people are sympathetic, they are all so very human, so much so that it's difficult to fully hate any of them, even when they do terrible things. And one of the things Bokurano is best at is giving its deaths weight, even when there's so much of it. It complicates what it means to live, and what it means to die.

It's a story without any real answers, and some may call it bleak for that, but the ending nevertheless fills me with hope. It's about making a better tomorrow, no matter how difficult that may be.
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Deeper than a well with no bottom in sight  
by chaechaeboi
October 2nd, 2014, 9:41pm
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
The action is not the best, but that is not what makes or breaks this manga. To me the psychological exploration of the characters and their development as they fight for what they hold precious is the main course. This is a sad manga that explores human nature. I watched the anime first and that didn't tell the story of the character as well as this manga. Get ready for a tear jerking, heart pounding ride!
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well.....  
by GOKI408
July 14th, 2014, 6:51pm
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
Did'nt particulary liked it. at first it looked good, but i'm not really into mecha. but even without that, i did'nt feel any attacment to any of the charactere. they were boring, maybe some did have great backround, but not enought to satisfy me. did'nt even cry or feel sad. it was really without emotion that i read it completly. why? curiosity. i really just wanted to know the story behind everything and what will happen to all of them.
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Existential Battle Royale  
by Pacific.Mint
January 21st, 2014, 5:39pm
Rating: N/A
This work reminds me of Battle Royale, which is great because I loved it and have always wanted to read something like that again. Apart from the play or die situation with kids, there's not much similarity in plot or even atmosphere, but I love that both works focus on each character and we get to know each character intimately. That's what makes survival or apocalypse works awesome for me: the relationships between characters, how they interact with each other, how they think, and how they make the decisions they did.

While Battle Royale explores morality, the decision of whether to play the game or not, friends banding together or turning on another, Bokurano is a quieter work and explores existential questions. The battles in Bokurano are mere plot devices for the characters to explore the meaning of life and other philosophical questions. After reading it, I just felt empty and hollow, which is in line with its existential themes. I don't think Bokurano will make most readers love it, I certainly can't say I did, because you're not supposed to find it "entertaining" or "exciting". It's a journey for both the characters inside the manga and the readers. You will certainly think and reflect on life as you read Bokurano.

Most survival mangas build up momentum toward the climax and the end but like I said, Bokurano is a quiet work. In other survival mangas, you don't know who's gonna die next and that's where the excitement and the momentum come from. However, in Bokurano you know who's going next and all characters have certain death on neck. No matter how much you're rooting for them, they're going to die. Thus, the tone of the manga can be very depressing for some, but Bokurano doesn't glorify the depressing atmosphere; rather it's about finding hope and meaning in face of the finality of death and the futility of life.

I would recommend not to marathon it because like another reviewer said, it could make you numb to the characters' plights. Once you don't sympathize with them and their impending deaths anymore, it will sap the meaning away from the manga's message and the discussion on life and death. Instead, experience it little by little as you also reflect and find your own answers to the questions the manga posed.

... Last updated on January 21st, 2014, 5:56pm
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Bokurano  
by israel8491
April 8th, 2013, 9:24pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Bokurano is unlike any other manga I have ever read. I haven't read any of the author's other works, but apparently they are in a similar vein.

For a manga about massive mecha battles, Bokurano is a surprisingly quiet manga. The battles aren't truly important, it's the children and how they mentally prepare for them. Fifteen children, faced with an awful and inescapable fate. They can't run away, all they can do is decide how they will rise up and meet their deaths - and rise they do.

This is what the manga is truly about, dealing with a horrible situation and trying to make the best of it. It is about finding humanity in the most desperate of times, of trying to find meaning in a life that is about to end. In some ways, it reminded me of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, which is about a girl living with terminal cancer. Her primary concern is her parents, and how they will deal with her inevitable death. Some of the children spend their last days trying to make things easier for their families and friends. The boy who doesn't want his younger siblings to know that he died. The boy who wants to save his friend's life as his dying wish. The girl who fights so that her baby brother will have a world to grow up in, even if she can't live to see it. Others try to find some kind of peace with themselves and accept their fates as gracefully as they can. But these are children, and sometimes it isn't possible to do this. Some children, futilely, try to run away. Others use the mecha as a means of enacting personal revenge, even at heavy costs.

At one point, one of the boys is debating whether or not to fight when his turn comes. He explains to a police officer that he never understood films where a lot of people are killed by a monster or natural disaster, but so long as the hero is alive and laughing at the end, everyone considers it a happy ending. If even one person dies, he considers it a tragedy. The only difference between the hero and the anonymous casualty is that the narration follows the hero, but it could just have easily followed the victim who died. He makes us, the readers, aware of the immense casualties these mecha battles have caused. Early on, numbers of death tolls are thrown out so casually we breeze past them in our hurry to find out what happens next. But the manga reminds us that even the anonymous victims were people who had lives, who thought their own existence was valuable. And they died. That is a tragedy. Even if one of the fifteen survives, Bokurano cannot have a happy ending, because too many have died to reach that ending.

Bokurano is a quiet, sad, surprisingly existential and thought-provoking manga. It won't be to everyone's taste. But that's just fine. Most of modern day manga is cheap, quick entertainment, and that's fine too. Manga is entertainment, first and foremost. But it is such a joy to discover a manga that looks deeper and asks the reader difficult questions, ones I'm not sure how to answer. How do you live when you're going to die? I don't know.
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Classic Kitoh  
by You Say
January 26th, 2013, 2:05am
Rating: 7.5 / 10.0
Bokurano was written by Kitoh Mohiro. That sentence is summary for the whole series. Kitoh Mohiro has a very unique style of storytelling, characters, drawing and almost everything which you can think of. His works are depressing and even when there is a joke or heart-warming moment you feel like it's just a small spark of hope in a huge sea of hopelessness and tragedy. His stories are psychological and readers are not supposed to enjoy them but to think about them.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
In Bokurano author introduces us to fifteen children who are going to die. They aren't big pals or overly happy kids and each of them has its flaws. Some of them has their small or big problems but they still feel kind of real. As the story goes we get to slowly know about story of each child. This manga isn't about unfolding the mysteries but about how each child faces his or her time before death and the death itself.


One shouldn't ask "How will this end?", "Will they win?", "Is there goind to be some crazy plot-twist?". Instead one should be thinking and wondering about the nature of each child and his/her attitude to family, world, life and death.

Kitoh Mohiro works doesn't force people to think but are written in a way reader wants to think about them. If you like style of Kitoh Mohiro you may like Bokurano. If you don't like his style you won't like this piece either. If you are new then prepare for sober look at given theme and perfectly fitting drawings.
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excellent  
by whitespade
January 23rd, 2012, 4:29am
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
the characterization, the plot, the pace, the atmosphere, the conclusion, etc all is excellent. this story might be depressing, but you dont want it any other way. the only gripe i have is the art where all the kids have the same face, but it is okay since the hairstyle is different enough for me to make a guess. this is a must read.
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good way to end this  
by dremondtanic
April 9th, 2011, 1:06pm
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
yeaaaa i was not really expecting this mang a to have a happy ending nor did i want it to have a happy endiing. but anyway i dont really have nothing to say other than this was a nice manga, worth reading, and would kinda confuse you in the ending. yayyyyyyyy

story wise- this manga is awsome
art wise - kinda different than the others but you get use to it so nice art for me
character - i didnt like that every single femal character look almost like guys especial when they all are flat chest "every single one of them" but o well

i give this manga a 9.5 because i kinda got confuse with the ending but in a way kinda understand what the author was trying to say
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