Creator: Ryu Kum Chel
Length: 17 Volumes
Available Via Fansubs
+ Detailed art
+ Compelling character development
4 out of 5 · Highly Recommended
Ares Manga Review
Written by: Karthon
Ares tells the story of four youths who join the Tample Mercenaries on the same day. Their names are Ares, Michael, Baroona, and Gohu. Each of them has dark secrets about their past, but all of them (with the exception of Gohu who's an artist) are extremely skilled fighters. Though they have nothing in common, they quickly form a tight friendship, which survives through the various battles they encounter. As Chronos, the country which hires the Tample Mercanaries, begins to wage a war after 10 years of peace, the four are inevitably pulled in. Will they be able to prove themselves or will they be struck down along the way? And how exactly did they attain such skills?
The art for this series is very detailed, but not in the typical manner. In most manga, where attention is paid to detail, it's the characters (especially their faces) which are the most elaborate. However, in Ares, the characters (outside the four protagonists) are often bland or hidden in the shadows. Rather, it's the entire scene, characters and background that attains the same level of consistency. This creates an odd effect, although it does a good job of providing a sense that the characters are only a small part of the entire situation.
The characters themselves begin with plenty of question marks about them and their pasts, but over the first few volumes it becomes clear that the author has a background for each of them already planned out. The hints are always consistent, but never sufficient to reveal everything. For a mystery buff like myself, this makes the characters that much more compelling. It also enhances the plot. Without it, the manga would be about four talented soldiers going to war to establish their names. With it, the manga becomes about four youths pulled together by a common destiny of sorts, and their quest to discern what the destiny is.
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