Saturday, November 17, 2007

Firefighter Daigo

Mangaka: Soda Masahito

18-year old Asahina Daigo has just become a firefighter. He’s assigned to Central Medaka-Ga-Hama station, commonly called sire company M. At first, Daigo thinks he’s in a station full of slackers in an area that doesn’t get many fires. He quickly learns there’s more to firefighting than running into burning buildings. And even that’s harder than he thought. Daigo finds his courage and resolves to be the best firefighter he can; especially when he learns his school rival is working at a busier station nearby!

I was attracted to manga that focused on stories in the real world. Series like “Slam Dunk”, “Lone Wolf & Cub”, and “First President of Japan” are exciting dramas rooted in the real world. They’re driven by characters and their passions. Such stories are rare in American comics. Only in manga have I found stories that make real life look exciting.

Then again, it’s not hard to make the life of a firefighter look exciting. But to do a story without a fire, that’s tricky! Daigo’s first call is the rescue of a suicide attempt in a house full of natural gas. A single spark will cause a massive explosion. Soda does a fine job creating a sense of danger and maintaining suspense. Numerous details about procedure and firehouse life show Soda did plenty of research on his subject.

The art style is also rooted in the realistic. Rarely is there any exaggeration, except for humorous effect. The story’s easy to follow. Movement flows from panel-to-panel. Soda isn’t just a fine artist; he’s an excellent craftsman.

I would recommend “Firefighter” to those of you trying to introduce others to manga. Not only is it a fine story, it’s also a great example of the variety within manga series. I’ve noticed manga with fantasy or sci-fi themes gets the most mainstream attention. Romantic series are also prevalent. “Firefighter” demonstrates how, with the right creator, “ordinary” subject matter can inspire a great series.

This manga review was taken from here

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