Karneval, Vol. 1 (Karneval, #1)

Karneval, Vol. 1 - Touya Mikanagi
So I recently finished watching the Karneval anime, and since it was a short release of about 13 episodes, once the last volume aired last week, I figured the natural thing to do was to combat its ending after having gotten so involved with it and its characters by reading the manga series. And boy am I glad that I decided to do so. The manga goes into far more depth than the anime does, for obvious reasons of time constraint and so forth. But I really enjoyed getting to see a lot more to the storyline.

The introduction gave us a lot more to go off of, and really brought home that far darker element that was still brought up in the anime but didn't really hit full impact until around mid-point in my opinion. The manga version made it clear to show you the darker side of things a lot quicker and fleshed it out very well. The examples were brilliantly highlighted and I enjoyed them thoroughly, even when they were grotesque or made me want to murder someone. And if you can get me lusting for blood this soon into a new series, you know you're doing something right.

In addition, I love how we're able to see a lot more of the different sides to the characters that we were introduced to in the anime. Every single one of them has such unique facets of their character that have already begun to be explored in subtle ways. And for someone who has a decent grasp of them thanks to the anime, you can pick up on those interesting little features prettily easily if you're looking to learn more about our cast's characters.

And like in the anime, they did a nice job of blending the deeper tones with the lighter humorous tidbits, or even the sweeter parts, and then some crack comedy. It's a delightful and even natural blend that balances things well enough that I didn't even notice it until I focused on speaking about it.

I also really appreciated how a lot more explanations were given us for plot points that were covered a lot more briefly, as needed, in the anime. Various facts that were just dropped on us in the anime were finally given some grounding and we get a much fuller sense of the story from the manga's side of things since we have the time and space now to explore them in more depth. There were several parts that unraveled in this first volume that were never even hinted at in the anime, which made for a far more satisfying feeling when reading this. And we got particular gems just for fans of certain characters as well, to which I was very happy.

Overall, the manga was really enjoyable. The cast of characters has just been introduced to us, but already they're a crew that I'm happy to tag along with. Their various personalities are developing at their own pace, and I'm loving the journey that reading this manga is giving us as existing fans and first-time readers. It's definitely a series anyone can get into and have no problem with understanding whether you've seen the anime or not. (Which is the point, since the manga came before the anime in the first place~)

Definitely a manga to recommend for you people looking for a mix of shounen and shoujo, action and fun, crack and cute, and some serious levels of gorgeous and grotesque from all our cast of characters and their enemies. (Though seriously; some of those enemies are so ridiculously good-looking I can't even.)

I give it a big thumbs up! Read it if you can, and check out the anime as well! It's only 13 episodes long and a nice intro if you prefer the anime side of things to manga, though I HIGHLY recommend the manga to you regardless. It's a great read! I'm sure most manga and anime fans will find something to enjoy therein. See you in the next volume!