Sunday, 28 February 2016

Anime lite: Awaken

Awaken initially looks to be urban fantasy webcomic set in an alternate universe. From the first page the translucent globs of rich color imbue this anime-inflected work with a luscious gracefulness. The line work of the character's faces can appear flat at times and frankly the anime/manga influence background is also present in the narrative itself.

This means this work feels somewhat light-weight. Maybe it's the fluent narrative but I've seen this set up a number of times: namely a teenage protagonist discovers magical powers and abilities. Netflix's new Mortal Bones TV series streamlines this, Harry Potter normalized it and anime shows like Beyond the Boundary and Kill La Kill are ripe with this.

 You could even say that this super-structure has become an adolescent version of Campbell's Hero's journey. Which doesn't necessarily mean that this approach to this trope is particularly staid. Protagonist Piras Dameschi exudes a goofy extroversion which is a nice change from the standard meme of brooding Byronic heroes.

So, this series is fun but not quite essential reading. It revels in ridiculous costumes and meshes that with a ridiculous premise. It's crisp, clean and the narrative gets along at a decent pace and has become more serious as the creator moves from hi-jinks to a darker narrative.

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