This is a review of the most read manga in mangafox but yet poorly received series in Japan which will cause its demise. It went from one of the best-selling manga in japan at a certain point to a mediocre selling with a 2nd to last rank in the pool of Weekly Shounen Jump for months. Psyren was made by Toshiaki Iwashiro who previously worked on Mieru Hito.
Summary: Yoshina Ageha is a high school student who offers to help people with their problems for 10,000 yen. He’ll take care of your stalkers, find your lost animal, whatever you want. One day when he’s heading home, a nearby pay phone rings, and he picks it up. The only thing he hears however is his own voice echoing. After finding a mysterious card with the word ‘Psyren’ printed on it, his life suddenly changes as he is drawn into a crazy new world.
What was so great about Psyren? The time travel aspect was the thing that the most attractive to the story. The story seems so different of what other mainstream manga like Naruto and Bleach had to offer. The world 10 years later being a land of dust and desert, and so the main characters must find a way to change the future while surviving the danger of what the monsters in Psyren bring. The art is well drawn and fits very well for a shounen demographic. The important characters are likeable (except Amamiya who was made to have inconsistent personality lol) as well the antagonists too. I mainly enjoyed reading Psyren as an alternative to the illusionary “Big 3”.
What went wrong? I know I said the characters were likeable but in a way, they all seem to be from a certain show. Yoshina is a cross product of Ichigo Kurosaki and Yusuke Urameshi (The looks of Yusuke, the black-coloured power and transformation of Ichigo). Grana is the new Kenpachi (Eye-patch and crazy strong power). Junas is Ulquiorra. Kyle is Jinta. Mashiro is Yoruichi. I know people will say I shouldn’t say Psyren is a rip-off since not a lot of series has actual originality. However, when you read Toshiaki Iwashiro’s previous manga, Mieru Hito, you can’t ignore the fact that this mangaka made a career out of over-using Bleach. While the characters-look-alike issue is bearable, the story went downhill when the main characters started gaining power strong enough to fight the bad-guys, the W.I.S.E., leaving the survival aspect aside and starting to bring more plot holes. “Why is there no new drifters in Psyren?” and “what happened to that guy?” those are questions that appears to make me confirm Psyren, compared to other manga, is weak when it comes to connecting ideas and situations between arcs. These little issues combined together became the downfall of the series. The Weekly Shounen Jump magazine has 20 manga slot every week. About half of them are action manga; Survival isn’t possible if the series in question isn’t able to stand out from the bunch.