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Blank Slate, Vol. 1 Paperback – October 7, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kanno, creator of the popular series Soul Rescue, brings fans a compelling story of identity and intrigue in Blank Slate. Zen is a world-class criminal who awakens with no memory of the past. But with his boundless charisma, Zen attracts many different characters as the story progresses. Bounty hunter Russo sets out to find Zen, knowing that this kill will be his biggest yet. But instead of controlling Zen as he had planned, Russo finds himself taken in by the mysterious man and soon becomes his unwilling partner. On one caper, Zen kidnaps a general's daughter, Rian, who becomes smitten with him and feels grateful for him destroying her sheltered world. The story is very lyrical and at the same time harsh, seeming to perfectly mirror the art. Kano's art is beautiful; her characters are androgynous and soft with a truly charming aura. Their actions, though, are harsh and cruel, their demeanor aloof. Blank Slate is unusual, a fresh and exhilarating take on the shojo formula. (Oct.)
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About the Author

Aya Kanno was born in Tokyo, Japan. She is the creator of Soul Rescue, which has been published in the United States, and her latest work, Otomen, is currently being serialized in Japan's BetsuHana magazine. Blank Slate was originally published as Akusaga in Japan in Hana to Yume magazine.

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Product Details

  • Series: Blank Slate (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421519240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421519241
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
Definitely check this manga out!
Dennis A. Amith (kndy)
She really takes the opportunity to strut her stuff here.
Actually all of the characters are very well drawn.
F. Caldwell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A story about a twisted killer.

I have to admit that when I started reading "BLANK SLATE", I was surprised the manga was under the imprint "Shojo Beat". So, far from the first manga graphic novel by mangaka Aya Kanno, this is definitely not a serious about romantic relationships, love triangles or happy times.

This is actually a pretty unique storyline that almost reminds me of a "DEATH NOTE" style of manga. Not that the series has any comparisons but I compare "BLANK SLATE" in the fact that the villains are stylish and despite their dark nature, somehow the charm of the main character (Zen), a killer bent on destruction has a quick wit and manages to find trouble but yet alludes the authorities who are on the manhunt to stop him.

"BLANK SLATE" is definitely a refreshing and unique storyline from Aya Kanno, a mangaka who started her career as an assistant to "Psychometrer Eiji" mangaka Masashi Asaki and began her own career in 2001 with the manga "Soul Rescue".

Her fifth manga "BLANK SLATE" known in Japan as "Akusaga" is just an interesting storyline that revolves around a person named Zen. A charismatic man but also the worst criminal in history, the most sought out villain for his role in killing people.

Zen has an interesting history. He doesn't know much about his past. In fact, he just woke up one day with urges to destroy and kill. The only two words that has consumed him since he had woken and has done just that.

Before I scare anyone off and thinking this is a manga about some sadistic individual, fortunately the story doesn't focus on psychopathic murders but features how people who come across Zen, change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harmony Lawler on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Blank Slate by Aya Kano is about a criminal named Zen.
The chapters in this volume are sort of episodic. If you read the preview in Shojo Beat mag, then you might be disappointed because the 1st chapter is completely unrelated to the following. As well as the 2nd chapter to the 3rd. But the last are related and are the same story.

So you might get confused, but the individual little stories involving Zen are great. He's tye type of criminal everyone loves to read about. Daring yet with a good cause. Sexy to boot. With a character like that, the writing must be good. And it is. The supporting characters are really well designed and defined.

The art is beautiful. Very elegant and mature. Which calls for this type of shojo story. Keep in mind while there might not be any romance in this story, it focuses on the relationships the characters have with one another.
I only gave it a 4/5 because of the chapters not relating to each other which made it sort of confusing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
The amnesiac Zen, protagonist of Blank Slate, is like a force of nature...of the senselessly destructive, hurricane-blew-your-house-down-and-your-mama-away-too kind. He needs to be that way, though, because it's a rough world that he finds himself living in. The nation of Galay has been waging wars of aggression against its neighbors in the name of law, order, and civilization. Among the people subjugated are those of Amata, who face both squalor and discrimination under Galay rule. Some of them have become freedom fighters--or, if you prefer, terrorists.

Some of these terrorists are plotting to kidnap the Galay General's daughter, Rian, and use her to extort concessions for the Amata people. Zen, spreading his amoral brand of chaos and killing, gets caught up in her disappearance. While hiding out at the General's summer house, Zen sees a strange graveyard that, he will later discover, is connected to his past and his unexplained memory loss. He also sustains some grievous wounds, and one of the terrorists tells him to seek out her brother-in-law, Dr. Hakka, for treatment. He does just that and subsequently decides to help the doctor with his illicit acts of rebellion against Galay. But Hakka is not at all who he seems to be, and little does Zen suspect that hanging out with him may mean the loss of the one thing he values most--his freedom.

Superficially speaking, this two-volume shoujo manga series is an action-packed, hardboiled noir storyline, perfect for anyone in the market for cathartic, gratuitous violence and gun-toting pretty boys with ambiguous relationships to each other. However, it also makes some intriguing, albeit at times heavy-handed and awkward, gestures toward more profound themes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Caldwell on March 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm quickly becoming a big fan of Aya Kanno's work. It started with Otomen but Blank Slate has a more unique style and an intriguing character.
Blank Slate is of course the story of Zen, a beautiful and ruthless man who just happens to be the worst criminal in history. He's been stealing, killing, and terrorizing the country for ten years. Why? Because he wants to. Volume 1 is made up of three "episodes" that nicely introduce Zen's character. He's a heartless killer yet so charismatic. You can't help but enjoy reading about him. Also Zen's memory only goes back 10 years. Before that it's a blank. The book ends on a light cliffhanger when Zen finds someone who might be able to help him recover his memory.
Overall I'm pretty darn impressed with this manga. Yes, it's printed under Shojo Beat but it's definitely not "girly". It's not super dark and hardcore either. It falls somewhere in the middle to me. The panels are well drawn and actually rather bright (they have a lot of white space). The brightness lightened the mood of the story a little for me but I'm fine with that. It goes well with Aya Kanno's artwork. The art in a book is always extra important to me. If the drawing is bad it's distracting but there were definitely no problems for me here. Zen is a very well drawn man. He's lithe and beautiful with empty eyes. Very fitting. Actually all of the characters are very well drawn. They're unique, easy to tell apart, nicely styled.
The translation was also well done. I didn't notice any awkward dialogue or typos. So good job there too. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it's only a two volume story. I never thought I would complain about having to buy fewer books to finish a series. But I'm going to do it right now. I would've liked more from Zen. But what I've got is still pretty darn good.
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