From Publishers Weekly
A futuristic SF tale that's set in modern-day Tokyo, this manga triangulates good old-fashioned monsters (chimera), a government research lab and a high school girl in a gory narrative that exploits trust and vulnerability. Fifteen-year-old Aiko had her left arm mysteriously replaced with one having chimera-type attributes and is immediately recruited as a lab rat/secret weapon for the government. Sugimoto fleshes out her protagonist's desire to please everyone around her and, as a result, her inability to say no. Both play key parts in her willingness to be tested and studied as a human experiment and likewise, used as a killing machine. Sugimoto also adds weight to supporting character Sudo (Aiko's handler) by offering his backstory and his reasons for wanting to stay close to Aiko. By exploring Aiko's insecurities, Sugimoto makes this a girl-oriented shonen that boys will read, while offering SF/fantasy-loving girls a high school outsider comic that they can appreciate. Sugimoto's gritty shonen aesthetic couples nicely with the blood and guts of the story, as well as the raw, emotional aspect of both female and male protagonists, making for a subtle, well-thought-out story. Rated mature for violence, but no sexual overtones in this series so far. (Jan.)
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