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Ral Grad, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – January 29, 2008
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About the Author
Takeshi Obata is the artist of the wildly popular SHONEN JUMP title Hikaru no Go, which won the 2003 Tezuka Shinsei "New Hope" award and the Shogakukan Manga award. Obata is also the artist of Arabian Majin Bokentan Lamp Lamp, Ayatsuri Sakon, and Cyborg Jichan G, and Death Note.
Top Customer Reviews
To the person who gave the book 1 star, yes, Ral is a obsessed with breasts but that does not overshadow how amazing the story is at all. It's just a small part of Ral Grad. If anything it adds some humor to the story making it even more entertaining. it does not make the main character "repulsive". It adds to his boyish charm. The poor kid has never seen the light, let alone women. Ans he's 15. Of course he'd be fascinated with the female body. I'd understand the comment if the whole manga was about his fascination with women, but it's not, so get off your high horse. No woman here is "treated like dirt", or is "property". They react to his childish fascination as they would if he were a curious 2 year old boy (which he might as well be seeing that he was JUST freed). They blush and giggle at how cute and awkward he is.
That review is totally unnecessary.
The manga is fantastic, and I would recommend it to anyone 18+ because of the mature content. It's a delightful read. Very entertaining, no matter what kind of manga you are normally into.
The artwork is beautiful as expected. It's not Death Note, but neither is this manga. It has a different feel altogether that works well with the plot. I'd give the artwork 5 stars and the story an optimistic 3 1/2 stars in the hopes that Ral does grow as a character.
Ral & Grad--from cowriters Tsuneo Takano and Takeshi Obata--is full of mainstream, giddy delights, breathtaking artwork, a completely comprehensible narrative, and lots of breasts (teen Ral is absolutely obsessed with them). Its storytelling moves lightning-fast, with plenty of corkscrew surprises and unexpected turns, drawing much of its accessibility from employing traditional fantasy tropes and videogame totems.
Ral comes with a fascinating backstory. Having spent the first 15 years of his life locked in a cage, because the king so feared the power of his shadow dragon, Ral is now nearly deified because the king needs his fearsome powers to defeat the evil Queen Bira. But Ral's dilemma and journey are complex and rich.
The books may find Ral devoting a hair too much time to his overactive libido. Too often, Ral is more Beavis than Naruto. Still, the basic mythology of Ral & Grad is solid, mainstream stuff--bits and pieces of Western classics like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are in abundance, making the books a fairly easy read for Westerners or manga newbies. That said, the series' cosmology can be dizzying. Takano and Obata require plenty of space and time to explain, for example, the world and function of the Shadows before allowing their story's primary conflict to unfurl.Read more ›
Our hero, however, turns out to be so repulsive that that potential is ruined within minutes. That he's horny is natural--he is, after all, a teenaged boy--but he goes way beyond just wanting sex. He keeps girls in a harem for his personal pleasure and even loans one out, like property, to another man. He grabs and squeezes womens' breasts at will--something the writer shows them enjoying, despite the fact that the touch was unasked for, unwanted, and very rough. To top it off, he shows lust for a child, a little girl, and keeps her with him for his "use" on a trip.
The author, for the most part, shows this as being totally fine; the girls in his harem giggle, the woman he publicly manhandles is turned on by the rough treatment and the little girl he keeps smiles at his attentions. Women, apparently, are all stupid creatures who want only to become the property of powerful men who treat them like dirt.
As a story, Ral & Grad unfortunately doesn't have anything else to offer. A couple of interesting battle scenes that advance the story trail off into scenes of our hero molesting more woman (ha! Look, he's squeezing the breasts of an unwilling little girl hard enough to bruise! Isn't that funny?) until the main plot gets completely lost.
If you're into manga for the artwork, this might be worth your time. There's no denying that Takano is one of the best out there now. But if you want a story, skip this one for your own sanity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great story form start to finish , makes you want to read the rest of the 3 mangasPublished 23 months ago by Jaymin J.
It seems that Obata's artwork thrives in a fantasy setting. He uses a crazy variety of solid and magically organic shapes. Read morePublished on April 15, 2014 by Boo
Nice story, although its very short. But its a good manga to buy as it only have 4 volumes. Thumbs up! :DPublished on August 20, 2011 by Lego
As a Death Note fan, I had to read this. And while the story appears to be a standard boy-saves-the-world fare, it's actually deeper than that. Read morePublished on November 25, 2008 by Adan