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Ral Grad, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Paperback – January 29, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Ral & Grad Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Artist Bio: 

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.


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Product Details

  • Series: Ral Grad (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC (January 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421518902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421518909
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,287,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
the story is interesting and the mind blowing artwork draws you in as if you were watching the anime of a tablet it front of you. It's just epic. I'm normally a clamp fan but my clamp fan friend recommended this and while I was skeptical as a female to read a manga about action and demons (not generally my type, I like romantic manga like Chobits) I was hooked after the first few pages.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm concerned as to which way this series could end up going. I bought it simply for Takeshi Obata's artwork, as I was suffering extreme Death Note withdrawal. Even going into the series knowing it's likely going to be at least a decade before something as exciting and new as Death Note comes along again (the previous obsession having been Neon Genesis Evangelion), I was pleasantly surprised by the intricities of the storyline. Ral's first reactions to being freed from the pitch black prison he'd been in since birth, particularly his fifteen-year-old hormones and obsession with the opposite sex, are handled somewhat well and realistically. Ral's continued obsession with breasts, boobs, tits (not helped by his older female tutor's unfortunate use of the phrase 'tit for tat,' leading him to believe that everytime he drives off a shadow creature, he is in fact entitled to play with the tits of whomever he's saved afterwards) however, leads me to be concerned that this series will walk the fine line of a sex obsessed manga. Only time will tell if Ral and Grad is going to become a cringeworthy constant joke about tits. So far it kinda is, but one hopes Ral will actually grow out of this phase, or at least ratchet it down to acceptable levels instead of having it as his driving force for doing good deeds timely.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Shadows are bad news, at least in the world of Ral & Grad.Demonlike creatures born in the world of darkness, they have no dimension, no form, have an insatiable appetite for living creatures, can possess human beings, and are generally up to no darn good. When a tragedy-struck teenager named Ral befriends the shadow inside him--a giant blue dragon named Grad--he is tasked with saving the world, protecting his kingdom from evil shadows that wish to destroy it.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Ral & Grad has a very interesting premise: A boy, possessed by a demon "shadow" is locked away for fifteen years only to be released when other demon shadows attack his captors. Finally free, what will he do? He spent his life in a dark cage, with only a female tutor to talk to. Now that he's needed to protect his kingdom, will he, after being kept a prisoner for so long? With beautiful artwork to support the idea, this could have been a fascinating story.

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.
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