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Ray Volume 1 Paperback – November 16, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This quirky new manga is part crime noir, part girly exploitation and part medical drama. Writer/artist Yoshitomi focuses on Ray, a 20-something woman who was raised as part of a shadowy organ harvesting program. Though rescued from the "farm" when she was a little girl (thus avoiding certain death), she retains one mark of her past: blue eyes capable of x-ray vision. Now an adult, Ray works as a nurse and performs operations for people who can't afford any publicity: in other words, criminals. This first volume follows Ray as she becomes embroiled in a crime—giving a petty thief a kidney transplant—and then chances upon some clues about her own past, leading to a confrontation with her old captors and some elusive hints about the true nature of her childhood. Yoshitomi supplies a well-drawn and snappily written piece of work, showing a flair for sharp action sequences and seeming to relish drawing the explicit surgical scenes as much as the equally explicit sex scenes. Ray herself emerges as an appealing if humorless character, and the secrets of her back story are alluring enough to keep readers hooked. The scenes of organs being removed and other medical details should appeal to both the horror and CSI crowds.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–Ray started life on a farm intended for no other purpose than supplying body parts. When she was young, her eyes were harvested, but a mysterious person rescued her, giving her new eyes with powerful capabilities. She can see through objects and inside people, and she uses these powers for good and profit. The story consists of three independent vignettes about Ray helping others. She assists teenage robbers and a nameless man who shares her past, and helps a teen controlled by a parasite that makes her act like a nymphomaniac. This last story is more explicit than the previous two; there are a number of panels with upper-body nudity and a somewhat graphic masturbation scene. Ray's surgeries are unbelievable and over the top, but they complement the implausible, exaggerated action. The book as a whole is fast paced; there is not a lot of time for explaining characters' motivations or their setting. The action-filled art is bewildering but exciting. It is standard manga quality and style, but some scenes are particularly effective: Ray's entrance into the story is moody and dramatic. Silhouetted figures move throughout the pages, visually enhancing the sense of mystery. The story is neatly set up but does not answer all the questions it raises–one hopes that additional volumes will do so.–Sarah Couri, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: ADV Manga (November 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413902049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413902044
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

I fell in love with this manga instantaneously. For a while, I had been looking in vain for an anime that was in the vein of Boogiepop Phantom and Serial Experiment Lain. So many mangas have romance or magic, I was looking for something dark and sci-fi. I found it in Ray. The story is about Ray, a girl who was born on a secret "farm" where people's organs were sold. Somehow, she was rescued and given a pair of eyes that have X-Ray vision. Ray is a capable surgeon. Working at a clinic as a nurse, she takes on tough medical cases (for a high fee) on the side.

Although there are no informative sidebars, the art is very good. You feel as if you are in the streets of Japan. Some manga focuses only on character drawings, but the settings are very detailed in Ray.

All-around terrific. Mystery, medical thriller manga. Fans of Jessica Alba's cancelled FOX TV series Dark Angel will see a definite parallel between Max and Ray.
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Ray is a young lady who was raised on a secret "body farm", a place where human children are grown only to have their lives ended as they supply human organs to the elite of society. Ray would have died too had not a mysterious benefactor rescued her. Ray nonetheless, still lost her eyes, but she was given new ones, and these give her X-ray vision. By day she is a nurse at the Kawa Clinic, but her real profession is confronting medical problems that make even the most experienced doctors give up. Armed only with state of the art medical tools supplied by Shinoyama (he's like Bond's Q), Ray battles against elusive viruses, life or death decisions, gang warfare, and also the forces that took away her eyes. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of action in this manga. Just think "ER" crossed with "Alias" and you'll get the feel for it. For example, while Ray is operating on a mob informant who has an almost sentient tumor, the nurses of Sawa Clinic are busy putting the smackdown with martial arts as assassins try to kill the turncoat.

Ray has great art, more Americanized than most manga (there's no big eyes in sight), and a story that at first seems a little crazy, but impresses you with its unique appeal. Highly recommended.
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