(Manga Review) Queen Emeraldas: Volume One

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To start off, I’m not much of a manga reader.  That’s not because I’m a slow reader, but because I’m an extremely fast reader.  In more context, this manga was four hundred and fifty something pages.  I finished it in under an hour.  I can’t justify buying something that I am going read in a short span of time and probably never read again.  This goes for printed and digital (I don’t ever go illegal anymore).  Maybe I should start reading some of the things on crunchyroll’s manga streaming service because that makes sense for me.  With all that pretense, this manga was something special that caught my attention.  It’s from Leiji Matsumoto.

If you haven’t heard of Leiji Matsumoto, he’s a major name when it comes to older anime.  If you have ever heard of Space Battleship Yamato, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Ozma, Intestella 5555, and The Galaxy Railways, he is the creator behind all of these.  His imagination knows no bounds.  Something that is common between all of them is the fact that each of these are space operas and I love Space Operas to death.  Queen Emeraldas is yet another space opera.  It’s an amazing manga that is peak 1970’s science fiction.  This is also the first time this has been translated in English, so yes, this is very special.  Thank you Zach Davisson.

Queen Emeraldas stars two main characters.  One is, of course, Emeraldas herself.  She is wandering space pirate that wanders space on her ship, the Queen Emeraldas, for a reason that only she herself knows.  She has a scar under her left eye to remind of the rules of space.  Besides her very piratey garb, she looks like almost every other of Leiji Matusomoto’s blond female characters, which is my main criticism of his work.  The other character is a young boy named Hiroshi Umino.  He is determined to follow Emeraldas by making his own space ship and goes through great lengths to do so.  He gets a lot of help from other people along the way.  While he does know his stuff, he has yet to make a ship that hasn’t crashed.

Since this is a manga, I can only really talk about the art.  The most I can say is that the art is extremely well detailed when it needs to be.  A lot of the technology that is drawn is something that you would expect from either tv or animation from the 1970’s.  The use of empty space and minimalism is something that I love also.  This is a space manga and having a ship or technology one side of a panel with a lot of empty space really emphasizes the vastness of space.  This is a space opera and knowing that space is infinite is an important part of the genre.

So yes, if you are a science fiction fan, then I highly recommend reading this.  The only criticism I have is the pace of the manga, because each chapter involves a different place.  It could be Mars, Ganymede, or any other place.  It makes this manga a very fast read.  It also has great characters with a great plot.  If you ever had a dream, this well give you more motivation to achieve it.

(This is available on Amazon or Comixology for legal purchase.  Please support the official release.)

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