- Title: Psyren
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance, School, Sci-fi, Shounen, Supernatural, Game, Super Powers
- Authors: Toshiaki Iwashiro
- Volumes: 16
- Chapters: 145
- Status: Completed
- Date: 3 December 2007 — 29 November 2010
Ageha Yoshina is a self-confident high school student who helps others for a fee. On his way back from a job, he finds a strange calling card with the word “Psyren” imprinted left behind in a phone booth and decides to keep it, unaware of its purpose. The very next day, Ageha discovers that his classmate Sakurako Amamiya has the exact same calling card in her possession. When he questions her, Sakurako asks him to save her, signaling the day his troubles begin.
Confused by the circumstances of this encounter, Ageha realizes something is wrong when Sakurako goes missing. In an attempt to figure out what is happening, he decides to call the number provided on the calling card and is asked a series of questions by a mysterious voice, ending with a final, cryptic question: “Would you like to go to Psyren?” Thus begins two teenagers’ participation in a game of life or death within a strange world inhabited by monsters called “Taboo.” Granted the ability to use psychic powers known as “PSI,” the duo fight to return to the place they call home.
When I first read the synopsis, I had absolutely no idea the atrocities this manga would show me. Sure its a strange game of life or death in a strange world with monsters called “Taboo“, but even with all these hints, you would simply not be able to expect the type of world Psyren is. Either that, or I just can’t take a hint. It was pretty freaky, to say the least. It took me chapters after chapters of the story before I finally got used to the messed up environments. And while the freaks and the gore continue getting worse through the chapters, they mix superbly with the plot progression and the character developments.
Psyren is principally psychotic. The world is bizarre, with elements like time travel and the Taboo. Oh yes, the Taboo. As if its name wasn’t spooky enough. Such eerie looking creatures that would usually only appear in movies like “Freddy Krueger”. But hey, monsters are monsters so they do fit the role. That’s fine and all but the humans were the ones that were truly fearsome. Well, maybe you can’t really call them humans since they’re more monstrous than the monsters themselves. The insanity of some of the characters were truly terrifying. But more importantly, they fuse well with the show to create that perfect dystopian setting.
I think that this picture above justifies the standard of the art in this manga. It is unique, bizarre and spectacular. You could tell that a lot of effort and creativity was put into the drawings of each creature or character. The art succeeded in bringing the darkness and terror to life, while the action scenes were spectacularly heightened thanks to the wonderfully drawn details and effects. But the art alone is not enough to justify the greatness of this manga. Both the dialogues and the story itself were captivating as well.
Story wise, it is predominantly an action manga. I talked a lot about the horrors and aesthetics but those two concepts merely aid the main theme of action. Every bit of action is significantly more entertaining thanks to all these combined. But what enhances the effect of these action scenes is the gore and brutality. It’s not outright gruesome, but there’s definitely tons of blood and slashing. The core story will also take you for a ride as we travel through realities and meet new characters.
The characters in Psyren each had unique identities and personalities that kept the cast vibrant and entertaining. The story adds to this by exploring their backgrounds and showing their developments, whether it be the good guys or bad guys. What we get is a cohesive product of characters that are a blast to follow.
Overall, Psyren is your true blue shounen show, but with that touch of gore that gives the manga a more horrifying undertone when compared to its kind. You will find yourself immersed in its story and will keep on turning the pages. I quite liked how the story progressed and was also satisfied with how it ended.
Time taken for me to finish: About 3 days
Should I read Psyren?
If you came here expecting an action packed series, then Psyren will give you that and much more. The protagonist is an ideal one to follow as he is likeable and dependable, and the overall cast is entertaining. If you’d read my review, then you would already know to expect topics that explore the psychological with plenty of blood being spilled. Fans of the shounen genre should definitely give this one a try and see how you like it.
There is romance, but I personally wouldn’t call what I saw in this manga romance. So if you take pleasure in your sweet sweet romance scenes, then go read an isekai or something. I’m afraid this one’s going to be mostly action.