If you like Pandora Hearts, then you'll love Crimson-Shell, Jun Mochizuki-sensei's debut! Rescued from the darkness by Xeno, a mysterious swordsman, Claudia the Rose Witch is the foundation of the Crimson-Shell, a special division of the Red Rose-an organization aiming to capture the results of one mad scientist's experiments, the deadly Black Roses. But when Xeno's loyalties are called into question, will Claudia be strong enough to believe in her dearest friend? And what is the color of the rose blooming in Xeno's heart-a deep, passionate crimson...or a traitorous jet-black? (taken from Goodreads)
Crimson Shell was originally published as a one-shot in GFantasy by Square Enix in 2005, Yen Press publishing it in book format afterwards (Crimson Shell). It is considered a Shounen manga (another variational spelling of Shōnen).
Our lovely cast of characters includes (left to right) Claudia, Xeno, Wilhelm, Shion, & Victoria, along with other minor characters...
You can see a lot of similarities between the character designs of this and her Pandora Hearts series, and even in her approach on plot twists, but I did find it very interesting. The art was beautiful, and it reminded me of some of the earlier volumes of Pandora Hearts. Everything's so much more crisp.
The story focuses on Claudia, and the Red Rose organization, and how she is their key in battling the Black Roses and their victims. The story progresses, explaining what Claudia is and what the Black Roses are and how all these elements fit together to create the story. There is betrayal and scheming, friendship, a bit of romance, lots of fighting, and maybe a few tears along the way.
It began, much like Mochizuki's other works, with some confusing dialogue that introduces the story but that you don't really understand much until later...and then it just jumps right into the plot, action and all. Since this is a one-shot, that is understandable Some details feel a bit rushed because this, sudden, unexpected plot twists, while others seems a bit more drawn out. Everything has to happen in one volume, so some stuff is quite a surprise, while others are a bit predictable. I'm not saying this negative, though. I really enjoyed this volume, because I love her art style, and I love her characters, and her stories are always very engaging. I would definitely recommend checking this one out if you are considering reading her Pandora Hearts series.
One minor thing that I must point out is that she creates these very interesting characters, but sometimes they just appear younger than they actually are. And the main character, Claudia, I assume is one of these characters...and just sometimes, they act in ways that irritate me because you would think they shouldn't be so...snooty. But maybe that's just me. :P
Overall, I liked Les the best...
Tell me if you check it out. Enjoy! :)
Next week's review: