04 Jul 2005
The physical world is a peculiar thing. If you look close enough at anything, you will see that every object is made of thousands of tiny particles, and each of those particles are made of even smaller particles, and so on. You see that, in the long scheme of things, it doesn’t take much to perhaps disrupt this existence. To some people, the Altar Users, this kind of ability comes natural to them as they can take the very essence of matter itself, and use it to create their altars, the manifestations of their unique powers. These people were born on the so-called “Lost Ground”, a piece of land which mysteriously detached itself from the mainland of Japan and is home to the only people who have these abilities. And for this, they are outcasts and feared.
What is an altar? In the case of Kazuma, a young man who can only be called an utter pain in the arse to the authorities, his altar takes the form of a highly strengthened right arm (no puns please!) which gives him monstrous strength and power. The authorities I speak of are none other than HOLD, a police force designed to control the inhabitants of the Lost Ground and the Altar users born upon it. For the tough battles verses the altar users, a covert corps called HOLY has been set up within this organisation and is entirely made up of altar users.
It all comes down to fighting. Lots and lots of it. Kazuma loves his fighting and does it simply whenever he can. Unlike many of the altar users on the Lost Ground who are afraid of being caught, Kasuma likes nothing less than to flaunt his power and fight for the people, for a price of course! An overlying theme of the lust for freedom and the rebellion against an unfair authority seeps into the latter episodes of this volume, and I expect that this theme will play a greater role in the future of the story. What will happen to Kazuma as his conflicts against HOLY escalate? Looks like we shall have to wait for volume 2.
S-Cry-Ed volume 1 is an introduction into the world of altar users, the relationship between the renegade users and the authorities, and the first introduction into the characters on both sides of the struggle. I feel this series has a very similar overall style to Full Metal Panic. This occurred to me when I was doing some more reading up on the series after watching, and found myself enjoying another Full Metal Panic DVD. The personalities of some of the characters are highly similar, and the possibility of influence being passed on just cannot escape me. Odd I know.
The first volume is highly enjoyable, especially in English where a good effort has been put in by Beez to produce a very enjoyable dub. Perfect for those who snack while watching! I can personally see myself becoming a very big fan of this series as again, it does have aspects of anime which I love - plenty of violence, comedy, good strong characters and plenty of hot mecha action in the most surprising of places. This series has been highly recommended by my friends, and now I am recommending it to you! Enjoy!