Rave Master is the tale of young man Haru Glory, who, while fishing at his home on the peaceful Garage Island, comes across a strange snowmanlike creature named Plue. Little does he know that he'll soon be in for the adventure of a lifetime!
For the beginning of a grand adventure, the book moves at a fairly brisk pace. As soon as Plue is introduced, Haru's roller coaster ride begins. He comes into contact with a mysterious old man named Shiba, who says he's actually the Rave Master, in search of the mysterious Rave Stones to save the world from the evil Demon Card organization. Along with information, though, he brings trouble: said organization is after him, and after an intense battle, Haru comes to realize a startling truth: he's the new Rave Master! But is he really ready for the danger in store for him?
The story seems like your typical run-of-the-mill adventure manga, and at first glance, yes, it is. Many stories take a while to truly gain an identity of their own, and Rave Master is no exception. The first book actually gets kind of monotonous; as Haru learns more and more about what's going on, he's continually attacked by more and more crazy characters. Soon you may get to the point when you're like, "Okay, we get it with the attacks, already." Still, if you're a fan of action, it never lets up from the moment the first attack begins.
Writer Hiro Mashima doubles with art duties, and he doesn't disappoint. The characters appear warm and inviting, and some downright fun to look at. I'm personally a big fan of Nakajima, the strange sun...flower...thing. The action scenes are quite enjoyable, with many speed lines to indicate the intensity of the scene. They just draw you in. Of course, as the first book in a series of 35, there's bound to be improvements, and as I continue reading the series, you really do see a difference in art style as he continues with the story.
The book is broken up into 4 chapters, generally 20 to 30 pages each. In true manga form, there are several "special features, " if you will, including character profiles of all the important characters, featuring information on the development of said characters, a bonus comic featuring a humorous multi-part adventure with Nakajima, and a message from the writer. The ten dollar price tag is fair enough; you may pay $2.25 for a comic book, but they don't last particularly long. You pay only 6 or 7 dollars for a novel, but you don't get any pretty pictures.
All in all, it's a fun start to a fun series. The story is fun, action-packed, humorous, and even heartwarming in several places. If you're looking for a lighthearted adventure manga, join the raveolution today.