New Manga - Aliens Area (エイリアンズ・エリア)

Shonen Jump has launched a new manga. The editors seem to have decided that after hits like Bleach, Blue Exorcist, Tokyo Ghoul, Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, Twin Star Exorcists, and Demon Slayer that the concept of teenagers fighting demons might be just a little played out. That's why in Aliens Area, the teenagers will be fighting Aliens! 

            You've never seen a guy with a jet black arm that is also stretchy before. Right?


Well, what if I told you that our hero is a down on his luck guy who goes to work for a supernatural
police agency and his boss is a weirdo?


There's only one chapter of Aliens Area out, but I don't predict a bright future for this manga. This feels a bit like shonen madlibs. Everything I'm seeing in this manga I have seen done and done better. This isn't even the best version of this that debuted recently. While I was researching for this blog post I stumbled on a reddit thread that summed it up nicely. They compared this to The Hunters Guild: Red Hood and Ayashimon, both of which attempt a similar premise and both of which were cancelled pretty early. 

In addition to the recycled story elements the art leaves a lot to be desired. Many of the panels feel unfinished or rushed. 
The sleeve covering the hand down to the finger tips is a trick I often pulled in my deviant art days.

Anatomy kind of  broke down in this panel. You may say the character is an alien and has weird anatomy, but he's back together for an easier pose in the next panel.

The character design, with the exception of the boss feels very uninspired. These are the kinds of characters that I doodle during a boring meeting. Not exactly what I'd pitch to Shonen Jump.
The art, like the story, never crosses the line into "bad" or "incompetent," but it never distinguishes itself, either. In service of a better story I could ignore many of the mistakes and flaws. Unfortunately, this is what we've got. 

Despite all my whining there are a few things I like. I am a sucker for the supernatural cop story. While I joked that the aliens feel like demons with a simple name change, there is room to do something different. The last few pages of the chapter introduce some Men In Black technology. They also introduce some X-Files style alien implants. 

If the manga is willing to lean more into the old school alien conspiracy stuff with a shonen-battle twist I could see myself ignoring many of the problems in favor of the novelty. I'm going to give this one a few more chapters before I make up my mind one way or another about it. I will post an update if Fusai Naba is able to change my mind. Here's hoping he proves me wrong!


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