Story: Hitoshi Tomizawa
Art: Hitoshi Tomizawa
Volume Count: 3
Version reviewed: English Translated
Date of Review: 04 Mar 2007
Cute girls and aliens… looks fun, right?
Yuri Otani has been elected by her 6th grade class to represent the Alien Party, a group of students whose job it is to capture any aliens that appear on campus. This is a job she wants nothing to do with, and part of this duty is wearing a symbiotic alien on her head which protects her. Along with fellow 6th graders Kumi and Kasumi – who are far more enthusiastic about their role – Yuri reluctantly accepts her job as part of the Alien Party.
Now this is a very interesting series. Here we have sixth grade girls wearing aliens on their heads and rollerblading around school to capture aliens that have landed and are running free around their school. It should be noted that Alien Nine takes place in the not-too-distant future, and this is a fairly common occurrence. As a story, it’s not something that’s really been done before, so it gets good marks for originality. There’s also a fair share of plot twists, none of which are contrived, so it keeps you guessing pretty well throughout the three volumes.
The art style is also unique. Character faces almost all share the same features, but each one is easily distinguished from the others through effective characterization. Visually, one might say that Alien Nine is ‘cute’, but once you begin to read the story, you find out that this is not just some cutesy romp with aliens. There is weird stuff going on here, and at times it gets downright disturbing. There are times that I would finish a page and then think to myself, that did not just happen, did it?, only to turn out that yes, I did read it correctly.
Alien Nine stands on its own with a good story and good characters. In fact, of the manga I’ve read, this one seemed to read almost more like a television series than a serial comic, though that may be partly due to my watching the anime version of this story before reading it. It flows well, and is something I look forward to reading again. If you want a good science fiction series that’s different and has more than a few surprises in store, check out Alien Nine.