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Element Line: Volume 1    by Mamiya Takizaki order for
Element Line
by Mamiya Takizaki
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Fans of pure action fantasy will delight in Mamiya Takizaki's Element Line. The first volume is chock full of explosive action, hideous creatures, and political intrigue.

Due to very violent monsters that roam the countryside, all cities are walled in by Shields and only Guild guards are allowed to travel from city to city. Somewhere out there is a hero, Laolyth, who disappeared fourteen years earlier, vowing to rid the world of the fierce Rizoms, but no one has heard from him since. However, rumors are beginning to spring up that he had a son. Kam, an orphan boy preparing to be a soldier, is that son. Cursed with Rizom-like marks on his back, Kam knows he is different, but he is not sure what to make of it and only begins to learn a little when the first volume ends, gearing up for a tale of epic proportions.

While Element Line has an engaging, complex (but not confusing) storyline and great, consistent artwork, it is a typical fantasy manga. While it is worthy of standing out among other fantasy manga, there is nothing that makes it do so, which is a shame. It is easy to tell that Takizaki put a lot of planning into Element Line as the plot takes its time to get going. Takizaki spends the whole first volume creating a solid background for his characters rather that cramming all the exposition into a few pages. Yes, we do learn some history in the short prologue, but this is so the story can get started, not to rush into action and adventure.

While there are many long-running shonen fantasy manga series, Element Line has the makings of a true epic. Unfortunately, Mamiya Takizaki's tale has a chance of getting lost in a market oversaturated with lesser fantasies.

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