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Graineliers Vol. #01 Manga Review

4 min read

Watching the seed grow.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Rihito Takarai
Translation/Adaptation: Jocelyne Allen

What They Say
In a world where the seeds of plants are imbued with various powers both great and small, young Luca makes ends meet by illegally cultivating and selling rare specimens. But anyone caught engaging in this activity without the qualifications of a government-sanctioned Grainelier does so at the price of their freedom. So when the security forces come calling, Luca assumes they’re onto him…but it’s actually his shut-in father, Christophe, they’re after! Sent running to safety by Christophe, Luca escapes with a few rare and powerful seeds pressed into his hand…but will they do anything but make Luca’s path a thorny one?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Seeds are seen as something very precious and require strict control regarding them, especially potentially harmful seeds. There is even schooling for those wanting to become a grainelier. Luca, who grew up in the capital with this father, ended up running away to a small village one night when his father grew strange and insisted they leave. Luca knows his dad is doing something dangerous, but when security arrives looking for his dad, his dad insists he swallows certain seeds, which is illegal and run away. He does as he is told, but collapses and is found by his friend, Abel. Abel takes him in, but Luca falls asleep for 2 years.

While he was asleep, a seed sprouted in Luca’s body, and now has some plant like characteristics. Abel suggests they both try to be graineliers so that they can learn more about plants and find away to get Luca’s body back to normal. With the only major change in Luca being he needs water, but no more food, the two of them go out exploring and to get Luca’s strength back. While in a different town and in disguise, the two run into a little girl who happens to have a very expensive seed. They accidentally give her bad advice about the seed and end up digging it up to save it and trying to replant it so it might grow. When planting it though, Luca’s cuts his finger and some of his blood accidentally gets mixed in. When the plant might not bud for at least a month, it ends up sprouting into a large tree in a few days.

The tree that Luca and Abel produced was found and investigated by grainelier security. While Luca and Abel were not identified as though that were about of it, all young men were recruited to help with building a large facility. When they get there, they are there to help build a grainelier plant facility. What they don’t know that all of this is just a trap to expose the person, Luca, that made the tree unexpectedly grow.

In Summary
As always, Yen press does a beautiful job bringing great content to the English audiences and making the books look beautiful. There is nice textured cover and a color insert. Another thing I also like about Yen Press, is that there aren’t pages of advertisements in the back of their other books. Those ads also seem to date the story and detract from the completing the book. So, thank you for that Yen Press!

In case you don’t know Rihito Takarai is currently a boys love (BL) mangaka with the mega-popular series, Ten Count. However, this series from 2014 isn’t BL and was featured/published by Square Enix. It’s not completely unusual for BL mangakas to have branched out before, after or during their BL work, and her is a good example of not judging an artist by one series alone. This book is beautifully done with gorgeous character designs, backgrounds and an intriguing well-liked European style setting. The story has a broad appeal and with a Teen age rating, it is suitable for just about anyone. With the seeds being the coveted item in the story, it’s a bit different from many other stories. It does, however, rely a bit on the authoritative, military type as the villain in the story, but it’s well done.

The only negative thing about the story, is that Rihito Takarai’s characters tend to look similar, so I feel like I am looking at Kurose and Shirotani in Ten Count and not Luca and Abel. This isn’t really that uncommon amongst artists. However, if you’ve been purposely ignoring this series, because of the artist’s link to BL, it will be a story that won’t disappoint!

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: December 19, 2017
MSRP: $13.00