Title: Crimson Shell Author: Jun Mochizuki Release: Monthly Status: Complete Genre: Fantasy, Mystery Art: B Originality: C Story: C Characters: D Humor: B Action: B
Impression: This is a prior work of the author of Pandora Hearts with a premise that’s reminiscent of her current work in nearly every way. The story features characters with designs that are carbon copies of various characters in Pandora Hearts and the mysterious powers with big drawbacks thing albeit with semi-sentient plants rather than fully sentient monsters. The story isn’t very inspired but it does possess the same air of mystery and suspense in Pandora Hearts has so it maintains a very nice mood to go with the plot. Speaking of which, it’s about this girl with revered powers and the people around her in the mysterious organization she’s a part of and the betrayal of someone very close to her and the truth behind her origin. That having been said, the plot likes to change it focus in every one of its six chapters and the characters get adapted to the plot rather than being the driving force behind it so both of those aspects suffer quite a bit from it. Scenes that were supposed to deliver the payload from all the build-up ended up being very cheesy and highly predictable so it’s hard to feel for any of the characters here. Pandora Hearts’ prototype lacks the full version’s solid characterization, the annoying mood whiplashes and tries to make up for it with a very schizophrenic plot. Not exactly worth a recommendation here.