Review: 7th Garden Vol. 1

Get ready for demons and angels because that’s the foundation for 7th Garden. In the typical manga twist though the demons are kind of alright, while the angels and religion are of course really evil. It’s an formula that’s been used just as many times as any other manga formula. When you boil it down though its all about A) the journey B) the characters and C) the art. Let’s start with “A” shall we? The journey is pretty damn boring. Dude wakes up a sleeping demon, demon is of course fan serviceable and must sleep in the nude. Shit happens in town when the church comes to kill everyone… who knows why, they're just getting their purge on. Dude must make a deal with the demon who for some reason allows him to go back to his normal life and decides to become a part of the maid staff at the house dude works at. I’m not using names because we’ll cover that in “B”. Eventually dude and demon woman team up to fight other dude and angel woman… spoiler, the demon used to be an angel and she now wants to rule the earth. But like the proper way. Naked in bed I assume.

7th Garden #1As for the characters, the dude is named Awyn Gardner… he’s also the fucking Gardner. A little too on the nose. He has super impressive knife and fighting skills because of whatever past he’s running away from. It’s teased some, but at awkward points in the story making it feel out of place. The demon woman’s name is Vyrde and we don’t learn that until the 76th page and then the last page we learn her angle name... way too long to wait for either. She’s just the fan service character. In this world the demons/angels become weapons for humans so it really makes their power seem shitty when they need someone to wield them. The other main character is Awyn’s boss/love interest. She’s so one-dimensional that I’m not going to talk about her in any depth. The characters aren’t unique and they’re not interesting. Awyn’s name sucks a lot and his gimmick of loving to garden is just… blah.

As for “C” the art is serviceable. My problem with it is the character designs that lack any imagination. They look recycled from other properties and I know that’s really mean, but it’s sadly true. There’s not a hint of originality to them. The art is detailed, but it lacks personality and doesn’t bring the world to life. It’s just there. There’s no emotion emitting from it. Instead it looks like an artist that’s lost their passion or is being too heavily edited. Especially the action which seems like it’s always missing just one extra panel.

Since this series started in 2014 there’s probably a decent amount of material for it so if anything I said struck your fancy then you’ll have plenty to look forward to. For me, I’ve seen and read too much that’s similar to this to really be interested. It definitely gets better by the end of the volume, but the pacing is a mess throughout. It loves just showing a flashback in the middle of telling you the story and that breaks you from the story. I didn’t hate it, but by no means did I love it. It was just sadly average and while average is nice sometimes, I needed a bit more here.

[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

7th Garden Creator: Publisher: Viz Media Price: $9.99 Release Date: 7/5/16 Format: TPB; Print/Digital