Beast 9

Vol: 5; Ch: 34
2010 - 2012
3.812 out of 5 from 89 votes
Rank #6,348
Beast 9

Eraser, the mysterious enemy that invaded Earth 13 years ago!! Before their overwhelming power, the entire Earth neared the verge of collapse. But at the last moment there suddenly appeared Earth's lone savior, The Beast: an ultimate weapon uniquely equipped to counter the Eraser's power!! The Beast is part of the MAGIC Brigade, whose commander-in-chief is also the founder of our Le Prince Academy.

Source: MU

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Some of you may have issues about LGBT themes or gender bender ones, but in all honestly, almost all anime is at least a little gender benderish.  Ever notice how easily a female character becomes male or vice versa?  They probably use the same faces and often times even bodies to save time.  Manga and anime very often have a perve feel to them more over women then men, and especially when it comes to breasts, but this is one manga story that actually offers a very good, plausible, and valid reason for why a male character has a thing for breasts.  The background is well grounded and tragic.  It provides a solid footing for a tragic war time scenario like this story is.  The would be female lead character suffers a tragic accident and her soul/mind vanishes but is ostensibly transferred to a giant mech and the class mate she saved gets his soul/mind transferred to her body while his is in a coma.  Though, it is not entirely clear if her full conscious is really in the mech or perhaps in the unconscious male body, the mystery in and of itself is compelling.  The lead male has a reason for craving the comfort of breasts, after a traumatic event as a child, that was the only thing that gave him comfort because it was the only part of his sister he could make contact with after they were caught in a collasping building during an earlier battle with aliens.   Ironically, this odd switch creates a unique balance in the gender bendered girl that lets her access more capacity than other pilots from her machine.  You have to wonder what the girl's concious thinks when she sees him grabbing her chest during any stressful situation and would she understand if she was ever informed why he does that?  That is another enticing lure to the story. As a character the newly formed student, is an excellent lead character full of human emotions, self doubt, worries, and of course shock among other things.  She often feels uncertain about things or worried what others think of her.  The original girl was a lead student and probably the most promising of the new pilots to be coming out of the school.  Her replacement conscious is not as studious as she was so the government forcibly makes the new occupier of the body go to school and provide her with assistance to keep up the illusionary appearance that nothing has changed other than the boy who was sent to the hospital in a coma after trying to stop the attack on the school.   On the one hand, the story is somewhat cliched, but the way the elements blend create a unique original feel with a tantalizing and compelling story.  The situation around the lead character draws you into the story deeply and rapidly.  You can feel the torment coming off the page.  He blames himself for having his episodal trauma caused nervous breakdown that caused him to pause long enough that the top female student had to try to rescue him for his own sake.  They did pilot a mech together to fight against the first attack against the school but you already know what happens.  The constant new struggles pushing through this existance forced upon him by happenstance and fueled by the tragedy that wounded his mind and heart makes him an understandable character.  The art is somewhat typical of any in this genre, but the two top characters do sport rather rare looks to them.  She has this blonde ace student feel but her face looks a little cuter and more baby faced style than other characters of this type.  That probably, whether by intent or coincidence, helps to establish that torn anguish the main character suffers after blaming himself for the girl seemingly vanishing.  A few other interesting characters crop up, such as your venerable sibling admoration or rivalry depending on how you see it.  The second to top student, jealous of her rival's placement and constantly beating her who is also ironically very close to the student that is now in the body of her rival.  This makes the irony even more interesting.  She will eventually figure something is up and ends up helping her would be rival many times as a newly formed team.  The new teacher of the special squad and a former mecha pilot is one of the most interesting characters.  She reminds me a bit of All Might from Hero Academy, except she is a girl and isn't dying.  Though both are heroes, and she certainly exhibits abilities beyond normal humans, she is not a superhero like him, but relative to the anime, she is essentially the best pilot around. It reeks of similarity to a few other stories that follow a comparable mecha theme combining students, tragedy, aliens, invasion of Earth, and war. Line Barrels of Iron and Age of Aquarion comes to mind, but imagine that with this slight twist and slightly less harried doomsday feel that Age transmits and the lack of a total ahole like in Linebarrels make this story better than either.

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