Metro Survive

Vol: 2; Ch: 16
3.79 out of 5 from 303 votes
Rank #12,561
Metro Survive

Mishima is a salary man who's constantly away from his wife and child due to his grueling, overtime-heavy job. After being stuck in the office on the eve of his son's birthday, Mishima boards the train with remorse and ponders his life. Before he can return home, however, a 7.0 earthquake strikes, crippling the train and leaving its passengers helpless. Mishima now finds himself as the appointed leader of a group of survivors who want nothing more than to stay alive. Together, they will try to make their way to the surface, but starvation, cave-ins and other fatal obstacles stand in their way...

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Story 8/10 On another of sothis' recommendations, I picked up this manga hoping to be unimpressed. After reading Gyo, Alive, and Uzumaki cover-to-cover in one sitting, I prayed that I'd get something that wouldn't glue me to my seat so that I could finally get some homework done. WRONG. Execution and attention to detail define disaster stories of any kind, and Metro Survive is no exception. Fujisawa painstakingly seals every escape, removes every option, and crushes every hope in turn, daring the audience to wish for a happy ending. His brutal narrative works, as each small victory reveals a more dire obstacle for his cast to overcome. Nor does the sense of foreboding disappear when the looming physical danger subsides. Instead, the mangaka leverages his villains to accelerate the narrative toward the terrible climax at the end. Sadly, the story suffers from more than a few predictable turns. None of the betrayals should surprise the reader, and the seemingly intelligent antagonists get stupider as the story moves forward. Since most of these clunky sections form the buildup to the epic finale, they fade from memory when compared to the last chapter. However, the over-the-top content of those segments ruins much of the air of realism Fujisawa worked so hard to create. Visuals 7.5/10Aside from the unctuous and inscrutable hosts, the characters display their myrad emotions to great effect despite bland character designs. Though each actor is distinctive, the overall execution falls somewhere between a realistic style like that of Alive! and the works of Osamu Tezuka. The backgrounds, in contrast posess a terrible and arresting beauty. Whether twisting the gossamer business center into a tomb of warped metal and shattered glass or using screentone to enhance the dirty and claustrophobic feel of the building's basements Furjisawa uses the setting to drive home his cast's pervading sense of doom. Characters 9/10 For the most part, the supporting cast fills the roles expected of them in a disaster narrative. Fujisawa drags them kicking and screaming through every stage of grief, and their mundane personalities highlight the realistic tone of the manga. Mishima carries this manga on his broad an reluctant shoulders. His evolution from near-deadbeat through single-minded father and into genuine hero satisfies in a way that many similar protagonists' development do not. The handyman's reticence and insecurity read much more honestly than the gruff standoffishness that permeates the genre. By contrast, the villains seem thin. The two hosts can be identified as evil from the first time they appear and their motivations make little sense.Overall 8/10Simple, direct, and great. Metro Survive combines its engaging cast with a straightforward story to take an unflinching look at human nature. While it seems derivative initially, Mishima's struggle to escape the ruins of a commercial center and return to his family has the power to capitvate. Any fan of psychological or disaster stories will find this a worthwhile read.


After every chapter, I wanted to read the next chapter. And after every page, I wanted to read the next page. That's the sign of a good suspense manga. I definitely appreciated that this was a survival manga based on a natural disaster rather than some PvP, Saw-type shit (which I feel that I've encountered more frequently). Through the setting, it also condemns all those big corporations which trim costs by cutting corners and try to see how much they can get away with. You see, there was an earthquake which trapped a group of people within the subway, but the situation ends up a lot worse than it should've been because the moneygrubbers behind the Expolis Tokyo building had decided to neglect including all the standard, legally-required safety measures in order to increase their profits. (The situation also ends up worse because rescue workers have a delayed arrival, because of...plot necessity.) The first group of survivors consists of two shaggy dudes, an old couple, a young family of three, a broody girl, the conductor, and our protagonist Mishima. They are trapped in the subway, but eventually make it out into the building proper only to find that that's also in ruins and trapping them in. In this area, they meet a second group of survivors. The second group consists of two nightclub hosts, three lecherous salarymen, three party girls, four judo club members, and a ticket booth operator. There are arguments and tension between various groups and subgroups because of general anxiety as well as a lack of food supplies. The worst, most cowardly sides of people come to the surface. Murder occurs, and then attempts to cover up those murders. There are two (what I would call) breakthrough moments that occur after Mishima's desire to return to feir family overflows into action. The first one is in chapter 4, and I absolutely love it. It's the type of resourceful problem-solving which I would hope for from this type of manga. The second one is in chapter 10, and I...don't love it. It's the type of plot armor bullshit I dread from this type of manga. Some parts of the ending--like Sachi's emotional reunion or the boss man from the beginning having also gotten a poetic reckoning--feel a bit corny, but I suppose it's better for the story to lean too far in the direction of a happy ending than to have it be unsatisfying because it was going for realism or something.

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