Title:Superior ---> Superior Cross
Genres:Shonen, Action, Romance, Fantasy
Publication:GanGan Powered ---> GFantasy
Number of chapters at review:21
Number of chapters read by reviewer:21
General Overview:Superior centers around a demon queen responsible for the slaughter of over half of the worlds human population who is known throughout the world as Maou-sama and her travels with a hero, who is on a quest to destroy her. With no idea that one of his companions is the very one he's looking to destroy.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
The art is not great. Backgrounds and background characters receive little detail and are pretty bland if they are drawn at all. The main characters get much more detail and are done well but the lack of effort put into the background and repeated use of characters designs for unimportant characters really hurts the overall quality of the manga. Superior does have some finely drawn comedy scenes scattered throughout, which are done in a similar way to the ones in Full Metal Alchemist.
The hero's goal is to create a world where monsters and humans can live in peace instead of fighting until only one species is left standing. So he won't kill anything, monster or human, except for Maou-sama whom he blames for the current state of the world. He has sworn to seek her out and kill her for the sake of ending this conflict, as well as other more personal reasons. Sheila(aka Maou-sama) becomes fascinated with his way of doing things and in short order she begins to realize, much to her own surprise and dismay, that she's falling in love with him. This manga uses the adventures along the way as an excuse to delve deeper into the emotions of the main characters, more than progressing toward an ultimate goal. Since the goal is standing right next to the hero all along, he just doesn't realize it.
Sheila is really the centerpiece of this manga and she is probably my favorite character ever. I can't really say much more without some small spoilers. The hero, however, comes out of his emotionally charged past as a virtual clone of "Vash the Stampede" from Trigun. The other main characters are entertaining and have a solid emotional base even if they do come straight out of fantasy manga stereotypes most of the time. The non-main characters have very little depth to them at all, they are simplistic cookie cutter characters that are mainly used as plot devices or scenery. So I have to take off some serious points for that.
The themes all revolve around the ongoing struggle between human and monster, with neither side being completely good or completely evil. The themes are prejudice, hate caused by fear of that which we don't understand, love, hope, the pain which killing leaves in its wake, and ending a cycle of hate through kindness and forgiveness. None of the themes really stand out as more important than the others.
The "bringing peace and understanding to a world filled with hate and desire for revenge" is nothing new but Sheila(aka Maou-sama) is. There is no training or building up strength for her, her power is absolute. She could have killed the hero from the very beginning of the manga if she wanted to. Her fear of him discovering her identity doesn't stem from any threat he might pose to her. What she truly fears is him hating her. To her that is far more terrifying than death could ever be. Through one small alteration of a tired old story line the author has created something fresh and new.
This is a good manga with one of my very favorite characters. It's both funny and has some excellent emotional heft to it. Sadly it does suffer a bit due to some not so well done artwork and some characters that are to obviously created off of fantasy manga stereotypes. I recommend this manga to anyone who is looking for a manga rooted more in emotion than action.
Spoiler: Manga's images taken from earlier chapters to avoid spoiler, generally the art improves show