ES (Eternal Sabbath)

ES (Eternal Sabbath) by Fuyumi Soryo 4/5 stars (amazon)

I’ve read Soryo’s shojo title Mars and enjoyed it very much, so I was excited when I heard that Del Rey was going to translate her 8 volume seinen series ES. The manga opens with a young man waking up in a hotel room. He drops off his key at the desk and the clerk reminds him that he hasn’t paid his bill. The young man glances at the clerk, and the clerk thanks him. Next he goes shopping, using only a glance at the saleslady for currency. Ryousuke Akiba has the power to hack into people’s minds, rewriting their memories and perceptions. He uses his power to briefly assume other identities and sometimes finds himself meddling in the lives of strangers. In some ways he reminds me of a less malicious version of the Purple Man.
Mine Kujyou is a researcher who is so dedicated to her work, she has a hard time functioning outside of a lab. She’ll show up at an omiai (arranged marriage meeting) and scare off her potential partner by lecturing about brain physiology. Mine is perplexed by a recent case that she is consulting on – a young man with odd psychological problems. She witnesses a horrible event that is made more memorable by the fact that a strange young man passing by seems to be totally unaffected. As she tries to unravel both mysteries, she begins to learn more about Ryousuke Akiba’s past and the source of his special powers.
Soryo’s art was very pretty in Mars, but she seems to be exercising her abilites more in ES, showing the surreal landscapes of the minds Ryousuke manipulates. ES is a psychological thriller with a dash of the paranormal. I think it would appeal to people who also like Naoki Urasawa’s Monster.