Night Head Genesis #1 by George Iida and You Higuri
I’m glad that Del Rey is publishing a You Higuri title. With so much of her material licensed by the ominously silent GoComi! I am left to wonder if American readers will ever be able to read the rest of Crown or Cantarella. Higuri’s crisp art makes some of her work much better than it has a right to be, and this is the case with Night Head Genesis. Night Head Genesis isn’t profound but it is extremely agreeable sci-fi schlock filled with the attractive guys one would expect from Higuri. Naoto and Naoya are psychic brothers who have been raised like lab rats in a research institution. Naoto has explosive telekinetic powers and Naoya involuntarily reads minds whenever he touches someone. The boys escape from their institution and soon become mixed up with end of the world prophecies, bumbling assassins, and a beautiful female AIDS researcher.
There’s an attack on the brothers prompted by the prophet Kamiya, who claims to have no interest in influencing events yet does nothing to stop his followers from acting on his visions. When the brothers go to confront Kamiya Naoya involuntarily shares his vision of the future, seeing a researcher whose work may start a virus that will doom humanity. This first volume mainly sets up all the characters and plot elements I expect to see explored in the future. The researcher Kurahashi is attracted to Naoyta when he comes to warn her of the destructive power of her virus experiments, yet she isn’t willing to throw her career away. Kamiya has visions of mysterious symbols like a golden elephant and a silver snake. Yet another mysterious organization seems to be clued in to the prophecies and the doom of mankind, will the brothers have to run to defend themselves?
The plot elements in Night Head Genesis are similar to another Del Rey title. Check out this post at Precocious Curmudgeon comparing and contrasting Night Head Genesis with ES (Eternal Sabbath). I’m thinking that ES may be the HBO version of the story complete with surreal quirks, less stereotypical character development, and visually stunning artwork. Night Head Genesis is the SyFy movie version of the story, a competently done version with an enjoyable B-movie cheesiness. I think there’s room for both series on my bookshelf. While I probably would be less interested in Night Head Genesis if Higuri wasn’t on the art chores this was an entertaining first volume and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.