Manga Review: Cage of Eden Volume One

Cage of Eden Volume One is a manga by Yoshinobu Yamada, and it was published in North America by Kodansha Comics in 2011. The series is rated “OT” for ages 16 and up.

Cage of Eden Volume One
Written by: Yoshinobu Yamada
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 23, 2011

A high school student named Akira Sengoku and his classmates are on a plane returning from their class trip. They suddenly feel a tremor in the plane, and the plane’s monitors and instruments start going haywire. The plane starts falling, and Akira sees something unusual before losing consciousness.

When Akira awakens, he finds that he’s not in the plane and is lying on the ground in a jungle. He notices animals he’s never seen before, and also discovers he can’t call for help due to not having a cell phone signal. After some wandering he finds his brainy classmate, Shiro Mariya. He also finds one of the flight attendants and rescues her from one of the animals. Later, Shiro uses his laptop to access his files, and they discover that the animals they’ve been seeing are all supposed to be extinct. He also finds that the island they’re on doesn’t appear on any of his maps.

As they explore, they have to deal with the various creatures that they encounter. They find the plane but there doesn’t appear to be anyone inside of it. Upon closer examination, they find the corpse of the pilot. They also find a video camera that belongs to Akira’s friend, Makoto Morita. They find a file that chronicles what happened on the plane after it crashed, and it chronicles the chaos and mass hysteria that developed. They also find Akira’s friend Rion hiding in the crew bunks in the ceiling. She fills them in on things they couldn’t see in the video.

As I read this volume, I was definitely getting a Lord of the Flies vibe from it. There are some differences, such as the fact that the students are co-ed instead of simply being boys, the fact that these characters appear to have somehow gone to some nonexistent island that’s inhabited by extinct creatures, and Cage of Eden seems to be more violent than Lord of the Flies was.

Cage of Eden also seems to have some reliance on “fanservice.” In Volume One, there were a couple of panty shots, as well as some hinted at or blatant nudity. However, when a woman’s breasts are shown in this volume, there are no nipples. I don’t know if it was that way in the original Japanese version, or if this was editing done to the art for the American release.

This is the second manga series I’ve sampled over the past year that seems to have taken some inspiration from Lord of the Flies. Between Limit and Cage of Eden, I’d have to say that I liked Limit a little better. It’s not necessarily a bad story, but at this point, I’m not in a hurry to track down the second volume of Cage of Eden in order to find out what happens next.

Personally, I think that Cage of Eden is a manga series that will be best enjoyed by readers who appreciate survival stories that include violence and fanservice.

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