In all honesty, I have zero expectation when I first lay my eyes on Alive . I thought it will be another generic Shonen manga . It’s not until I saw that the author died from cancer after finishing the last volume that I vowed to purchase the whole set no matter what. The idea of an author, trying his best, fighting his incurable disease and hold it out till his last-minute is something admirable and worth my respect for. Hell, he even wanted to start another series even though he knew of his illness( I presume that cancer patient actually know how long more they can live).  Maybe I am just imagining it but  his actions show that he truly like comics and not necessary doing it for money. This really get to me and as a fan of comics, I just have to show some respect for his passion by buying the comics.

Even so, I was really surprised at how good the comic actually is. It was a competently written story that carries the theme of living very well. Of course it is filled with corny lines about how we should struggle with our sadness and continue living but considering the author status when he wrote the story, these cheesy themes just seems to carry more of weight. You can feel that the author had thought really hard about the theme of life and death.

The fight scenes are really well done as well. It’s done in a tactical approach that actually make sense. This is why when our heroes is in a pinch, you will be really interested in how the author will deal with the situation because you know he is capable of  coming up with witty methods to get out of it. This is why every battles are worth looking forward to and why Alive is one of the best Shonen fighting manga for me.

After reading the author’s final note in the last volume, it does really impact me and make me reflect on life and death. It might be due to the knowledge of how the author might have actually written this note during his deathbed that I felt kinda sad. His cover note on how he thanks his fans for supporting until the end also added another meaning and depth behind it because it makes you wonder what he really meant. Is it a simple thank you message or is it a real goodbye?

Maybe I am injecting too much of my impression of the author, which in turn helps make Alive better than it actually is but I honestly think that it is a good work even without knowing the author’.

Even if you don’t like the work, I still think  that the passion of an author who wants to finish his work even with illness is something we should look up to, especially to those who put their work on hold because they want to play more Idol Master.

Kawashima Tadashi, a true manly man.