Fallen: You'll Love This Manga With Strong Female Characters
Fallen is a webcomic I found in self-published book form at a local anime convention. The artist is a young American woman living in Japan. Her main sources of inspiration are "magical girl" anime, but she puts a fierce new twist on the concept.
In Fallen, a bunch of girls wake up in caves, naked, and don't remember who they are. Weird misadventures put them in an abandoned school building in hospital gowns, but they remain unable to remember their identities. A talking gerbil is there, true to the magical girl formula, explaining that they have kick-ass magical powers they just need to remember they have. Of course, unlike in most anime, they're far from complacent in this "because destiny!" form of recruitment. But through the course of their adventures in the first volume, they gradually become aware of their powers, names, identities, and mission.
Fallen is definitely an interesting and entertaining read. The main conflict in the first volume is between two of the main characters, Arma and Lamia. It's a "tomboy and girly girl"conflict, but it doesn't neither side is clearly right or wrong. I appreciated the finesse involved in that nuanced way of writing foil characters. This manga was a fun experience, and I'd like to read more installments of it. On the other hand, it wasn't that original, because this kind of story has been done before, but this artist put a lot of heart into her version of it. Sometimes, you can find gems by buying comics sold by independent writers and artists at conventions! I found this one at Acen and I'm definitely interested in reading more! Creativity and cool art, what more could you want?