Tell me if this has ever happened to you. Someone gives you a recommendation of a particular series, and a big part of why they recommend it is because of how dark the series is. Hearing this, you get very excited about it at first, only for that excitement to quickly decrease when you think about it and realize you have no idea what the other person meant by “dark”. Take, for example, Hunter x Hunter. I’ve often heard that series described as a darker shonen, but if you actually looked at a lot of popular shonen series, you’ll realize they can be pretty dark as well. So is Hunter x Hunter on that level, or is it closer to something like Deadman Wonderland? If all you hear is “dark”, that’s a tough question to answer.
You see, there are a lot of factors that can go into a series being qualified as dark, and which of these factors a work contains can be crucial to the viewer. What is the overall mood of the series? What are the characters like? Is there death, and if so, how much? Is there war? Is there rape, and how is it handled? What other personal issues are discussed? Does it have an apocalyptic setting? Does the universe run on the angst of children? The answers to any one of these questions can be a serious deal breaker for some readers, so it’s important to know where the manga stands. Read the rest of this entry