pangaea/ezel is the sequel to pangaea by Rin Asano.
I got all seven volumes from a second hand bookstore, and they didn’t have the first installment of the series, so while reading the first volume, I was trying to piece together what happened in pangaea from character dialogues. The story is simple enough, so I could guess what happened in the prequel.
In this world, there exists a sacred tree called the Kalpataru, which can make any wish come true. Lyzel/Raizel is an amnesiac boy in possession of one of its branches in the form of a long stick, which gives him amazing combat abilities.
At the beginning of the story, he was with his band of friends trying to get to the sacred city to find out some truths. They were attacked by another guy who got superpowers from the fragment of the Kalpataru in his body, and got separated.
Since pangaea/ezel picks up from the middle of the story, it’s the point where things start to get really complicated. I’ll try my best to not make this confusing.
Lyzel is trying to find his sister’s killer. He traveled with his friends, all of whom had their bodies modified in some way by the Kalpataru. One of them is Kureha, a girl that was cured from her illness because her entire village made a wish on the Kapataru for her to live on. However, as a side effect of the wish, whenever she got an injury, they also sustained the same injuries. Everyone then realized that the Kalpataru is not the magic tree that can grant any wish. It comes with a price.
Lyzel discovered that he belonged to a clan that protected the ‘branch’ of the Kalpataru by locking themselves away in a hidden village. His sister denied that fate and escaped with him. All Lyzel remembered was that his sister got done in by a man with a tattoo on his hand.
The bad guys are from a city called Luclem, and they were the clan of people that protect the ‘seed’ of the Kalpataru. They bred these two guys called Shidou and Tatsuki to be the seed’s host, utilizing its immense power to overthrow the branch clan and take the entirety of the Kalpataru’s power for themselves. They also made a bunch of zombies in the process of trial and error.
Lyzel and co fought their way into Luclem to stop the bad guys. While fighting Shidou and trying to defeat the big villain, Lyzel discovered that the man with the tattoo was his father, and he himself also had the same tattoo that symbolizes the protector of the Kalpataru. He then recalled that it was not his father that killed his sister; it was him. He did not want to go back to the clan, and his emotional outbreak caused the Kalpataru branch to go berserk, swallowing his sister up in the process. She became one with the Kalpataru and sealed Lyzel’s memories to ease the pain.
Having realized that, Lyzel went berserk again, destroying all of Luclem and killing Shidou in the process. His friends made it out of that mess. Kureha calmed him down and found a dormant Kalpataru laying around. The end.
Okay, that was the story. Now for the review.
The Thai translators really struggled with the word Kalpataru lol. At first they wrote it literally from the katakana as Karupa=Taru, (yes, with the =), but then decided on a more fantasy western pronunciation Calpatalu. Which… I’m actually surprised, because Kalpataru is another name for the Kalpavriksha, a wish-granting divine tree. This tree is closely related with Kalpapruek (Cassia fistula), which is an important and common tree in Thailand. Maybe they didn’t get the reference, or maybe they just thought writing Kalpataru would look too ‘Thai’. I don’t know. Some Thai people don’t like Thai culture and I don’t know why.
Anyway, as for the story itself, it was surprisingly enjoyable once I got past the first volume. It’s a standard adventure plot you’d find it other stories published in the same era. There are some twists here and there that kept me going, but otherwise it’s not particularly memorable, if not for one thing.
The last chapter was rushed as heck.
pangaea/ezel moved at a slow pace for six volumes, but suddenly the story turned on turbo engine and rushed through the climax and resolution of the story. I’m thinking it got axed, because the author didn’t even have enough pages to resolve one of the main character’s conflict on-screen.
The villains were in no better situation. Shidou was this final boss, but he didn’t even get a fight, and the story just threw away everything it set up for him. Tatsuki was a character you’d expect to join the hero’s party, but nope, not enough pages. There was a ‘and then everything was destroyed’, then boom, the end. I think it needed two more chapters to flesh things out. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable, yet not particularly memorable manga.
At the end of the volumes, there is an omake chapter called ‘Pangaea-ezelman’, which is a super-sentai parody where Lyzel and his friends became power rangers and fight bad guys. It sounds boring, but the jokes are so creative and funny, they send me on the floor laughing.
The art is standard shounen fantasy. It’s clean. I like the cover art of pangaea more than pangaea/ezel, I think pangaea/ezel looked too much like a video game adaptation. I don’t have much else to say besides that.
Overall, I kinda enjoyed it despite not understanding some things that happened.
My copy of pangaea/ezel will be donated to children in rural schools. In Thailand, we have the phrase ‘อนุโมทนา’ which is kinda like sharing the merit (positive deed) you did with other people, so that they also gain some merit as well. So I’m sending you positive energy from this corner of the world.
That’s it for pangaea/ezel . Thanks for reading.