Webcomic Wednesdays: Awaken.

Piras is your average school kid:  trying to pass classes, get selected for Knight training, avoid contagion from the Blue Pest, and enjoy riding around on his moped.  But then he takes an unauthorized trip into an infected District, and runs into Nyl and Cian, who are fighting Aberrations.  It turns out, the Blue Pest is just a cover-up, and Piras is one of the “infected,” meaning he can use Flux.  And now the Imperial Guard knows, and they want him stopped.  Fearing for their safety, Nyl and Cian convince Piras to come with them to The Old Continent, outside the walls of the Nova Empire.   Now, Piras is on a quest to understand Flux, why the Empire wants to hide it, and why the Aberrations want to destroy all of humanity.  Now if only Piras will stop running his mouth and pay attention, he might just learn something.

Piras, the main troublemaker
Piras, the main troublemaker

Written by Koti Saavedra Awaken is heavily influenced by anime tropes, most notably the shonen genre.  The story is a bit confusing when first read, as there are many factions in play, ranging from military, secret government, and rebel, not to mention the complex society and personal interactions the characters deal with.  A mini comic helps answer questions on history and geography, as needed. There is some violence and cursing, so this is only recommended for teenagers and up.

Cian (L) and Nyl (R), showing their Flux
Cian (L) and Nyl (R), showing their Flux

The art is similar to the style used by Studio Ghibli, where the inhabited world is a combination of past imperial influence with modern technology and upgrades.  The characters are highly detailed, from anatomy to clothing, with equally lavish backgrounds and props.  The drawn lines are very subtle, almost invisible, and the coloring is similar to popular anime and manga styles, where colors not found in nature are common in human anatomy and man-made items, although in proportion everything follows the rules of nature.

Saavedra recently completed a successful Kickstarter to print the first volume of Awaken, though it is still unavailable for purchase in the store.  For the webcomic, you can read the further adventures of Piras and friends at Awaken.com.

Sarah Pendergraft

Sarah Pendergraft is a writer who enjoys webcomics, so she decided to combine the two and become a reviewer.

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