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1 World Manga, Vol. 1
ISBN 1421503646 / 9781421503646 / 1-4215-0364-6
Publisher VIZ Media LLC
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This joint World Bank/VIZ Media series addresses global issues through manga graphic novels targeting teenagers. The first 3 volumes focus on poverty, HIV/AIDS, and the environment. But the series' immediate appeal is the coming-of-age tale of orphaned teenager Rei, who dreams of becoming the greatest fighter in the world! Rei's trainer takes the form of various animals and, much to Rei's disappointment, strives to develop his student's mind, heart, and spirit more than his fighting technique! Though the themes are grim, the pages are full of action, romance, and even humor. The guises Rei's trainer assumes inevitably lead to misunderstandings and slapstick.
Rei's pride and ambition set him up for many a fall, but throughout the series, his good heart and inability to walk away from those in need makes him an engaging and likeable protagonist who will appeal to young men and women alike. [via]