Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter does a good job of making its story accessible to readers with no background in the Monster Hunter video game franchise. Understanding the story doesn’t require any prior knowledge of the series and the jargon is kept to a minimum. As someone whose first Monster Hunter medium was this manga, I didn’t feel lost in this story or setting at all.
Now the downside: the art makes the action sequences very hard to follow. It’s very difficult to distinguish between the monsters, background, characters, and motion/impact effects. While the monster designs are absolutely full of detailed creases and patterns, the backgrounds are extremely barebones. They are so minimalistic that it is often as if large portions of the environment just aren’t there and the characters are floating in the void. Instead of it being immediately apparent what’s going on in the picture, many panels require a moment of focus for the reader to put together what exactly is on the page. Following the action occasionally becomes even more difficult on pages where the paneling has a poor flow.
This is a decent but not very memorable manga. The story and characters are of average quality but nothing about the manga really reaches out and catches my interest. But on the other hand, outside of the lack of clarity in the action sequences, there isn’t anything particularly bad to be said about it either. If you’re a huge Monster Hunter fan who just has to own everything related to the franchise then you won’t be disappointed. But everyone else would be better off finding a different title because it wouldn’t be hard to find something more deserving of your time.
original story: Keiichi Hikami
story and art: Shin Yamamoto