The Edge of Balance Volume One by Shima Shinya and Justina Ireland

‘The High Republic’ branches out into an new genre for its first Manga, written by Justina Ireland and Shima Shinya that tells a new story with a cast of new characters and some familiar villains.

Set on the planet Banchi and following the adventures of Jedi Knight Lily Tora-Asi in the aftermath of the events of ‘Light of the Jedi’ as she works as a part of a team who helps relocate refugees after the Great Hyperspace Disaster.

However, things on Banchi aren’t as it seems, when farmers start falling ill with a bizarre ailment, Lily, her Padawan, Keerin and a group of Younglings venture into the local forest and find a group of Drengir. The Jedi defeat the monsters but the afflicted villagers don’t wake up whilst in the care of the local Doctor (who may also be a member of The Nihil).

The story is short, and focus’ mainly on Lily as she deals with the issues around the developing settlement on Banchi whilst training the Younglings, all the while, focusing on her own development as a Jedi Knight with the guidance of her former Master, Arkoff and Stellan Gios.

The story, feels very drawn out despite its small size. The whole story is illustrated using a typical manga style, I’m hoping that is is more to do with it being the first book in a potential ongoing series and as the story progresses it the next volume, it will hopefully branch out in a new direction.

With the exception of Stellan Gios, the characters are all new for this part and generally the all feel like they belong in Star Wars. I’m even really pleased that Arkoff, another Wookie Master is part of the Hedi Order, maybe he knows Burryaga.

The book also contains a mini-story featuring Lily and her group venturing into the forest and finding a cave, in which a monstrous creature wakes up but falls to its death n the cave.

With a second part coming out next May, I wonder if it will be a part of Phase 3 in which it would probably be the final part of the ‘Light of the Jedi’ era of ‘The High Republic’.

Overall, I’ve not been disappointed by this Manga, and as well as blitzing this book and looking up some Anime/Manga with similar sensibilities I may be tempted to try and audition for the newly ‘Quiet Place’ film.

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