Planet Ladder is one of the first manga series I read and I have to say that when I first read it, I was impressed about how interesting this series was. It was short, simple, and good. The idea of a girl carrying a burden of choosing which world will survive was new, fresh and interesting story for me to read about. This manga being one of the series that introduced me to manga, I'd say that this was pretty good. It isn’t fantastic or great but it’s a decently entertaining manga.
There's not much to talk about this series except that it was generic. The main character was likable, and so were a few characters as well. But I’ll get to that in a bit. First, let me talk a little bit about the story.
The plot was pretty interesting because to me, at the time, it was something new and a story that I haven't seen before. The main character, Kaguya Haruyama, is taken into this parallel world and soon discovers that she is the "Girl of Ananai", the one “destined to save only one of the nine parallel worlds from collision”. As far as I remember there were nine worlds.
Ancient, the first civilized world that was “mysteriously” destroyed (yeah, don’t know how that happened since we come back to it later)
Asu, Seeu's broken world
Eden, present-day Earth
Telene, a small world (allies with Geo)
Fifth World, a politically neutral world
Geus, a peaceful world (under Geo’s control)
Geo, the most powerful of the worlds (or so the manga claims)
Asuraitsu, Geo's “rival”
Ninth World, deceased (destroyed before the beginning of the manga)
Kaguya travels with Seeu’s robot. Meets a few characters and tries to figure out her destiny along the journey. So not too bad right?
Well . . .
If I did have one complaint, it would be that the ending seemed a little rushed and confusing. If I remember correctly, it goes something like this: (PS: IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THIS SERIES THEN DON’T READ THIS PARAGRAPH!!! The villain Kura sends Shiina to kidnap our heroine, Kaguya so he can save his world. Naturally, Kaguya refuses to help him. Kura gets mad (of course) and he claims that he and Kagami made up the legend of the "Girl of Ananai" and says it’s a myth. Seeu fights Shiina to get Kaguya back and we find out that she’s in love with him. (Ok, this is weird because I don’t remember anything in the manga that allows those two characters to grow close and fall in love. But that rant will come later.) Seeu’s Kagami robot (Gold is his name apparently) takes everyone to Ancient. (which should be impossible because that world was ‘mysteriously’ destroyed) Somehow Idou, Seeu, Kura, and Shiina are convinced (or persuaded if you can call it that) to combine their magical weapons with Gold to fix the rift in the universe, the cause of the eventual collision between the worlds. I obviously don’t remember the manga but if that was all it took so ‘save the worlds’ then why didn’t they do this in the first place?
Another thing that bothered me was Kaguya's past with her brother and why she was chosen. There probably is an explanation but I just don't remember. Don’t forget the relationships with the characters. Kaguya spends some time with Seeu and learns of his tragic past and then takes care of him. But my problem is that these two don’t take time to develop a relationship. I understand that they do spend time together but when Kaguya and Seeu are identified as a couple I’m scratching my head thinking ‘where the heck did THAT come from?’
The characters in this manga are not that interesting or complex. Kaguya is nice, stands up for herself and others, and is your generic heroine in shojo manga that often deal with travelling of different worlds. Seeu is quiet and doesn’t do much. Kagami is a robot and doesn’t say much either. Kuru is your typical villain. He says mean things but really, he’s just an ass trying to save his planet. Idou is barely there, or at least I don’t remember him much. Shiima is pretty awesome. She’s tough, independent, and a great fighter. Waseda was okay except for the fact that the only thing memorable about this guy was that he was a student in the body of a giant rooster.
Yeah . . . I didn’t get that at all.
It's not the best series I ever read and not everyone will like it but I can at least say that it wasn't predictable and I did enjoy it. If you want, feel free to give it a try and see what you think.