The first 3 pages of this manga should be read after completing the volume. Start from the page labeled chapter one, and complete the story. It’s not a long volume, so it should be fairly easy to complete it in one sitting as I did. Oh and don’t read this paragraph below unless you’ve read the book. It’s a paragraph specific to readers of the manga and the team that worked on it.
When I picked up the book for the first time, I flipped through a couple of pages and thought to myself, that this manga doesn’t look like most of the titles that I read regularly for the site. I skipped the first 3 pages because it seemed like notes from the mangakas and I was mainly interested in completing the book so that I could scratch it off my list and move on to the next review I had scheduled. Now I know that sounds cold, and mechanical, which it is, but keep in mind that our editorial team isn’t large, and I do most of the manga reviews on the site at the time of writing this. For someone like me who is usually working on 5 to 6 reviews at a time while maintaining other aspects of my life, I have to treat everything as a task on a jrpg check less, or I’d become overwhelmed. I’ve chosen to mention this because it affected my experience with this manga, and I’m thankful it did. You see when we got this manga we didn’t know anything about it other than it was from a publisher in Greece, heck I didn’t even know that there were manga publishers operating in Greece. I was shocked, but I didn’t allow my astonishment to engulf me. I added it to my schedule like every other book, and began reading. After completing the book I read the first 3 pages, and every other page in the in the book that I skipped over, and WOW! What a book, what a story. You see this manga isn’t just a shocker because it’s from Greece, oh no, no, no… it’s a passion project from two friends, and their team who got support through crowdfunding to make this book a reality. Discovering this information after I had already made my opinion on the book made me appreciate it even more. For I had already gained appreciation for it thanks to its story, characters, and art. By the end of chapter 8, and was curious about the mangakas that created it, and only then did I check the notes at the beginning. Had I read their notes before reading the book I think I may have been swayed to either like or dislike it prior to reading, and no writer ever wants someones opinion of their work to be based on external factors. What they want is for the reader to form an opinion based on the content they created, and my opinion of this manga is that it’s well worth the picking up if you like action & sports manga. So how about I explain why.
R.U.N or Remember Ur Nature is a story about a French/Japanese teenager named Jean Liam who has recently moved from France to Japan with his Japanese mother, only to then get caught up in some parkour related shenanigans. We’re not given any info about Jean’s father, which is something I assume may be addressed in future volumes of the manga. All we are given about the character is his age, 17, and that he has a passion for parkour and manga. Jean is what I would consider an impetuous character, similar to the likes of Naruto, and Luffy. He’s the kind of character you can get behind, and it’s not just because of his nature. You see with most manga characters, it’s hard for fans outside of Japan to relate to them initially, but Jean is French, he’s like us. He’s a fan of manga from a western country who happens to move to Japan. This simple fact made Jean a lot more likable to me, and I know that foreign characters are common in manga, but keep in mind that those characters are created by Japanese mangakas, and they always tend to be a bit strange if you ask me. Most tend to seem a tad bit unrealistic as if suffering from the uncanny valley effect. Jean doesn’t have that. He seems real and tangible.
As for the other characters in the book, they too seem natural for the most part. If I had to pick one character that was a bit of a cliche it would be Jake. A tough black guy type of ‘character’ that Jean meets in the 4th CHAPTER. This is especially apparent when you find out what he does outside of parkour. I won’t spoil what it is, but if you start listing black stereotypes you’re sure to come across it in no time. That being said, I didn’t dislike the character, in a way I found him to be a sort of comic relief for the characters he keeps company with. The other characters were captivating in their own right; however, this is just the first volume, so a lot about them is still unknown. As a whole the plot was cohesive, and compelling enough that I’m eager to read the second volume. What we got was a set up for what can be an amazing series after a couple more volumes, with this first volume serving as the introduction to the characters & setting. A world where parkour is the means where by individuals do battle.
R.U.N also has a unique artistic style that grew on me the more I read. I’ll admit that I didn’t favor it initially, but the more I read, the more I began to appreciate it. I consider it to be a mix of Archie comic style mixed with some Shōnen manga flair. Characters have much more rounded faces, and noses similar to the aforementioned Archie comics. Although unlike Archie, this is not full colour. The panels are black and white as you’d expect in most Shōnen manga, and the line work is a bit rough. It’s got that new manga feel to it, like the first Dragon Ball before the art got all super polished, and refined. The manga also sported some fanservice, but it was mostly reserved for a few panty shots from one character. Who knows if this will be an artistic focus for the mangakas in the future, but as an appreciator of fanservice I was pleased to see some in the book.
This book is also a physical release, and this aspect is probably the only one that I had an issue with. The book itself is a bit larger than a regular Shōnen manga, and for some reason the back cover of our copy started to detach by the time I was finished reading it. It should be noted that I’m very careful with books when reading, and I think the reason our copy experienced that issue has to do with the quality of glue used to connect the cover to the pages. The pages are pretty high quality, and when it detached I didn’t see much residue, hence my assumption. Hopefully this is an isolated situation, but I felt I should mention it just in case it wasn’t.
Remember Ur Nature is a fine manga that transcends its origins. Don’t think of this as a Greek manga, think of it as a great manga that happens to have originated from Greek mangakas. The character development in this first volume is enough to grasp the attention of readers that appreciate Shōnen styled action adventure manga with a bit of slice of life. The art does take some time to get use to, but thanks to the setting and writing it should eventually grow on you like it did for me. I can easily recommend this manga simply based on the potential it holds alone, so if you have a slot in your reading list this should be a good match to fill it with.
The copy of Remember Ur Nature used for this review was supplied to us by its publisher Mangatellers.