Exactly as the title suggests, this is but a very brief prologue introducing readers to the story concept to come. With some intriguing imagery and descriptions of what motivates the four main characters, we are quickly dropped into a world of mystery and suspense. Who the characters are, how they all met, and who their enemy is will all hopefully be addressed in the chapters to come, but for now, readers are fed but little information which lures them into looking further into the story.
What is interesting however is that the story not only quickly reveals the characters inner motivations (although from what these motives arose, readers are unaware), partnerships and certain aspects of personality are hinted at for Aya's character in particular. There isn't much material to work with, but a great deal of emotional and personality information is contained in this prologue.
The artwork is definitely bishounen in style and while decent is not so bishounen as Nakamura Rie's works. Occasionally plain, the drawing style is generally cleanly drawn and makes good use of background emptiness to give a certain sense of atmosphere. It's worth noting that the first volume of Weiss, consists of a 31 page illustration collection. These colour illustrations are a selection of CD covers, story cover pages for the manga and various other illustrations drawn by the manga-ka. The artwork in this section range from clean bishounen style work to rougher coloured sketch work. The inclusion of the art gallery in the book means that the book itself is much more expensive than the average manga volume. Something worth considering as much less story is present than most manga, yet if you like the artstyle, there are a number of colour illustrations to enjoy. Likewise, the actual pages of the manga are much larger and more satisfying for the reader to view.
As a hook to draw readers in, the initial premise of the story does a good job of intriguing readers as to who the characters are and why they hold the motives they do in becoming assassins. The hints of possible story to come in the way of as yet unrevealed enemies likewise catch readers attention and imagination. All in all an intriguing start for the first eight pages to this story, we shall see how well the rest of this volume delivers...
- JYN, 2002.02.03