A Full Review
(NOTE: spoilers are in brackets like this: [spoiler]. To read the spoilers, highlight the text.)
Soloist in a Cage (Ori no Naka no Soloist) by Shiro Moriya is a sci-fi, action drama starring a determined young lady named Chloe, who is forced to care for her baby brother in a prison city. As she tries to escape, she accidentally drops him. Years later, Chloe returns to the prison to find her brother. Will she succeed? The story unfolded in 3 volumes, first in Shonen Jump+. As of this review, the manga is only available in English by the chapter via MangaPlus.
The story takes place in a European/Western wintry country. The art style is realistic and underscores the blood and gore. This is a violent manga following a strong female lead. Chloe becomes a skilled combatant (with a heart of gold) after escaping the prison. While cool, I think Chloe is overpowered here. She goes "God Mode" too many times and escapes relatively unscathed.
Also, the story was a little rushed, no doubt due to the mangaka's illness prompting the manga to go on a long hiatus. However, it's all good now. The mangaka is healthy now, and Soloist in a Cage is finished. (The story wrapped in 2021.) We got a proper ending to the story, and surprisingly, it's a happy ending. [Chloe finds her brother alive. No dead kids, no dead mentor, and no dead Chloe. She really should have died at the end but eh, whatever. Everyone lives happily in a new country.] Overall, I enjoyed Soloist in a Cage, and if you're looking for a short action-packed manga with a strong female lead, then you may enjoy it too. 8/10.
Check out all 20 chapters of the manga via MangaPlus. (Content warnings: suicide, explicit violence, blood, gore, and other mature themes.)
What to read/watch after Soloist in a Cage:
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui
Fort of Apocalypse by Kazu Inabe
The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai (story) and Posuka Demizu (art) + the anime!
Colombiana (2011, dir. Olivier Megaton), film
Hanna (2011, dir. Joe Wright), film
Hanna (2019, dir. David Farr), TV series