The story of the Akatsuki Unit's wanzer slugfest on the green paradise of Huffman Island! The long-awaited adaptation of Front Mission to comic books!
Front Mission ~The Drive~ is a manga which was serialized in magazine publication Young Gangan from December 2005 to May 2006. Most of the chapters were re-released in an official omnibus on April 25, 2007. The ~The Drive~ manga is an expanded universe supplement to the Front Mission 2089-II. Aside from Front Mission characters such as Albert Masel, Karen Meure, Maria Paredes, Darril Traubel, and Glen Duval, the manga is comprised of entirely new characters.
~The Drive~ begins a few months after the events of the Front Mission 2089-II in August 2090, and ends within the same month. The story of ~The Drive~ can be split into three acts.
1. Locked in battle against a U.S.N. mobile weapon in Freedom City, Albert is saved by the timely arrival of an O.C.U. special forces unit known as Akatsuki. Watching from afar, Maria analyzes the disposition of the O.C.U. forces.
2. The Akatsuki head off to their next operation to rescue O.C.U. government officials from nearby U.S.N. forces, with an injured Albert in tow. While unconscious, he recalls his early childhood days meeting Karen and Glen.
3. A battle ensues against the Akatsuki and U.S.N. forces at a villa near Mail River where the O.C.U. government officials are being held hostage. Nearby O.C.U. forces attempt to help Akatsuki, but are stopped by the arrival of Darril's detachment.
The main dramatis personae of the manga are Albert Masel, Mamoru Ren Xiao, Leung Flybird, Mark Green, Sarah Nijinsky, and Kimball Addis. Other notable dramatis personae include Serena Sana, Dan Nguyen, Black, Darril Traubel, Maria Paredes, Karen Meure, and Glen Duval.
- Albert's coming to terms with the loss of Serena one year since her death.
- The childhood bonds between Albert, Karen, and Glen on Huffman Island.
- Akatsuki's usage of experimental piloting interfaces inside their wanzers.
- The early war exploits of Darril and Maria during the Second Huffman Conflict.
- The development of Huffman Island during the dual-colonization of the island by the O.C.U. and the U.S.N.
- The O.C.U. military's lack of combat readiness during the early stages of the Second Huffman Conflict.
- The manga was originally written to be a long series, but this plan was scrapped for unknown purposes. As a result, ~The Drive~ ends with a cliffhanger. Albert's fate, however, is known as he appears in a post-epilogue mission in Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness.
- Since it is incomplete, there are two extra chapters of ~The Drive~ which were not included in the official omnibus. These chapters are found only in the Young Gangan magazines.
- ~The Drive~ was simultaneously in development along with Front Mission 2089-II, despite the fact the manga began to be serialized before it.
- References to other Front Mission story elements include: the First Huffman Conflict and the Huffman Crisis.
- There are two color pages inside the manga.
Front Mission ~The Drive~
- Publisher: Young Gangan
- Writer: Yasuo Otagaki
- Illustrator: studio SEED
- Length: 210 pages
- ISBN: 978-4-7575-1973-2
- Audience: Mature, intended for readers ages 18 and older.
- Chapter List:
- Mission: 1 (Preface Color / Front Cover Special)
- Mission: 2
- Mission: 3 (Center Color 1 / Front Cover Special)
- Mission: 4
- Mission: 5
- Mission: 6
- Mission: 7
- Mission: 8
- Mission: 9 (Young Gangan Only - Not Included in Omnibus)
- Mission: 10 (Young Gangan Only - Not Included in Omnibus)