Monday, 9 March 2009

Manga Monday!

It’s been far too long since I’ve done one of these posts but the plan is to make manga a more regular feature on the blog (not every Monday will be a ‘Manga Monday’ though, any day can be Manga day!) Thanks to the guys at Tokyopop for making this one possible.
So, without further ado...

‘Priest: Volume One’ – Min-Woo Hyung

There is evil brewing in the Old West. Servants of the fallen Archangel Temozarela are paving the way for his resurrection and the apocalypse is at hand. One man stands in their way; Ivan Isaacs, a fallen priest who has sold half his soul for the ability to fight evil. Cue zombies, Wild West style!
‘Priest’ raises a lot of questions (surely priests don’t need to sell their souls to fight evil and why would a devil give you the power to fight evil?) but it is the first volume so I’m guessing things will become more clear in time. I’ll certainly be around to see if these questions are answered as ‘Priest’ was a great read! The action is full on and non-stop (although a little confusing with jumps into the past when you least expect it) with hordes of zombies either causing carnage or being blown apart by Priest’s shotgun. Priest also looks like a character that I want to get to know more, plenty of ‘tortured anti-hero’ stuff going on here!
The artwork looks like its come straight from a film storyboard and really emphasises the grim brooding nature of the story itself. More please!

Nine out of Ten.

‘Phantom: Volume One’ – Ki Hoon Lee

Giant robots pounding the crap out of each other! Ruthless corporations running everything behind the scenes! Giant robots shooting each other! Just my kind of thing! Or it would be if Seung –Yup Cho’s art wasn’t quite so confusing, sometimes it’s difficult to work out just who is pounding on whom...
Other than that though, ‘Phantom’ is great fun to read. The clichés are out in full force (idealistic young cop, terrorists who are more than they seem, a cityscape recovering from the ravages of an extra-terrestrial event) but everything moves so fast that it all seems to flow together perfectly. While it’s no surprise to find out that the idealistic young cop throws his lot in with the terrorists the real joy is in finding out how it all comes about. Money talks but not necessarily in the language you would expect... I’m looking forward to seeing how this one develops.

Eight and a Half out of Ten

‘Star Trek: The Manga’ – Shinsei Shinsei

I’m probably not the person to review this as ‘Star Trek’ never really did it for me, in the same way that it does for others, but here goes...
‘Star Trek: The Manga’ is a collection of ten tales (from different writers and artists) from the original NCC-1701. The art varies in quality (as you would expect given the number of different artists in the book) but it was the stories themselves that failed to do it for me. Funnily enough, the opening tale ‘Side Effects’ promised good things for the rest of the book with its vision of how one of the Federation’s deadliest enemies came into being; tense, action packed and with that feeling you were seeing the birth of something big. It’s a shame then that the rest of the stories don’t live up to this initial promise. While they each offer a decent enough take on Star Trek, none of them stand up to ‘Side Effects’ in my opinion.
While I didn’t enjoy ‘Star Trek: The Manga’ as much as the other two books, there’s still enough there to make me want to give the next one a chance and see how it goes...

Seven and Three Quarters out of Ten


Michael said...

Priest is indeed very good. But as a fantasy fan, you MUST read Berserk...above all else in my opinion (though not as beautiful as Priest). Try Claymore and Ubel Blatt three in Fantasy mangas (paper versions of course, not anime - Berserk sucks in anime.

wend said...

Second the recommendation for Claymore. I was initially unsure about the series to begin with, as a lot of the focus is on battle. But, I was wrong.

Trouble is, I had the sound-phrase "Biki, Biki, Bike" going through my head after reading each volume. Strange.

I think I'll look out for the anime to see if it's as good ...

Priest sounds very different to what I'd invisaged by the covers. Might pick up vol 1 and give it a go.