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Monday Manga Reviews: Bleach, Exaxxion, Naruto

Monday Manga Reviews: Bleach, Exaxxion, Naruto, Evangelion, Mermaid Melody, and Shakugan No Shana!

Bleach Volume 21
Story & Art: Tite Kubo
English Adaptation: Lance Caselman
Publisher: Viz

After the Soul Society story arc that lasted for over 15 volumes do you think that Kubo is going to let Ichigo and co. rest? Hell no! We get back to business. Everyone but Rukia returns to the land of the living to get back to everyday life and Ichigo is given a deputy pass to return to Soul Society whenever he pleases. Everything is quiet for about a chapter and then we are introduced to the new kid in class Shinji Hirako, who happens to be a Vizard (Soul Reapers that have become Hollows). There is also a new threat: The Arrancar (Hollows with Zanpaku-tos). Believe it or not, this book has two big revelations towards the second half: The return of Ishida’s father and the unearthing of Ichigo’s father as a Soul Reaper. I can’t believe that this book is still this fun and I every time I can’t imagine the plot getting better; I am proven wrong with some great chapters. Sure Kubo isn’t a master story teller, but he sure can deliver one damn good story. A

Cannon God Exaxxion volumes 1 & 2
Story & Art Kenichi Sonoda
Translation: Dana Lewis & Adam Warren
Publisher: Dark Horse

This is what Kenichi Sonada was doing during his big break from Gunsmith Cats and let me tell you, this is nothing like GSC. Hoichi “Gun” Kano is the Grandson of the world’s famous inventor Hosuke Kano. He is also a student at Howa High School in Musashino City, Japan. For the last 10 years Earth has been in contact with an alien race knows as the Riofaldians. At the tenth anniversary of first contact with the Riofaldians, an Elevator Ship is unveiled and designed for orbital transport to and from the Riofaldian home world and Earth. However, this was just a ploy to take control of the Earth, using their advanced technology and large Riofaldian work force on Earth to their advantage. It is now up to Hoichi, with the help of Hosuke an old scientist famous for his anti-Riofaldian stance), Akane (his friend from highschool), and Isaka (a humanoid created by Hosuke). You can tell that Sonoda borrows heavily from old science fiction movies for his concepts and designs. The robots are round and metallic and are void of any contemporary mech-and-tech design found in today’s big robot movies or today’s manga. The sixties black and white flick, The Day the Earth Stood Still, is the chief influence on this manga in both story and design. Not a bad choice for primary influence but I was very surprised at the lack of innovation and original ideas in Sonoda’s tale. I have faith that Sonoda will be able to keep me entertained. C+

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