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Monday Manga Reviews: Coyotes, Goddesses, Dark Ones, and More!

Coyote Ragtime Show vols. 1 & 2
Story: Ufotable
Design: Haruo Sotozaki
Art: Tartan Check
Publisher: Broccoli Books

I really don’t understand the title of this boo, but I can say that I really love that cover. An old guy and a little girl holding guns. If that doesn’t scream badass, I really don’t know what does. Planet Graceland is about to be destroyed within seven days. The pirate king Blues has stashed treasure in this planet and seven days is enough time for Mister to bust out of jail and try to get this treasure. However, the treasure is not all that he is going to find, because the dead pirate king also left him his daughter Franca for Mister to take care of. As if the police wasn’t the only trouble, now the master criminal Madame Marciano wants that treasure for herself and sent the 12 (hot) sisters to deliver Mister and Franca to her. I’m so glad I read volumes 1 and 2 back to back, because the first volume was used as a set up to introduce the characters, their attitudes, and settings. But volume 2 really pumps out the action, suspense, and insane galactic shoot outs. Unfortunately, the characters are real stereotypical, but not to the point where they are annoying. Check’s artwork really has me hooked too; it’s clean and crisp and knows when to deliver some great-ass kicking scenes. While volume 1 sets up everything and the pacing is a little slow, volume 2 really puts you in the edge of your seat. B+

Densha Otoko vol. 1
The Story of the Train Man Who Fell in Love With a Girl
Story & Art: Wataru Watanabe
Original Story: Hitori Nakano
Publisher: CMX

I happen to think of myself as pretty knowledgeable of the Japanese culture, pop or not, so I was really surprised that I had never heard of this “train man”. To be honest from the cover I thought it was about a train that develops feelings for a girl. I was way off, let’s just say leave it at that. This is one of many stories that were inspired by a true story about an otaku that stands up against a guy harassing a girl in a train. They end up developing a relationship from this meeting that eventually inspired novels, manga, a TV series, and a movie. This particular version is about Train (the characters are never referred to by name), who is your regular dorky looking otaku and his encounter with a smoky old man that was bothering Hermes. Most of the time in this volume is taken to show the reader how much of an otaku Train is. He looks for romantic advice in chat rooms like Yahuu japan.com. By the end of the book he does get a big dinner date with Hermes and we’ll see where this relationship will go. The art varies between crisp and realistic to just foggy and unreal in typical manga form; this is most prominent whenever Train panics. I really enjoyed the story and the characters and I’m very jealous of Trains toy collection. I can’t wait for the next volume. B

Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human Error Processor
Story & Art: Masamune Shirow
Translation: Frederik L. Schoot
Publisher: Dark Horse

So here is the deal: If you haven’t read the Ghost in the Shell Manga or Ghost in the Shell 2, go out and buy them right now. They have both been translated by Dark Horse and are both phenomenal and different enough from the movie to keep you entertained. To save some time in this review, if you don’t know what Ghost in the Shell is and shame on you. “Here”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_shell is a great little entry to catch you up. This particular volume is a collection of stories that were never before translated and fit between the ending of GIS 1 and the beginning of 2. Four different stories that that deal with the Section 9 daily work and what they do to fight crime in the digital world and in our real world. So if you are expecting to see Major Kusanagi in these stories, you might be a little disappointed.

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