Monday Manga Reviews: Better Late than Never!

Buso Renkin vol.1
Story & Art: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Translation & Adaptation: Mayumi Kobayashi
Lettering: James Gaubatz
Publisher: Viz

I first got a small taste, or rather the first chapter of Buso Renkin in volume 28 of Rurouni Kenshin. I really didn’t think much of it then; just another guy gets granted powers by sheer luck and has to save a girl from being eaten by monsters. Although completely different than Kenshin, the story was one that I didn’t find unique. However, after reading the first volume of this series, Renkin shows a great promise. Kazuki Mutou is mortally wounded when attempting to save a girl from a strange monster, but is given a new life through the power of the alchemically made Core Iron. Along with a second chance, this grants him the ability to use his own Buso Renkin (Alchemy Weapon). Joining forces with Tokiko, the Buso Renkin user he’d saved earlier and who gave him the Core Iron, he uses his newfound powers to fight the malevolent Homunculus. Watsuki’s art style seems to have developed into something new and unique. While still borrowing techniques from western artist, this book feels more like a natural manga. Weird to say, but I think that was the only small flaw of the book, because I think with a stereotypical story like this, Watsuki would have benefited from a style that stands out. The book is very action packed and has plenty of comedy that is surely to make the most cantankerous person crack a smile. I’m glad I gave the book a shot, because it shows promise for another classic in the making. B+

Cannon God Exaxxion vols. 4 & 5
Story & Art: Kenichi Sonoda
Translation: Dana Lewis & Adam Warren
Lettering: Susie Lee
Publisher: Dark Horse

There is something that always clicked with me in this series. There is plenty of mecha, gun suits, sexy aliens, gunfights, and Sonoda’s classic storytelling and beautiful detailed art found inside the pages of this series to make the biggest otaku drool. Hoichi must now face superior firepower while also dealing with what people think of him. The aliens may be leading in the information war that is almost as important as the physical war and there are more secrets revealed. There is a cease-fire between Earth and the Riofaldians, but that doesn’t stop everyone from having danger lurk in Hoichi’s life. There are more moral dilemmas in these volumes that the action takes a step back. You may have heard that the art had been altered, particularly in volume 5, because of the heavy sex scenes. I do have to say that it had to be rough for Dark Horse to see what stays and what goes in a sex scene between two under age characters. While most of the time I can’t stand altered artwork; I really thought it was handled well in this particular story. The ending of the story leaves you with a big cliffhanger and with only two volumes left to go in this series, I really hope that Dark Horse decides to wrap it up and translate the finale. B

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