Monday Manga Reviews: Happy Holidays Edition!

Black Cat vol. 1
Story & Art: Kentaro Yabuki
Translation: JN Productions
Adaptation: Kelley Sue Deconnick
Publisher: Viz

I really never know what to expect from certain titles. Especially when it comes to titles of manga. Black Cat has nothing to do with superstitions or a certain voluptuous silver haired burglar that hangs with Spider-man. The story is about Train “Black Cat” Heartnet and his partner Sven Vollfie. They are known as sweepers, which is just another word for bounty hunters who take on the most dangerous kind of work. By the time we get to the core of the book we meet the thief Rinslet Walker, who is in need of help from Black Cat. Rinslet is after some research data, but to obtain it, she needs crime boss Torneo Rudman out of the way. Of course, there is enough bounty on his head to entice the sweepers to join with her. They discover that Torneo is researching nano technology, and he intends to build an army of super human clones. While Train is off gather information on Torneo, Sven meets a little girl named Eve. He has no clue that Eve is one of Torneo’s research experiments, and she’s also a highly skilled assassin. Even with a few slow chapters towards the beginning, this book has so many ingredients that make it work: Likeable characters, snappy dialogue, lighthearted story, and action packed gun fights. I anxiously await the next chapter in their story. A-

D. Gray-man vol. 7
Story & Art: Katsura Hoshino
Translation: Toshifumi Yoshida
Adaptation: Lance Caselman
Publisher: Viz

D. Gray Man is set at the end of a fictional 19th century Victorian England. Allen Walker is a boy who appears to be 15 years old but isn’t at all what he seems. Walker is an exorcist, born with a cross embedded into his hand that is a powerful weapon that he uses to battle Akumas. Akumas are weapons of evil that use a human soul as their power, and a human skin to hide within. After a huge battle, Allen disappears and it’s up to Lavi and Lenalee to find him. However, what they don’t know is that Allen is now in the care of the Asian branch of Black Ministry and he is trying to regain his innocence (the substance that makes his left arm a weapon). There are so many things that seem to have inspired this manga. It’s a mix of H.P Lovecraft, Batman, Harry Potter, Death Note, and Dragon Ball Z. The story develops at an acceptable pace, and the action is completely gorgeous. His art also reminds me of greats such as Mike Mignola Arthur Adams, Sam Keith, and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. It’s a fantastic style and clear to see what his panels are portraying, but during some fight sequences, it can be a bit blurry to see what the characters are doing. This is a very fun book, not only for fans of manga, but funs of just books as well. B+

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