Midweek Manga Reviews: From The return of Akira Toriyama to Hitting a Wall

Story & Art: Akira Toriyama
Translation: Alexander O. Smith
Publisher: Viz

Being a Toriyama fan has been really hard over the years. After reading everything he has done and collecting the Japanese tonkabon, it gets really hard to wait for the next Toriyama project. I remember seeing Cowa pictures a few years back, but I’m really glad Viz went on and brought the manga over to the States. This particular work contains all of the things people expect of Toriyama; action, gags, and Toriyama’s signature drawing style with a kiddie twist. There are also elements in this book I have never seen in a Toriyama book; a real kiddie simple story, that is just that a simple story. Paifu is a half vampire half werekoala(that’s right his dad was a full blooded werekoala). He is best friends with Jose Rodriguez, the ghost and the two of them seem to get into trouble all the time, whether it’s stealing watermelons or invading Mr. Maruyama’s privacy…even though he is an accidental murderer. When the entire town gets sick it is up to Paifu, Jose, Mr. Maruyama, and Paifu’s so-called rival Arpon to go on a journey and save the town. It’s a book which is supposed to be fun and it achieves that goal. Sure it’s supposed to be a kid’s book, but it’s got elements that adults can enjoy too. I only hope that Toriyama visits this world again. A

Dominion vol.1
Story & Art: Shirow Masamune
Translation: Dana Lewis
Adaptation: Frederik L. Schodt & Toren Smith
Publisher: Dark Horse

If you haven’t heard of Masamune Shirow, well he did a little manga called Ghost in the Shell as well as Appleseed, Orion, Black Magic, and Intron Depot. So even if you haven’t heard of him, I’m sure you have heard of his work. I remember Tank Police was one of the first subtitled anime I watched (that wasn’t bootlegged) back in 1991. I was really excited all those years ago when Dark Horse released the manga and I haven’t read this story in over 15 years. This is a story about the future in which mankind is forced to wear oxygen masks outside, they live in bio-created cities, and crime levels so high that the police use tanks! The main character is a tank-loving Leona Ozaki, a police mini-tank commander, who seems to be fighting a one-woman war against crime (well one woman if you don’t count her little tank; Bonaparte). Most of the time she is dealing with Buaku, a master criminal, and his two catgirl thugs, the Puma sisters (I know you recognize these two. They also make an appearance in Ghost in the Shell). The fact is that Buaku has more than just gold coins and cash on his mind. In fact, the future of planet Earth and the human race hangs in the balance when the group of thugs kidnaps Green Peace. This is truly one of the best manga books that I read back then and still shines to this day. The story is really fun and since it is not as complex as Appleseed or Ghost in the Shell it’s easy to follow. Don’t get me wrong it’s technical at times, but not on par with his other works. I highly recommend introducing yourself to the Domion world. A+

Comments Off on Midweek Manga Reviews: From The return of Akira Toriyama to Hitting a Wall