Hey, it’s finally time for those March Manga posts I said I’d make a while back! Of course, it took me longer than the month of March to read all my unread manga…and I didn’t even read all of it! I intend to get to those Genshiken volumes when I get hold of the last two.
As for these posts, I think I’m gonna do them like this: Four entries for the stuff I read, or maybe I’ll combine two of the bigger ones into one. Maybe. Not entirely sure. I’mma just write and see what happens.
Jaco the Galactic Patrolman
So, Akira Toriyama did a thing. That thing is the very short sci-fi comedy manga Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. In case his name doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the creator of the Dragon Ball franchise, which is 30 years old and still going strong. Toriyama’s comedy has always been one of his stronger points, and that shows here. Jaco, the self-proclaimed greatest Galactic Patrolman, comes to Earth to protect it from an object that was launched by an alien planet. After he crash-lands he meets the old recluse Omori whose job is now convincing Jaco that humans can be good and should be saved. They are later joined in their adventure by a young girl working as an idol’s double, Tights Brief. Together, the thr–hold up. I know what you’re thinking. “Tights Brief? Really? What’s the alien planet? Vegeta? Hyuk hyuk.” Well, hyuk not, dear reader. This is Dragon Ball canon. Tights is Bulma’s older sister, the object is Goku’s Saiyan pod, and Jaco himself is gonna be in the new DBZ movie. I approve of this. DB started off as very lighthearted series, and I feel like this latest prequel addition has added some much needed levity to a series that got surprisingly dark there for a while. This short little manga isn’t the funniest I’ve read, but it is a nice, quick read.
Also, there’s an extra story that introduces Goku’s mom, which is something I–and I’m sure quite a few DB fans–have been waiting for for a while now.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin vol. 1
So yeah, that’s not Amuro’s Gundam. This is the biggest difference that jumped out at me when I read the first volume of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. And yes, that’s the only volume I’ve read. This series is expensive, and I have a plethora of other things on which to spend money. Anyhoo, if I recall correctly, we don’t see the very first prototype Gundam in the anime. It’s been a while since I’ve watched it, but I honestly can’t remember seeing this thing, so I assume it wasn’t there. Other than that, the first volume is essentially the same as the first few episodes of the anime. More grim, even though the OG Gundam itself is already kinda dark, and I think Char is much more of a jerk here than in the original. But yeah…classic boy-finds-giant-robot-and-whoops-evil-ass story right here.
I started MAR—or, Marchen Awakens Romance–back when it first came out because it was created by Nobuyuki Anzai, the creator of a manga I really love (and need to finish), Flame of Recca. I made it up to volume 11 before I put it down, but I finally picked up the final four volumes, re-read the first 11, and finished this series. The story follows puny little fatherless nerd boy Ginta who always dreams of a magical world. One day, in the middle of class, he is summoned to this other world to combat the imminent return of the villainous Chess–the army that almost destroyed this fantasy land years ago. It was only brought down by the arrival of an other-worlder leading the forces of good. In this magical land, Ginta is actually strong, fast, asthma-less, and no longer needs his glasses. He soon finds the only sentient ARM (the weapons of this series), Babbo, and gathers a gang of buddies to once more defeat the Chess. So, this 15-volume manga is almost one big tournament series. Really. I think the first four set up the War Games (the tourney), and the rest of the series covers it. It also has a cool of schtick of everything being related to a fairy tale. The manga moves at a breakneck pace, though, and it could be good if the main character ever looked like he was vulnerable. Yeah, he’s utterly defeated and outmatched quite a few times, but it never feels like he and the rest of his crew are in any real danger. Also, while reading it, I kept comparing it to another shonen action-adventure manga–Hunter x Hunter…and it’s unfair to compare anything to HxH. It’s like getting a single Bagel Bite and wondering why it’s not as fulfilling as a pizza handmade by Papa John.
I would suggest checking it out because of the witch Dorothy, though. She’s the only character other than Ginta who didn’t lose any War Games matches. Yes, it’s a spoiler, but I want you to understand the greatness of Dorothy.
Well, that’s it for the odds and ends of March Manga. I think the next entry will be detailing two of the bigger things I read last month.