0/6 Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Netcomics
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 176
  • ISBN: 1-60009-020-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right
  • Series: 0/6

0/6 Vol. #01

By Jarred Pine     February 22, 2006
Release Date: January 01, 2006


0/6 Vol.#01
© Netcomics


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Youjung Lee
Translated by:Jane Choi
Adapted by:

What They Say
At first glance Moolchi is just another shy, unassuming boy whose greatest talents are running away from bullies and binging on vitamin supplements. Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, Moolchi's absentee father sends him a most unusual gift--a stunningly-proportioned 'girl' who may or may not be made of flesh and blood. She calls herself 'Six' and mumbles incoherently about having a 'prime directive.' This strange and exquisite creature quickly turns the boy's life upside-down, violently disposing of junior-high hooligans and anybody else who gets in his or her way, all while wearing a getup that would make Barbarella blush. In the midst of these baffling occurrences, Moolchi just can't seem to stop worrying about his German homework. The word 'oblivious' barely does him justice as Moolchi remains blissfully unaware of his father's dangerous double-life, or the cute hall monitor who harbors a crush on him, or the intentions of this mysterious femme fatale who insists on bathing with him. Meanwhile, ominous storm clouds gather on the horizon, and one lingering question looms above the others...who is this so-called 'Zero' that everybody is looking for?

The Review
0/6 is one of the debut titles from new manwha publisher, Netcomics. There are definitely some rookie mistakes here, but overall this proves to be an interesting debut that impresses me both with packaging and content.

Packaging:
The cover features a colored version of the second chapter header page, featuring Jong-e sitting at a table with her revealing clothing. No doubt that this cover will attract the reader's attention. The colors are quite bright and sharp, looking fabulous on the matte finish with a well place logo, although I could do without the screen tones.

The print reproduction is quite solid. The lines are very sharp and distinct with the tones looking very smooth. The paper used is thinner and a more off-white than most other releases that I am used to, but it's heavier and smoother, which I think really helped out the nice printing (which was done in Korea). No color plates and no extras, with the back of the book filled with ads for other Netcomics releases as well as a release calendar.

Art:
Youjung Lee's artwork is unlike most manwha (and even manga) that I have experience in translated English. There is a European style with the character designs and interesting perspectives, something that is maybe similar in some ways with Taiyo Matsumoto (Black & White, Blue Spring)--although not nearly as surreal. Character expressions can go from simple and comical to very detailed and ultra-serious, a nice variety that helps flesh out personalities.

The lines are very distinct, with no brush strokes, which creates some really clean and nicely detailed backgrounds. The tone work is also nicely done and not overused like I've seen in many other manwha titles. Lee still chooses to shade character features with etching rather than screen tones, a technique I always prefer. For those interested in the fan service aspect of Jong-e's designs, they are PG-13 rated with no nudity, but Lee does render her with quite a sexy aura about her.

Text/SFX:
SFX are translated and retouched, which was done quite well here. The English dialogue text uses a variety of font weights which when added with some small alignment issues made things a little distracting. There is also an overabundance of ellipses, something I hope is trimmed back in future releases. The translation is quite literal and could have used a good adaptation writer to smooth it out a bit. There is one error where Moolchi's name is written as "Mulchi".

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
If one were to place a book in my hands and tell me the premise was a lonely boy who was mysteriously sent a busty, subservient female robot, I'd probably hand it back and say, "No thanks". 0/6 (read "Zero Six") is one such story, but I put away my reservations in order to test out one of the premiere releases from new manwha publisher, Netcomics. The company also does a nice job of providing previews of each of their titles online, and it was the unique artwork by Youjung Lee on this title that finally peeked my interest enough to give it a shot. For the most part, I've come away quite pleased and am now looking forward to future Netcomics releases.

At first glance, 0/6 starts off like many other "living doll" stories as our hapless and bullied boy of the story, Moolchi Ga, receives a mysterious delivery from his father who is currently presumed to be overseas in America. Moolchi is quite taken by surprise when the present from his father seems to be a full-sized female doll--no, check that--a full-sized SEXY doll complete with long pigtails, a miniskirt, a halter top hugging her large chest, and donning straps of leather for a vest. Yes, this is every teenage boys dream come true. However, that dream begins to quickly fade as soon as the doll activates and goes on a violent rampage as she suplexes Moolchi's friend, crushes the bullies who pick on Moolchi, and takes on an entire gym class of boys effortlessly. She calls herself Jong-e, "Automaton Number 6", and her duty is protect "Zero", the name she uses to refer to Moolchi.

The story is definitely not of the master/slave ecchi comedy mold as one might expect, even though it looks to be of that mold in the beginning. As events progress to the last couple chapters of the book, a good bit of mystery and foreshadowed doom is introduced that really grabbed my interest. Up until this point, the first volume plays out as a bizarre and quirky comedy with characters and bits of humor that are odd enough to give this manwha its own flavor. There is definitely a coming of age metaphor here, with a sexually ignorant boy all of a sudden having a beautiful "woman" thrown into his lap, which in turn flips his world completely upside down. But it doesn't fall into the traps of a lot of shounen rom-com manga with each chapter set up to put Jong-e in some sexually revealing position or embarrass Moolchi with plenty of sexual innuendo. Instead, the story relies a lot more on action and this ongoing feeling of "something greater" that is going to unfold soon, creating a nice suspenseful mood in the last couple chapters.

Comments
To be quite honest, I had a hard time collecting my thoughts about this debut manwha from Netcomics. I enjoyed it, but I could not decide if it was because of anything it did right, or because it avoided doing what I had expect it to. Anytime a story is brought up about a sexy, living doll coming into a high school boy's possession, my eyes usually glaze over and I move on.

But there is something odd about 0/6 that held my attention throughout the first volume. Perhaps it was the quirky comedy with visual gags, slapstick humor, or the random bits of Hitler himself being the instructor of the students' German class, who beats students who don't do their homework with a stick. Yeah, the humor is sometimes way off in left field. The story also progresses from a comedy into more of a suspenseful, sci-fi mystery as new events are added in with the last couple chapters.

A good chunk of my enjoyment of this first volume was Youjung Lee's nicely detailed and strong artwork. Whether it is the visual gags, over-the-top character expressions, or well directed action sequences, everything just feels very clean. It is also a style that I am not used to seeing with manwha, so a pleasant surprise is always a good thing.

While there are some definite areas of improvement that could be made with the translation, overall my first experience with Netcomics is a positive one. The printing is of high quality, sharp looking cover, nice paper, and translated SFX all make for a nice product. I'm hoping Netcomics will continue to improve, an adaptation writer would be a good start, and I definitely look forward to what other titles they will offer this year.

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