Mania Grade: B
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Text/Translatin Rating: A+
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Released By: ADV Manga
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 134
- ISBN: 1-4139-0047-X
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Apocalypse Meow (aka: Cat Shit One) Vol. #03
By Megan Lavey
May 31, 2005
Release Date: November 30, 2004
Apocalypse Meow (aka: Cat Shit One) Vol.#03
© ADV Manga
Translated by:Eiko McGregor
Adapted by:What They Say
A mission to recover a black box from a downed spy plane almost turns into an international incident. When Perky gets called for a top secret mission, Rats and Botaski are left to control the Yards and fight the VC on their own. A secret unsanctioned rendezvous in a neutral country reveals just how violent and treacherous warfare can be...especially when everyone from the Koreans to the Japanese to the English to the remnants of the Chinese Kuomintang get involved. It's not just wild hares and stray cats in this global arena - join the bears, badgers, dogs, kangaroos and koalas in this the exciting conclusion of Apocalypse Meow!The ReviewPackaging:
ADV keeps up a great trend of keeping the original tankoubon covers with this volume, the only difference being the new logo - an unnecessary change because the logo is in English to begin with. We get our three rabbit heros here on their clandestine mission with a picture of the Vietnam cats on the back. Extras include a section detailing gunships, an afterward and ads for other ADV products.Artwork:
This art style is very realistic, so you're not going to find sparklies, large eyes or breasts with this title. A lot of attention is paid to the little details of war - the jungle that the manga is set in, the weapons, the uniforms and other artillery. There's a lot of death by shooting that takes place here, but it's not graphic.Text:
One of the things I enjoyed about this title is not just the handling of the translation, but the added notes that allow a casual reader like me, who does not have much beyond a fading textbook knowledge of the Vietnam War, to learn about the era this story takes place. These are usually footnotes within the story that make it pretty convenient. The translation appears to be solid.Content (may contain spoilers):
We get four more missions here with Rats, Botaski and Perky in the Vietnam jungle.
The first has our threesome heading into the jungle to rescue the black box from a downed spy plane. But nothing is ever easy for them as they discover the enemy has been there first and has snatched the box. They follow to recover the box, but the mission is aborted when the Russians decide to get involved, introducing another player into the mix. I like how you get to see Rats and Perky work one on one in the field and how resourceful the troops became to overcome their obstacles. They have been resourceful in the past, but the overarching battles usually obscured it.
Perky's gets called to serve six months in Laos while the heat from the fake document he signed for the Chinese cools off, and we're left with Rats and Botaski carrying out a second mission with Japanese troops. The Japanese come off a lot stronger this time with the exception of Staff Sergeant Nakamura, who is once again screwing things up. But he dreams about being a model soldier and it makes me wonder if he's mentally ill after he tries to illegally promote himself.
Perky rejoins the group fully in the third mission and they get assigned to a CIA unit that's an anti-communist group under South Vietnam's command. This is basically another spy mission for them. They're nearly outed by one of their own majors, who has a grudge against them, but manage to proceed. After a risky drug exchange, they head back for one final mission to end the war quickly and must confront their own morals at the same time.Comments
With these last four missions, you get the sense of things drawing toward a conclusion, and it's semi-open ended. You really don't know about the fates of Perky, Rats and Botaski other than they all managed to make it out alive. The last panels of them pooling their money and giving it to Chico was very touching and shows the bonds made between the Americans and the South Vietnamese. I wanted to see what happened with Nakamura as well, but that was another plot thread left dangling. But, Apocalypse Meow is a story that does what it does well - a slice of life story about the Vietnam War. You're not suppose to get involved with the characters so much as you do the situation. If you're studying this war, I highly recommend this series as a good chance to get more in depth with it.