Banya: the Explosive Delivery Man (aka: Banxya) Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 184
  • ISBN: 1-59307-614-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Banya: the Explosive Delivery Man (aka: Banxya) Vol. #01

By Jarred Pine     October 02, 2006
Release Date: September 01, 2006

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kim Young-Oh
Translated by:Taesoon Kang & Derek Kirk Kim
Adapted by:

What They Say
With a worldwide war raging between humans and monsters, the young delivery men of the Gaya Desert Post Office do not pledge allegiance to any country or king. They are banded together by a pledge to deliver. Fast. Precise. Secure. Banya, the craziest and craftiest of the bunch, will stop at nothing to get a job done. Known as the Explosive Delivery Man for his risk taking, bold resolve, and impeccable record, Banya agrees to complete a wounded soldier's mission to transport a parcel of great importance-not knowing what dangers lie in store for him and his friends! As their arduous journey begins, Banya promises, "There isn't a delivery I can't make. I always deliver."

Kim Young-Oh's fantastical world is filled with unique monsters, vicious swordplay, and a dash of hotfooted humor.

The Review
Banya delivers exactly what I expected--an explosive adventure romp that is easily digestible by fans of Japanese shounen manga

Which do you want first, the good or the bad? Lets start with the bad and end on a high note.

The alignment issues that have plagued Berserk appear here as well, to the point where text is actually cut off on the edges. Now DH Associate Editor Philip Simon did state in an August From the Editor piece that they would be using the same dimensions as the Korean releases, but it looks like either there was some stretching done (like most manga releases) or they didnt make the book wide enough.

Now the good, GORGEOUS color printing! Not just the crystal clear cover, with the appropriate postcard layout, but there are color images on the inside covers and 4 pages of colored panels included at the beginning of the book. The print reproduction is well done as well. Its not Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service quality, but it looks good overall.

Takehiko Inoue, anyone? While not nearly as detailed as Inoues Vagabond, there are definitely enough similarities in Kim Young-Ohs character artwork--the hair, the facial expressions, strong features, etched shading, detailed clothing, and even the comedic chibi forms--that one has to wonder if he was highly influenced by the Japanese manga artist. Backgrounds are sparse, but the explosive (get used to it, Im going use this word more than once) action sequences make up for the lack of a detailed world. Very nice work.

SFX are translated using small subs in-panel next to the originals. The English script reads very smoothly. One aspect that stuck out to me was that even given the youthful, spunky attitude of some of the characters, I never felt like I was give the canned, dumbed down phrases that plague VIZs Shounen Jump books. I make the correlation with SJ because I feel Banya is a title that, although a bit more violent, could do well with that demographic as well. The script is spunky at times, but it is very much appropriate.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
In case the title hadnt tipped you off, Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man comes out firing with explosive action as Banya, postal carrier for the Gaya Dessert Post Office, tries his best to maneuver through a carcass filled, ongoing bloody battle between orc-like creatures and humans; scaling the high castle walls while arrows are zipping by his head with the final goal being to deliver a crucial message from General Gunsuls superiors. After reading the message, General Gunsul immediately wants Banya to deliver a response, but it will come at a high price. You see, the Gaya Desert Post Offices take no political stances and align themselves with no one. They just want to deliver on the jobs they were given; the higher the danger, the higher the costs.

Creator Kim Young-Oh gets the title off on the right foot with this short, explosive introduction, setting the stage with a war-torn world and fantasy action/adventure type of storyline that would be easily digested by fans of shounen material from the land east of South Korea. Banya is your typical gung-ho hero who blazes fearlessly into dangerous situations. He is joined by the mother hen with an iron fist, a very cute young woman called Mei, and a spunky sidekick named Kong. These three young ruffians make up the Gaya Desert Post Office, whose motto is Fast. Precise. Secure.

Banya isnt a tale of occupational hijinks or epic war battles; its definitely rooted in the shounen adventure style of storytelling. When Banya finds an unconscious man who was trying to deliver a classified scroll, the lives of our three delivery persons end up crossed in a struggle that typically they avoid. Freakish assassins, monstrous creatures, dangerous lands, and of course, explosive action ensue as the members of Gaya Desert Post Office do their best to survive and deliver on time. Kim Young-Oh wastes no time with background stories or world building, instead plunging head first into an explosive romp that is brain candy for action comic fans.

Kim Young-Ohs story about delivery men in a war-torn fantasy world is neither a tale about occupational hilarity or epic political battles as the premise would possibly suggest. Instead, Banya delivers exactly what I expected--an explosive adventure romp that is easily digestible by fans of Japanese shounen manga. While I would prefer a little more backdrop information surrounding our characters and this ongoing war between the orcs and humans, the well done action artwork and linear storyline makes for an entertaining read. It feels as though Kim Young-Oh is going to figure out his whole world as we go, introducing a new gargantuan creature or political struggle as needed.

Banya marks not just a debut manwha title from Dark Horse, but a line of Dark Horse Manwha. Banya is a fine introduction with very good overall production values--alignment issues aside--that should fare well with introducing readers to these works from Korea. Its not deep, but enjoyable for what it is nonetheless.


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