Baron Gong Battle Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: AW Productions
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-58655-625-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Baron Gong Battle Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     October 03, 2005
Release Date: July 01, 2005

Baron Gong Battle Vol.#02
© AW Productions

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Taguchi Masayuki
Translated by:Yuri Hoshino
Adapted by:

What They Say
An Ancient Terror... REBORN!

Baron Gong continues to fight the Neo Humes, the last legacy of the Nazi's biological experiment! They're incredibly powerful and seemingly invincible and they all want the Baron's head. Lamiel, the leader of the Neo Humes, watches coldly as the battles unfold. What could be the sinister conspiracy behind these biogenetic horrors?

The Review
Media Blasters is starting to impress me even more with their presentations. They have done some good ones before, however Baron Gong Battle goes above and beyond what is done by most publishers. I almost feel as if this title was designed with every one of my personal preferences. First, they used the cover art, featuring lead character Baron Gong and three of the major Neo Humes in this series. AWP has placed this image under a new logo with is simply the title in bold Arial font on a black background. The opposite cover has a mosaic of panel images above the short volume blurb. All of this is done on a matted cover and in its original shinsho size, just for added measure.

Inside the printing is superb. I believe this title comes from the original Japanese printer films, so the printing is very clean. They have included the original volume header and a word from the mangaka start of the GN. At the end of the book, there are messages from each of the assistants that worked on this title, conceptual designs and a preview for volume three. I forgot to mention that this volume has some character bios in the bumpers between a few chapters.

Right size, the original cover art, all of the extras and great printing easily one of the better releases I have seen in a while.

The art of BGB is about as extreme as the plot. Characters tend to run a bit more to scale than Taguchi’s other designs (Battle Royale). Faces tend to have a lot more detail than most designs. Tons of shading and because of Taguchi’s overuse of close-ups the expressions are often comical looking but rather detailed. Characters tend to be on the beefy end. Humans are big – women have big bosoms and long legs, men are ripped with huge upper bodies and huge hair. Neo Humes on the other hand are lean, with tiny reproductive organs and long faces. Strange!

Backgrounds are very good. They are always present and paint a good picture of the terrain that is all around them. The layout is pretty active as well. All sorts of sizes are used and the perspective is all over the place. It can really give that paranoid feel that this story is all about!

For those who care there is graphic nudity (areolas and Neo Hume genitalia).

BGB has to be the easiest title MB has had to translate. No sexual innuendo or Latin to translate; just straight up shonen aggression. Sounds good, the machismo really comes through hard and heavy. However, some of the slang can be a bit corny.

SFX are not translated. This is definitely surprising in this age, when fans have voiced their displeasure over the lack SFX translations for the past few years. This manga does not have a lot of SFX, but I really wish the few that are present could have been translated in some way.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ever since he lost his wife, Baron Gong has dropped everything to hunt down Neo Humes. The man goes from city to city, often leaving a trail of destruction behind, focusing on nothing but the destruction, no the extinction of these man made freaks. The odds have always been against him, but the shock has forced to have to accomplish this or die in the process.

Well, the tide has turned. Yes, the hunter has become the hunted for the Neo Humes have now found in Baron something to they found beneficial for them. In this man, they see the undying will of a human possessed with vengeance crazy enough to waste his body to merge with one of a Neo Hume. In their sadistic minds, some of these Neo Humes find this stimulating. There was a reason why many Neo Humes lived undercover for decades; they needed to keep quiet to work on their agenda. If they had come out of the shadows the world would have moved eradicate them. While even in small numbers they can do damage, none of that would be worth sacrificing the cause prematurely. Now decades later, after their strength has increased and next level in evolution is around the corner, they have a reason to come out - to kill the Neo Hume killer! Neo Humes could never believe a human could be their equal, and Gong is no exception, but there still is quite a bit of excitement to be taken from engaging with someone as possessed as Baron Gong.

This was a war but now is has become a game. Baron is up to it, though. Right now, he would do anything to rid his life from those "f'ing monsters".

Jack a few cars to trap a Neo Hume. He has done it many times.

Jump off a building to guarantee the survival of the mission. Who needs a parachute if you are already in a VW!

Take on the request of a crazy little girl that walks into your bar. Absolutely, because he can then be nurturing and ass kicking at the same time. Hell, he'll even share a drink with the 10-year-old. Nothing is too outrageous or out of the capabilities for Baron Gong. With his Light Judgment Gong is ready for anything man or non-human.

If Baron Gong was not bad assed enough the guy is now going around Chicago doing things that would make Keano Reeves, Bruce Willis and Sly Stallone look like wusses. Baron is tearing this city up and he doesn’t give a hoot who gets hurt, cause he is on a mission. He is going to get his revenge any way he can get it.

Turn off the brain cause BGB is about the action. It is non-stop action at its craziest. Think about all of the action movies you have seen before and then combine them. Now add some strange sci-fi. Something in the line of Aliens and Total Recall would work. Then add some gratuitous nudity and violence and your result would be somewhere close to what Taguchi has done with here. You might have to add some under-aged drinking and some bad stereotypes for good measure. All of this is done in the mean streets of Chicago, where it seems as if no one is ever on the streets. Instead, everyone is in multi-story bars and casinos. Even children are allowed to join in the fun. Destroying a city like this does not mean a thing to even the hero. Beefy, loud and almost so stupid it is funny.

At the same timeBaron Gong Battle almost takes itself too seriously at times.

I guess that is why I am not sold on this title. This volume was starting to grow on me, until Taguchi began to introduce some deep characters. One of them waxes philosophical all the time. He seems to have some sort of sense of honor and justice. Why bother with someone like this? Why not just have fun with the total lunatics and sociopaths. Those guys are so over the top it is impossible not to dislike these characters. So seeing the violence and the never-ending madness made sense in this world. Freaks like Gustav and Germa make Baron Gong almost seem normal. But Taguchi keeps on trying too hard. I cannot find myself feeling sorry for these characters. They are monsters all of them (including Gong).

Just give me mindless action please cause any resemblance of plot or depth is ruining my buzz. And I know a bartender like Baron would like to keep me in good spirits.


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