Comic Party Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 186
  • ISBN: 1-591828-54-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Comic Party Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     January 19, 2005
Release Date: June 01, 2004

Comic Party Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Inui Sekihiko
Translated by:Mike Kiefl
Adapted by:

What They Say
Kazuki Sendoh has a passion and talent for painting and drawing that propels him into the world of Doujinshi (underground comics). Soon Kazuki's life is absorbed in drawing manga and attending a multitude of comic conventions. Sure, his new career as a struggling artist has begun, but at what cost to his friends and family?

The Review
TOKYOPOP does a solid job with the packaging for this volume. They use some of the original cover art (they keep the character art, shrunk it, and removed the background) featuring Mizuki and frame it under their new logo and a border made of panel art. I like the look. At first it is not very busy, but it also keeps the idea of comics and manga. I cannot say I like the logo much though. There are now three versions around. I just wish there was some consistency (especially since they use the original logo on the two-page volume header).

Inside the printing is so-so. The print looks good, until one notices the mosaicing in the screen tone. It can get rather distracting, especially since Inui-sensei uses a lot of it for shading and for manpu effects. Fortunately, the print is still good enough to see all of Inui-sensei's detailed line art; so, it is not a complete loss. TOKYOPOP kept the original volume header, chapter headers, bumper art, and the ato-gaki from Inui and three pieces of fan art sent to him. TOKYOPOP also includes a glossary of manga terms, an intro to cosplay, a description of volume two and four-pages of cosplay pictures.

Inui's art is great. He does a good job rendering these character designs and his unique sense of style gives this version of ComiPa some originality. Similar to the AQUAPLUS original concepts, these characters tend to be on the lean side - long legs and long thin bodies. Eyes tend to be super big and moderately detailed, which is not often seen in shonen manga. Inui's personal punk influenced style is really obvious in the costume designs and the attitude. Characters tend to have a lot of variety in regards to what they where and how they pose and it is refreshing to see an artist put so much detail to little thins like that.

Backgrounds are decent. They can easily be much better, but seeing that this is just a shonen comedy I would not expect too much detail. The layout is not very active, though there is quite a bit of variety in regards to panel size and layout placement.

Typical of TOKYOPOP, SFX are not translated. Given how this is a manga about manga this is ironic, but after a few years of doing this I still question why TOKYOPOP still does this.

Not having read this version of Comic Party in Japanese I cannot say how accurate the translation is; however I have read a few of its incarnations, I know how important honorifics are to this story, but that has been ignored in favor of a slang filled, attitude inspired translation frustrated me. Phrases like "thank you ma'am may I have another," "rest in pieces, fanboy," "oh, kinky your highness; me first your hotness!" "Mommy’s cooked up something special" (how do I seriously translate those into Japanese?) fill this GN completely distracting me from the content. What is most annoying is that this version sounds very different from the CPM and Right Stuff translations.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sendoh Kazuki is at a turning point in his life. He is about to start college and time is running out for him to make a decision on his future. Until recently his focus was on going to art college. Those around him felt it was not a stretch, as he has a talent for painting and drawing. However, admissions can be difficult for even the most dedicated young artists. What other choice does he have now, though? He could just continue going to university and end up being a salary man, but where is the fun in that? If he cannot take a chance now it will soon be too late.

A classmate of his saw the potential he possessed and gave him a suggestion - use those skills for comic art. By introducing Kazuki to the world of doujinshi (indie comics) Taishi was giving his friend a chance to use his talents now before he moves on to something else. As the media is based on self-published works, a person like Kazuki could work at his own pace and he has the freedom to create whatever he wants. There is so much room for potential and with proper motivation and tools any artist could become a star. Kazuki might not want to be a star just, yet. However, he can be an artist, and that is really all he wanted to be in the first place.

There are some titles that start to get old after a while. Maybe it starts to fade in the middle of a series. Maybe, it gets tiring after reading one version of the manga and watching the anime. Maybe after a few incarnations the lack of variety makes the concept stale. Comic Party does not suffer from that. Actually, with each new version there are different perspectives manga fans can see about manga. In the anime version, readers experience the difficulties there are just starting up. There are highs, lows and times for self-evaluation. The anthologies show how much variety and creativity there is in the world of doujinshi. Each chapter is from a unique mangaka that are drawing from their own perspective, giving their personal touch to this story. Inui's ComiPa puts his cast into college (just like the games by Aquaplus) and adds some his own personal touches as well. Inui being a punk at heart changes the fashion sense and type of manga Brother2 focuses on. He also gives his cast a tougher yet more accept

ing attitude that does not take away from the original personalities behind each character. This results in a manga that looks familiar, but is quite new to most readers - old and new fans of ComiPa alike. If I could have been treated to a better translation this would have been perfect, but alas that is always the way with manga. Manga is about love in Comic Party; sometimes, there is only love for sales (starting to sound like Inagawa Yuu again).


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