Comic Party Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 168
  • ISBN: 1-591828-55-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Comic Party Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     April 21, 2005
Release Date: August 01, 2004

Comic Party Vol.#02

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Inui Sekihiko (concept by: AQUAPLUS)
Translated by:Mike Kiefl
Adapted by:

What They Say
When the next ComiPa becomes the target of an explosive menace who threatens life, liberty and the pursuit of doujinshi, Kazuki joins forces with Subaru, an idealistic young beauty who believes in the power of 'zines. The dynamic duo form the ComiRangers, who will fight for the right to Comic Party... but will Kazuki act like a superhero or a super-zero?!

The Review
TOKYOPOP continues to go a good with the packaging for this series. They use some of the original cover art (they keep the character art, shrunk it, and removed the background) featuring new character Subaru and frame it under their new logo and a border made of panel art. I like the look. First, it is not as busy as the MediaWorks' version, but it also keeps the idea of comics and manga. The opposite cover has an image of Mizuki sitting on a bottle of ink holding a life size fountain pen. I cannot say I like the logo much. With TOKYOPOP's there are now three versions around. I just wish there was some consistency (especially since they use the original logo on the volume header). What is funny about the logo is that the original logo is in English already, so TP did not need to do much work with it.

The printing has improved. The print already looked good, but the moiré issues are not as prevalent as they were in the first volume. Best of all, the print is good enough to see all of Inui-sensei's detailed line art. TOKYOPOP kept the original volume header (with Japanese logo), chapter headers, bumper art, and the ato-gaki manga. No other extras and the glossary of terms are gone, but there are ads.

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 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.

As I have not read this version of Comic Party in Japanese, I cannot say how accurate the translation is. TOKYOPOP has decided to increase the use of honorifics, which has improved the readability a bit. However the slang is still there but not in the concentration as before. Yeah there are still lines like "You are ComiPa Scha-wing!!" but even that line is about as bad as it gets now. Very good improvement.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kazuki has gone through a ComiPa and now he is hooked. Now, with some experience he is starting to make some connections in the scene. Soon he starts to meet with new people gather insight on how to progress as a doujinshi artist and along the way, the artistic fire within him begins to burn hotter and hotter. His work will take him away from his friends and can interfere with his schoolwork, but this is his passion. He feels his priorities are set and right now ComiPa is first... Even if his friend Mizuki is against the entire otaku attitude.

If there is anything he will learn soon it will have to be that sacrifices will always be needed. Kazuki is already working late into the night on his work. He hardly goes out anymore, unless it is to the art supply store. Even his food is delivered to his place. He is falling asleep in class more. Daydreaming is interfering with his studying. Mizuki is getting on his case over everything; from his new friends to his new smells! Nevertheless, some things will arise that he will have no control over. There will be times when he might not be able to get his work published because of issues at the printers. There will be times when his work just might not sell when it gets to ComiPa. There will even be times when ComiPa might not even happen at all.

Every problem has a solution. Kazuki will have to learn how to make sure that his sacrifices are left to a minimum in order to get the most out of his comic artist experience. That will mean making friends, working harder, pushing himself to the limit and learning every step of the way. If he has to think of others before Brother2, then he should consider that. If the ComiPa itself is threatened , then he must consider defending it. The show must go on, and life goes on but how one balances both Kazuki learns is tricky.

The beauty of Comic Party is that it is not pigeonholed into any particular genre. The anthologies and the various incarnations of doujinshi, doujin games and anime have shown that Comic Party can be whatever the mangaka wants it to be. They can change character personalities, change the genres, change the roles but as long as the characters are the same and there is doujinshi involved a party is a comic party. What was a coming of age drama is now a thriller of sorts. That is doujinshi and Inui is making these transitions go smoothly by setting them up with the introduction of new characters. Like how Yuu taught Kazuki self-evaluation in volume one, now Subaru is showing the crew burning

As I said before, Comic Party can be whatever one makes it to be. This version is also changing and it is giving readers a look into the personality of the mangaka along the way. In the first volume, readers got to find out how much of a punk fan Inui is. He filled the dialogue, backgrounds and costumes designs with references to puck bands and music. This volume starts to show his passion for action, and maybe more specific action games. The five-page fighting sequence between Subaru and Taishi was a combination of Virtual Fighter (a reference was made to that) and Street Fighter III: Second Impact. Is he also trying to tell us he likes terrorism thrillers? Maybe not, but there is no doubt he is having fun with it and that sure is making this series entertaining as well.


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