Excel Saga Vol. #22 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Release Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2011
A battle of epic proportions has commenced at the enemy base! Command? >
Author/Artist: Rikdo Koshi
Translation: Kyoko Kondo
Adaptation: Carl Gustav Horn
What They Say
Under the clear, unambiguous orders (you can never be too sure of that in Excel Saga) once more of Lord Il Palazzo, Excel sneaks into the very place that figures in her half-remembered visions: Shiouji's lab! Knocked out and captured once inside, Excel is interrogated by Matsuya, but she'll never talk! Never! Well, knowing her, maybe she'll talk a little. Meanwhile, Dr. Kabapu, finally realizing that the flaw in using Iwata as an agent of justice is Iwata, decides to take direct personal control of his super-powered suit! Oh my God, this is starting to sound like an anime!
Contents (Spoilers Ahoy!)
To those who are only familiar with the anime, it might come as a shock that the Excel Saga manga actually has a plot. A plot which has been building over the course of the last ten volumes, piling mysteries on top of the wild antics in the back and forth battle for the city of Fukuoka and the world.
The unwilling members of the City Environmental Security Agency are growing tired of the increasingly dangerous game. Sure, the pay is great, but it’s not a job worth dying over. Matsuya decides to swap information with Professor Shouji, but he doesn’t have the answers either. At least, none he’s willing to divulge.
Down by the riverbank, in her makeshift abode, Excel waits and ponders. Patience is not one of Excel’s virtues, and half remembered memories of her year as Teriha drives her to walk straight into the enemy base looking for her Lord Il Palazzo. This leaves Elgala behind to hold down the cardboard fort. Captured behind enemy lines, Excel declares she won’t talk under threat of torture or torture itself! Several bento boxes later and Matsuya realizes that, much like herself, Excel is out of the loop.
Before Excel can make her escape, the fake Excel arrives. A throw down commences, leaving Iwata out of commission once again. Dr. Kabapu arrives just in time to intervene, although his subordinates are less than willing to partake in a battle where they are seriously outmatched. Taking matters into his own hands (outfitted with the best VR controls he could find), he discovers that nothing can stop the fake Excel. Nothing except the real deal, who is able to walk right out the door with her double in tow after the chaos subsides.
While Excel uses her new subordinate the gather resources, she decides to contact Matsuya to try to learn something of the mysterious woman she saw in the ACROSS base, Miwa Shouji. Matsuya, after a brief misunderstanding, willingly shares the little she knows as long as Excel stops dragging her and the others deeper into this mess. It’s now clear that everything is leading back to one untouchable woman pulling the strings.
All’s well that ends well, but just as Watanabe and Sumiyoshi are about to leave the park after confirming Matsuya’s safety, Ishiki appears! And she’s carrying Hyatt! Watanabe suits up… but…. but… to be continued!
As usual, the back half of the volume contains the exhaustive sound effects glossary and vigorous oubliette. Editor Carl Horn continues to educate the masses on the finer points of everything while giving a shout out to the small group of highly dedicated Excel fans near and far. There are also two small 4-panel strips by author Rikdo Koshi about his deadline, which prove to be the most uninteresting thing in the entire volume.
The enemy has been sighted! Now, is there anything that Excel can do about it? Where is the real Lord Il Palazzo? Excel Saga continues to be like nothing else on the U.S. manga market. Smart, witty and insane, it shows just what can and will go wrong when mad science and supervillainy collide with the real world. With the anime about to be rereleased to the masses again, now is a good time to welcome new and lapsed returning fans to the series. Perhaps Viz can make it available on their iPad app. A word of warning though, while Excel Saga is finally reaching it’s end in it’s homeland, it might be another agonizing year wait for the next volume to arrive on our shore.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: A+
Age Rating: 17 and Up
Released By: Viz Media
Orientation: Right to Left