Bomber Girl Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Friday, December 03, 2004
Release Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2003
What They Say
The world's sexiest bounty huntress prepares to take on terrorist looking to take over the world!
Who says crime doesn't pay? Certainly not Rashomon Emi, a 19-year-old, fun-loving, materialistic bounty huntress who operates in 21st century Tokyo, the newest murder capital of the world. Emi's pet target is Megalith, a terrorist organization with a world-dominating agenda and a squadron of mutated minions. But will Bomber Girl get to collect her just rewards when the group puts a bounty on her head!?
The cover art used for this one-shot has Emi and her tonfas in front of a picture of the Tokyo skyline. Emi is in her battle outfit but she is drawn in a more current character design; one similar to what was used for the Bomber Girl reprints for Shonen Gahosha. The backcover has Shueisha's front cover art next to the GN's blurb in front of the same skyline image.
Logo Check!! (2003 Megs)... Bomber Girl's logo actually looks better than the original if you ask me. I like the smaller font, and the cursive style is much nicer on the eyes.
The art of Bomber Girl is a little misleading. If you look at the cover you would think there would be some hope. Or something that is at least decent looking. Unfortunately the character design is just bizarre. Coming from a wresting manga background Minawa's characters tend to be long, top heavy and just plain beefy! Even Emi's character fits that bill. She has a huge rack, tiny waist but very wide hips. So while she looks reasonable on the cover, inside she fits right in with all of the mutant criminals.
Backgrounds were pretty bad at the start of the series but they really improve by the end of the volume. The Meguro of the future is pretty neat (reminds me of the Tokyo town of Ikebukuro). The layout is pretty hyper. At times its a little hard to follow, especially during action scenes but it mixes up a lot of techniques (characters out of panel, pace making dialogue only panels, showing of settings) in a variety of sizes.
This manga like all of Gutsoon!'s titles is right to left in a tall B6 (like TP titles). SFX are a little disappointing as some of them are translated but the majority is not.
Not having read this in Japanese I am not sure about accuracy of the translation. But I can say that it was a smooth read, one with good notes and few if any errors. I wonder about some of the names though - Ozzy Ozboner and Dick Scratcher - seem a little Americanized.
Contents: (watch out for spoilers)
Set in Tokyo of 201X, Bomber Girl is a high action comedy following the violent bounty hunting of Rashomon Emi and organized vigilante, Kurosaki Guy. While they have similar professions these two are complete opposites. Guy does his stuff partially because of his ideals. He is big on justice, law and order and honor. At times it can get him into trouble but his heart is in the right place. One the other hand, Emi does her deeds for profit. She has stuff to buy bills to pay, and trips to take. She will do anything to get that money whether its catching bounties, blackmailing people she saves or just mooching off of her friends. She is almost as reckless in the way she goes about getting her money. She'll show off her body, tease people, beat people into pulp or just turn them into puddles of goo (this can be a problem cause she doesn't get paid until a DNA confirmation is done).
Behind all the chaos is the terrorist organization, Megalith. Headquartered in Meguro, Tokyo, Megalith uses an army of mutants to cause chaos in an already violent city. These soldiers of terror specialize in different murder techniques and have caused havoc for conventional security forces. And under the wealth and guidance of their leader Zayin, Megalith is a force that cannot be stopped by normal means. Emi, AKA Bomber Girl, is far, far from normal.
After a few episodes where Emi takes out a few Megalith gangs (stealing glory away from Guys vigilante squad in the process), she becomes the target of Zayin's anger. One specialist after another shows up practically everywhere she goes. The results are always the same but its pretty funny to see the characters Niwano thinks up. Still if you are into cheesy corny violence this might be entertaining.
With the introduction of a couple rivals that soon become friends, eventually comes a plot. Yup! And it comes almost too late to save the series.
With Megalith, now focusing on Emi she gets to find out a little more about her friends/comrades. Guy especially has an old grudge against Megalith as they killed his older brother. Knowing this Emi and Guy go headfirst into Megalith's base in Meguro. A little slicing and dicing and eventually they meet Zayin for a final face off and the manga ends.
Niwano admits that there were publishing issues (this was in Shonen Jump but was a little too much for the audience and possibly for the editor, as well.) Readers never find out what happens with Zayin. Character development or history behind Emi is possibly left up to the sequels. And loose strings around supporting characters Creamy Minagawa (easily one of the weirder characters I have ever read, who was once a Megalith hired assassin) and Soranaka Minako (former-Megalith warrior) are left undone.
So while there is a good amount of slapstick comedy and violence there really is not much substance to Bomber Girl. The comedy is not really creative as much as it is outrageous. Emi as a character is practically a sociopath. She is greedy, vain, and loud. Emi would easily show off her panties or stuff people into her bosom to show off how sexy she is. She takes pleasure in slicing people up and feels little remorse when she reduces people to puddles of blood. She almost seems to have no sense of modesty or empathy and its pretty funny. On the other hand Guy appears weak and insecure. He tries a lot and heck the guy is tough but compared to Emi he's a wuss. Characters like this can only carry a comedy so far. And with what was an enemy of the week series for the greater part of the series this really ended up hurting Bomber Girl. Only a couple chapters of plot and a poor ending (that some people would not call an ending) it was really hard to like this manga.
For those looking for a manga with a lot of action, a good amount of fan-service, and some crazy looking characters this might be a good call. It?s much longer than most GNs so it?s a good deal as well.
For those looking for something with a decent plot, character designs that won't disturb you, and fan-service that does not involved greased up male cult members or a gang boss that has a gattling gun on (/as??) his phallus you should pass. Do not pass go, do not give the cashier $9.95 and go home cause this is not good.
Every studio has one of these... a bad title. Gutsoon! was not immune to this. Luckily Bomber Girl is just one volume long so it?s really no loss. But I have to wonder if the two sequels are as bad as this. Bomber Girl CRUSH and recently started Bomber Girl XXX are from Shonen Gahosha. I guess they believe there must be a market for Bomber Girl some where.... maybe.
Mania Grade: D-
Art Rating: D+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: All
Released By: Gutsoon!
Size: Tall B6
Orientation: Right to Left