Duklyon: CLAMP School Defenders Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, June 04, 2004
Release Date: Monday, September 01, 2003
Translated by:Ray Yoshimoto
What They Say
In a crisis, a team of justice appears from nowhere. People call them Duklyon, the Clamp School Detectives. To defend our peaceful life, they carry on struggling rain or shine. The enemy, a secret society of evil, is out to conquer the Earth. Go and fight, our Duklyon! Save our Earth!
The packaging is almost worth the price of the book. The front and back are both lush portraits of the principal players in this book. Gracing the front is the main Duklyon warriors, Kentaro and Takeshi. The back contains Eri, Kotobuki, the General and his assistants. The art is lush and detailed and is beatiful to look at.
Which all leads into the logo check!
The logo fits in well with the scheme of the book. It's a simple badge design of blue and gold with Clamp School Defenders Duklyon in it.
Artwork: This isn't Cardcaptor Sakura, but it's still pretty attractive, especially the cover and the color insert of Kentaro and Takeshi. The reproduction is crisp and clear and I had no problems figuring out my way through the action scenes.
Text: The book is unflipped and the SFX is not translated. The text is a pretty good read and I notice no visible translation glitches.
Review:The concept behind the Clamp School is pretty neat. Take everything that you've ever imagined as a child about a self-contained world where everyone works together for the advancement of society and you've got Clamp.
In a self-contained world, you need people to defend them. This is where Kentaro, Takeshi and Eri come in. These high school students are known as Duklyon, the Clamp School Defenders. Their hideout is in the basement of the Duklyon Cafe. They are ordered around by an elementary school-aged general (who looks like it's Nokoru from Clamp School Detectives) Their job? To prevent the campus from falling to the evilness known as the Imonoyama Shopping District Association - headed by Kentaro and Takeshi's classmate, Kotobuki (they don't know this, of course.)
The adventures are pretty standard - so standard that they get old very quick. Each chapter consists of Kentaro and Takeshi goofing around, the General saying there's a mission, Duklyon transforming and encountering the Imonoyama Shopping District Association, fighting some weird monster and then a short epilogue. All of the chapters are self-contained and, frankly, if you read the first chapter, you've pretty much read the entire book.
There are some bright spots in here. The last chapter pits Duklyon against the Man of 20 Faces (aka Akira from Clamp School Detectives and his own book), and it's a very funny fight. Another subplot has Kotobuki falling for Eri, not quite getting it through his skull that she's actually his enemy.
If you're going to read this book, take it for what it is - poking fun at general manga storylines and as a foray into the ultimate childhood dream. Still, for my initial foray into the Clamp School world, it's left me pretty cold. The heavy dose of repeatedness really takes away from what charm the series does have. I'd only get it if you're a CLAMP completionist.
Mania Grade: C-
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: All
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Orientation: Right to Left