Treasure Hunter Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, July 01, 2004
Release Date: Thursday, April 01, 2004
Translated by:Mayumi Kobayashi
What They Say
Introducing Jubei the Treasure Hunter, the greatest adventurer EVER! Jubei must face death-defying traps and white-knuckle dangers to retrieve a mystical talisman that grants everlasting youth. Racing against time, will he be able to unlock the secrets of immortality before his enemies do?
It's a simple cover, but an effective one. The front cover features a shot of Jubei in action with the logo, Treasure Hunter written in a basic comic-book style font, in blue across it. The book title and author name are in the same font in the left corner. The color palette of tans and browns work well with the flesh tones in Jubei and the pink color of his clothing. The back features the same tan background with brown border and has a picture of the supporting cast from the second adventure, "Figurehead of Souls."
This is a style that lends itself well to action scenes, one where the characters are drawn well, but not too detailed. A lot of attention is paid to the world that they're set in, and it adds to the overall fun of the series. The reproduction is okay. It's not as solid as some of the other books I've seen. This appears to be the same type of paper used by Del Ray for their books, but the blacks are not as rich as xxxHolic. In fact, I worry that some of the images will fade after too much handling.
The volume is unflipped and the SFX is subtitled. The subtitling is integrated into the art well and is unobtrusive. The volume itself is a good read and no text errors jumped out at me.
Content (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS):
A young woman rushes through the streets of a Middle Eastern city, seeking for someone - anyone - to help her. She seeks what is known as the Jelly Bun of Youth, which when eaten, makes your body younger. She runs into a merchant known as Jubei, who is eager to take the job. Of course, his first job is to actually get the map to the jelly bun back from a man who swiped it while Jubei was learning about his job.
So, with his sidekick Carpet, Jubei sets off in search of the Jelly Bun of Youth! They make it to the tower where the buns are suppose to be, when Jubei is captured - by the very woman who hired him to find the jelly buns! She proceeds to fatten him up to turn him into her own Jelly Bun of Youth.
The woman sucks up Jubei's vitality to create the buns, but there is enough left that he is alive as an old man. Meanwhile Carpet, who was also captured, realizes that Jubei is in danger and escapes from his own chains. They manage to get the jelly buns back...but what about Jubei's client?
A second adventure takes Jubei and Carpet on the trip to find the Figurehead of Souls, on Jelly Island, which can only be reached by a device called the Snake Eye Umbrella. Along the way, they run into a young woman, Pipilotta, who is also wanting to go to Jelly Island to become a full medium. The three manage to get to Jelly Island, but then Carpet runs into a problem that ends the book on a minor cliffhanger.
Jubei reminds me a bit of Lupin III. He's the master in his field of being a "merchant," yet is a bit cocky and extreme in his methods. However, he is very smart. His over the top manner is fun and fitting with the overall atmosphere of the series.
Carpet is the neatest sidekick I've seen yet. Half man, half flying carpet. Don't you wish you had one of those? The Kokaku Sword that Jubei uses and the Gypsy are both quirky inventions that made me smile. They are quite ingenious.
The setting itself is lavish and very detailed. It adds a lot of life to the series.
Treasure Hunter is one of those series that you take it for what it is - a fun, action-packed series that is dedicated to the art of treasure hunting. The first adventure had me laughing at times, and it was a quick read. The second adventure did not hook me quite as quickly, and I believe it's because the basic pattern of it follows the first pretty closely. This is something good to read on a rainy afternoon when you want to go outside and have some fun, but can't. It's also a good book to read when you want something light, a bit frivolous and very easy to put down if you have to. But, it's also easy to come back to.
Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: All
Released By: CPM Press
Size: Tall B6
Orientation: Right to Left