Peigenz Vol. #05 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Monday, June 27, 2005
Release Date: Monday, January 10, 2005



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Park Sung Woo/Oh Rhe Bar Guhn
Translated by:Je-wa Jeong
Adapted by:

What They Say
On a combined drug sting operation between the police and Peigenz, a female assassin takes out the the drug lord before is apprehended. Furthermore, she leaves a message inquiring about Monk, one of the senior members of Peigenz. Tensions run high as members of Peigenz try to member of Peigenz try to gather as much information as possible on this assassin who is only known as Foxy.

The Review
Packaging:
The packaging for this series is pretty simple but still nice. ComicsOne and Infinity Studios present this in a B6, in left-to-right format. The front cover features Annette, Monk and Foxy, three adults that shared a troubled past together. Cool cover and definitely fitting for the content inside. Any who, they have changed the cover design from the yellow border used for the first three volumes, to a purple background, which was used for the original Korean cover (so I am not complaining). The opposite cover has a random image of a super-deformed character, lord knows whom, giving the peace sign. Very strange.

I have seen three different logos for this title around the net. The first is in Korean, while the other two were in English. One has the title spelled "Pagans" in what appears to be cutout lettering, the other, which is on this cover, is spelled Peigenz in verdana font. Really simple but I guess the weird spelling makes it cool. The printing has is clean like the previous three releases (remember this was released before volume 4 for some reason), which is great considering how Park-sensei's art features a good mix of screen tone and delicate line art.

No extras but a lot of ads for titles that missed their initial release dates - Missing White Dragon, Witch Class, Popo Can, Cafe Occult and NanaNana.

Artwork:
I love Park-sensei's art. Long sharp lines with sometimes have a slightly sketchy feel. Park tends to keep main characters simple, no striking features or intricate costumes. While Park's supporting cast will often have great detail in their facial expressions and physical characteristics. Park also does a good job transitioning characters to SD. The characters keep a general look while their faces mainly bug out into cute or funny expressions. The fan service keeps on takes a break this volume... However, Park still kept the mandatory random shirt explosion for you fan boys out there.

I noted in the review for the first volume how poor Park is at times with backgrounds. I noticed that towards the end of this volume Park begins to use digital images for background art. They look funny with the hand-drawn characters in front of them but they definitely fill a job that was missing. After seeing this in its early stages I wonder how much Park will use this and how the art overall will improve (if at all) with this technique. The layout on the other hand is fancy and keeps up the action very well.

SFX/Text:
Is hiring a proofreader too much to ask? After one volume free of typos or spelling mistakes, Peigenz is once again all messed up. You know things are bad when the volume description has issues and that is just the start of their problems. The errors are distracting and I hope future printings will have these issues corrected.

SFX are really nice. SFX are subbed with translations that are smaller than the original to preserve Park's nice art. With all of the action in this series, seeing small subs is a perfect way to keep readers into the art and not frustrated by clutter.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Another day another crime to solve in NOA City. That is life in NOA City a city that was created as a municipal prison for the violent, the poor and the castaways of American society. Crime is a constant for everyone in this metropolis from top to bottom. Because of this, mutants are often accepted into gangs to be used for their unique abilities. A single mutant with its mutant powers could single-handedly cause enough damage and death as a few humans, so they are undeniably a valuable resource for the underworld and a serious threat to the peace.

Not all mutants are criminals. Monk, Jay, Annette and Gina use their abilities to fight crime in NOA City. Their job is to contain mutant caused crime. It is not a simple task. With every new mutant they meet, there is another new ability to defend against. Finding out which is half the fun, right?

Well, this time these four have a unique situation, where they know the ability but do not know the identity. They know it is a mutant that can move through walls. They know she is deep in the underworld. They know her gift has made her an unstoppable assassin. They also know she has a vendetta towards Peigenz team leader Monk, another mutant that cannot be contained by the laws of space and matter! This case is going to be personal, but no one expected how so. Actually, this might end up involving much more than Monk, this might bring in some of his old colleagues. Some might even come to believe that this case could end up involving every mutant in NOA City. This is gonna be big, but bid is something Monk can handle.

Comments
The Pailong arc, after being the focus of this series for four volumes and leaving readers in a situation where it could have been advanced, has gone on hiatus. Yup, we finally get a connection with Pailong and some of the bad guys, and then the new writer takes it somewhere else. Yup, after introducing new characters midway into the last volume, some more are introduced in this one. Moreover, when I thought Jay would finally be the lead, with Pailong out of the picture, Monk takes the spotlight.

Peigenz: never finish a plotline even if you have an opportunity to do so. Oh and have and exploding blouse in every GN to distract the fanboys! Woohoo!

I was a little facetious there, but I want to prove a point. We are now at the halfway point in this series. So far, we have had Jay's story, Pailong's arc and we have moved to Monk and Annette's. I would not be surprised if they are all related in some way but nothing ever really ends. New arcs just pop up leaving readers to come to their own conclusions about how they could end. That really is not fair to the reader and it is fairly poor direction from a writer.

In the last review I noted how there has been an author change so the lack of continuity makes sense. And what I have read from Oh-sensei has been an improvement from the previous writer. The characters are now playing a critical role in this story. Oh has made it very personal and with every new altercation more of the history between these players are revealed. It is like a biography intertwined in a killing spree. That might sound cruel but one thing I have learned about Peigenz and NOA City is how murder is not rare and every murder has a story behind it - most of them have until recently been left untold. That has changed. Scenes are starting to line up together; there is cohesiveness that was not around before. I hope this is maintained, because as this arc goes so does my opinion of this series. Right now I am high on it, but history has shown I should not expect so much.



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: C+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Infinity Studios LLC
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 170
ISBN: 1-58899-022-2
Size: B6
Orientation: Left to Right