BeyBlade Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, October 22, 2004
Release Date: Friday, October 01, 2004
Translated by:Akira Watanabe/Fred Burke
What They Say
Tyson's on a mission to be the best Beyblader ever! But his enemies, the Blade Sharks, are super tough and they'll do anything to win! Tyson just might have what it takes to win when he busts out with a new Beyblade given to him by a mysterious stranger. Now the Blade Sharks want his new Beyblade and they're prepared to use any dirty trick to get it!
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tyson loves to Beyblade. Think of it as a high tech top. His friend, whom he calls "Chief", is a tough little computer geek who can help Tyson use the power of science to make him a better Beyblader. Of course all this doesn't sit too well with Tyson's grandfather, who teaches him kendo and other martial arts. In the first chapter, Tyson takes on a Beyblading bully who takes other kid's 'blades when they lose. Tyson wins after he's given a new Beyblade by a mysterious ninja. Yes, a Beyblade ninja. Next, Tyson comes under attack by the Blade Sharks, a bunch of Beyblade punks who love to terrorize other Beybladers. Cheif and the mysterious ninja help Tyson improve his skills so he can better take on the Blade Sharks and make the neighborhood safe for his friends again.
Beyblade appears to be less a story than a cog in a merchandising wheel. Manga, anime, a video game and, of course, the Beyblades themselves all seem to be a part of the plan. The story is typical fair for young boys, with the little guy taking on the bullies and winning, but not before learning a valuable lesson. The mysterious ninja (can anyone say "Racer X"?) is a bit much, though. The art looks like a fourth generation copy of Osamu Tezuka, with big noses on bad guys and crazy hairstyles. It's well drawn, though, with stong linework and action that flows smoothly. All sound effects are translated and retouched into English. The adaptation by Fred Burke is fine, though I did notice the wrong name used in one bubble, and typo in another. The cover has a picture of the excessively energetic Tyson, with a spinning Beyblade and the logo in the forground. It looks like it will be a good choice for young boys, but if they get caught up in Beyblade fever, you better hope Toys-R-Us starts carrying all the gear.
Mania Grade: B-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: All
Released By: Viz Media
Orientation: Right to Left