Noodle Fighter Miki (aka: Muteki Kanban-musume) Vol. #01 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, March 24, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Translated by:Kay Bertrand
What They Say
The poster girl for the Onimaru Ramen Shop is an attractive young woman - so long as she doesn't open her mouth! Miki Onimaru is rude, has a short attention span, throws up all over the place, and kicks everyone's butt with her very own Onimaru brand of martial arts! She may think she's helping the family business, but Miki's smart mouth and penchant for fighting has turned the restaurant into a magnet for disaster!
As my review copy is an uncorrected galley proof, I can't comment on the packaging or art reproduction.
Jun Sadogawa has a distinct style in facial features with large, broad expressions. His characters have a round, cartoony style, but there is surprisingly nice detail in the eyes, especially in close ups. Backgrounds are mostly nonexistent. Composition of panels is fairly basic, but the composition of the characters and action within the panels shows a subtle sophistication. He relies on a lot of visual humor, which can be downright brilliant at times, such as the close-up of Miki's face when a crow steals some of her lunch on page 122. There is heavy linework that suggests old woodprints, and a screaming skull where her tongue should be, mirroring both the look on her face and the fury she feels at her lunch being stolen. The chapter about the crow is the best chapter in the book, as it's almost entirely wordless, and emphasizes Sadogawa's excellent action sequences and comedic timing.
As is usual with ADV manga, the sound effects are translated on the page, right next to or over the original Japanese sound effects. They use a variety of fonts in a mostly successful effort to replicate the feel of the original sfx. The English adaptation reads well, with nothing standing out as forced or excessively Americanized. Extras include a page of translator's notes in the back of the book, 6 pages of 4-panel comics, and a word from the author.
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Miki Onimaru is a middle school student who works at her mother's ramen shop. Miki is cheerful, outgoing, violent, vindictive and not a little stupid. Her mother is a no-nonsense sort of woman who's constantly clobbering her daughter for yet another screw-up. Mr. Oota is the greengrocer from next door who loves to egg Miki on, despite the fact that he more often than not seems to be at the receiving end of her violent outbursts. Megumi Kannazuki is the pretty girl who works at the bakery across the street. She's intelligent, attractive, devious, and she and Miki are bitter rivals.
All of the humor revolves around Miki's constant overreaction to everything that occurs around her. She plots revenge against a young bratty boy. She pins the destruction of the shop's front door on Mr. Oota. She battles Megumi in a contest of poster girls. She wages war against a crow who steals her lunch.
I had some trouble getting through the book, just because I wasn't finding Miki's antics all that entertaining. Or rather, it's entertaining once, and then it's just tedious. This title is worth looking at for Jun Sadogawa's art, but I don't think I can put up with more from Miki.
Mania Grade: C
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: N/A
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: ADV Manga
Orientation: Right to Left