Bambi and Her Pink Gun Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Friday, April 21, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, February 01, 2006



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Atsushi Kaneko
Translated by:Duane Johnson
Adapted by:

What They Say
Determined to steal back Pampi, Bambi goes head-on with a battalion of gangsters who have taken over an old west-style town and are using it as a hideout while they terrorize the locals for fun. To get Pampi back, our anti-heroine will have to mow them all down, including the seemingly invincible gang leader Mama. Bambi will also have to deal with psychos in bear costumes, trucker gangs trying to capture her, a 100-year old psychotic ex-wrestler, and more!

The Review
Packaging:
Bambi possibly has some of the craziest packaging I have ever seen in a manga title. When I reviewed volume one, all I got to experience was a galley proof. I noticed one thing different about that copy, it had a color cover. I found that interesting considering most I get either don't have covers or are B/W all the way through. Well, that color is critical to the presentation of this volume. Not only does the front cover have its share of red and yellow and shades in between but so does the print itself.

Starting off with the cover, this volume has a literally hot cover where lead character Bambi stands with pink gun in hand in a fire. The fire comes from her hips wraps her arms and then burns behind her creating the big BAMBi logo above her. The image is filled with reds, orange and yellow tones. Trippy image and apropos considering how this volume ends. The opposite cover features the framed portrait of a wrestler flanked by full character images of Bambi to each side on a magenta background. The fiery logo is above the wrestler's head with the volume description beneath it.

Inside the color continues. You don't have to open the book. Just look at the book from its side and you can see that the print is done in multiple colors. Upon opening the book, the volume header is in blue tone. The whole page is in blue with lettering in white. The next 80 pages are done with blue ink. The next 65 pages are done in red ink! And then things go completely nuts. The rest of the book is in blue print that is redding. Okay let me describe "redding". You know how paper tends to yellow with exposure to the elements. Well these 55 pages "red" with anger! As the characters get angrier the page gets redder. The red flows from the top of the page and rarely reaches the bottom unless characters completely lose it! And on those pages SFX and manpu are in white! WOW! This made for an extremely active looking layout that dictated the mood of the story.

The print itself is very good. Lines are very clean and strong looking. Screen tone looks very nice. And the cropping and bleed look perfect.

Easily one of the best looking titles I have seen in a long time.

This volume is rated 18+ for graphic violence and a little nudity. None of the copies I saw where I bought this were shrink-wrapped but there is a parental advisory logo on the front cover of this volume.

Artwork:
I have talked to a few people about this series and the consensus feeling I get is that the art is not typical of manga. Heh! Yeah, well, no one ever said manga is an art style, I wonder what manga is supposed to look like. I guess this is not it. I am reminded of Dan Cowles (Eight Ball, Ghost World) and his artistic style. The character designs done with very thick lines, large foreheads, bug-eyes, nubby noses and lots o' lip is similar to what Atsushi Kaneko does here with Bambi.

Bambi's backgrounds are just as impressive. From start to finish they are very active and with a lot of detail. Style is influenced by American pop-culture - punk, Elvis, Wild West - are present and done effectively. Thick lines, very little screen tone for shading and lots of expression from the eyes and mouth are staples of Atsushi's art. Overall, it is very stylish, very fun and yes not typical of most manga people see in the US. Add how DMP printed this title in red and blue inks and the whole thing reads extremely fast despite all the detail.

SFX/Text:
The translation for Bambi is solid. Positives include honorifics, appropriate usage of slang and subbing signs. This is a strange title to translate with some really random pop culture references, so kudos to DMP for making this title read as well as it looks.

SFX might get some attention as DMP handled these in a unique way. They are all subbed using a small font as not to compromise art. The way they translated some of SFX might confuse some readers. Some of the translations are literal so in some situations the kana for "mogu" will be "mogu" instead of "chew." But the translation would be reversed in other situations. Readers familiar with raw FX might not have a problem, but having to translate a translation might annoy some.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Pampi has been kidnapped and Bambi is going nuts. If Bambi in a bad mood before, she is seriously pissed off now. Bambi gets what she wants, no questions asked ad then you die. Cannot get easier than that. So you know that when you break one of Bambi's rules, you are going to see some mayhem at a level not seen so far in this title.

No one was ever safe with Bambi around. It was shocking that she would even be considerate enough around Pampi to not once hurt a hair onthe weird kids's head. Now that she is desperate to get Pampi back to take him to the "old man" no one is will escape her anger. Everyone from teens in bear suits, innocent bystanders to truckers that crosses her path will end up suffering as they feel her frustration. Those who are conspiring against her will not know what hit them for she will not even give them time to realize what they have got themselves into. A bullet will bisect them between the eyes before the shouts of "Bambi is here" can be processed by th human ear. Bambi is pissed and in all truth everyone really is at fault.

No one can help Bambi. No one can understand what she is going through. All you have to know or do is get out of her way cause she is pissed!

Comments
Ever so often, I run into a manga that completely has me going from start to finish. These titles do not have to challenge me. They do not have to make any sense. Hell, they do not even need much dialogue. All these titles need to do is get my heart pumping, the adrenaline flowing and turn the brain off because I am locked in.

Bambi and her Pink Gun does have a plot and it does make sense, if you are looking for that in your manga. However, I find Bambi is best enjoyed raw. Come into this title with an open mind and expect anything.

Fat drugged out Elvis clone with fangs!

Now I think you are starting to see what I mean.

100-year-old blind wrestling mask wearing bum turned assassin in an Italian suit!

Yeah you got it!

Bambi drives around in a customized VW bug that opens from the trunk (which in those machines is in the front) and packs big pink heat. She goes around the country eating organic food drinking filtered water while beating and killing anyone that gets in her way. She finds reading books on philosophy like Kritik der reinen Vernunft (aka: Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason) equally as funny as the Mr. Pei the Bear Show. And Bambi would not be anywhere near as entertaining any other way.

Kaneko-sensei makes this manga as extreme and as implausible as possible for strictly shock value. Readers are lured into the mindset where violence and chaos is normal but then there is actually some story behind all of this. There are some interesting themes as well. Survival, environmentalism, mortality and class issues are all brought up in brief before Bambi does her thing indiscriminately. But what the reader has to pay attention to is the fast pace and the unrelenting focus Bambi and those chasing her have. This is a huge car chase from start to finish and I love it. There is no giving up and the way DMP has presented this title the reader is not allowed to slow down either.

Bambi is definitely not for everyone. The violence is relentless but if you are able to get past that Bambi packs excitement, humor and so much shock value you cannot get enough in 200pgs of Technicolor manga madness!



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
MSRP: 12.95
Pages: 200
ISBN: 158664964-7
Size: A5
Orientation: Right to Left