Jinki: Extend Vol. #03 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Release Date: Monday, November 01, 2004
Translated by:Brendan Frayne
What They Say
It’s never too quiet when it comes to the Jinki phenomenon, especially when Kalis Norman returns! Akao, Elnie, Ryohei and Mel get strapped in a slithery situation when Kalis comes seeking vengeance - Vargoyle style! Despite their numbers, experience rules in the world of Jinki, and Akao and her teammates will have to wait on reinforcements to get out of this mess - but will the battle be lost?
Typical of ADV titles this version of Jinki retains the original front and back cover art, color pages and volume headers. So basically if you happen to own the MagGarden version that should look almost exactly the same as ADV‘s (apart from the lack of a dust jacket). The front cover features Lui and Satsuki positioned in front of their Jinki. The image is full of color - purple, green, orange and red - all a little subdued but attractive to the eye. I wonder if this is done on purpose, but every cover so far has been a little weird. This volume has the two Jinki dancing a tango together! The opposite cover does not feature a blurb; instead, it has an image of Elnie walking with Mel J. Because the logo was originally in English, there was no need to change it (but that has not stopped other studios). I have to say it is a little big, but it works.
Inside, the printing is still a little dark. Coupled with the fact that Tunasima-sensei tends to use heavy inking techniques and I was a little disappointed with the presentation. Tone tends to fade to black a lot and a bit of detailing is lost as well. I also had some issues with the alignment. This was originally in a B6 that is a few millimeters shorter than this GN, so I was surprised to see images cut off on some pages and then the image being cropped on others.
Fortunately, this volume has kept the color pages cause they are pretty good. The color volume header features contrasting images of Aoba and Akao in front of their Jinki. Their form fitting outfits show off Tunasima’s fine sense of form. The contents page has a piece with the Jinki team in bathing suits (Mel J without her trench coat…. Drool).
At the end of the GN, ADV included translation notes and ads for Peacemaker Kurogane and Mythical Detective Loki RAGNAROK.
Tunasima's art is not too shabby. He tends to use heavy inking techniques, which sadly did not look great in my copy due to printing. His lines are thick and tight, which
give his character designs a slight squared-off feel to them. Costume designs are fun, but with the setting being 1991 Tokyo and Brazil, they do not seem very appropriate.
Mechanical designs are pretty crappy. So far the Jinki presented have been really bulky and do not seem to be built for combat. In some ways their large builds remind me of construction labors from Mobile Police PatLabor. Two new Jinki have designs that remind me of SEGA’s Virtual On, designed to be long and slender with hips and breastplates. I have also found out that the Jinki were initially built for construction, so the PatLabor parallels are valid. With such clunky designs, there is no wonder that the action scenes are often mediocre, at best. Most of those scenes are pretty brief with short melee battles. The rest are cut scenes in the cockpits - where characters posture or tend to panic under fire - leaving Tunasima to work on his character designs instead of physics and battle tactics. In some ways, I feel Tunasima almost feels the battle scenes are just boring, because now he has resorted to silly tactics like a soccer ball kicking Jinki to shake things up a bit. Yes, I am serious.
Background designs are good and at times, I feel they are the strongest aspect to Tunasima's art. There is a good amount of detail and there is a good amount of imagination in regards to some of the sci-fi environments. The layout is confusing. I feel the real problem comes from poor perspective and how bad Tunashima's action scenes are. I can see that improving with time, but currently the layout had me slowing down a bit too often for my taste.
This is my first experience with Jinki so I cannot compare it to its raw version, but I can say the translation sounds fine. I did not notice typos as much as in the first volume. ADV has also provided some good notes at the end of the GN. This time the notes go over info on the Jinki.
As Tunasima is prone to use hyperactive layouts with crowded panels, ADV's SFX subbing techniques tend to often compromise art. I am not sure why they did not use smaller subs, as they have in other titles. Inconsistency in this aspect seems to be a problem with almost every studio out there.
There is no time for celebrations, the gang has to escape now. They do not have much ammo left. They do not have much power left and they are running from the Hachi Shojin’s flying fortress! Absolutely no time to look back cause who knows what is back there.
Well, there was someone and they were waiting for them to run. The fight was never over and actually, as these heroes will find eventually out the battle is truly just beginning. A year long battle for Tokyo is starting. However the odds have improved as Ryohei is now in command of five Jinki and their pilots. This small mech corps battalion might not compare to the war machine the Hachi Shojin maintins, however these young ladies have resolved to never give in. The lives of millions are hanging on the actions of teens, and there is no one else capable of defending Tokyo like the Jinki can. No government or administrative body is has the weapons or systems in place to do anything; instead, they have been forced to comply with and fund this potential war.
Sounds like every other week in Tokyo, right! Yup! There is the coward character, the cold characer, the European character, and even the young female leader that needs a man to help her. Yeah, Tokyo is safe!
Was there a chapter missing or something? The previous volume ended on a high note, with escape from the Hachi Shojin looking good. I open up this GN and Tunasima has placed the cast in the middle of a battle and all of a sudden two other characters all of a sudden have Jinki of there own. Where did all of this come from? The previous volume took half a GN to find enough Jinki to rescue a captured colleague and now I am supposed to buy that they already had Jinki around for other characters!
Oh man, and then there were robo-tentacles… Yeah, cause if you fight the “weak” (aka women) you have to strip them and sexually assault them. Darn why don’t more comics use this crutch? I like how these scenes are conveniently put into each volume, too. Please!!
Let’s see, then we have a game of hide and seek in the metropolis of Tokyo, funded by furries!!! Come on now! Why? None of this makes sense. With the existing cast and storylines why bother with this joke? Or is it even a joke? I guess those in the military industrial arms trade are all furries making deals with governments and private forces alike. Nobody cares if one of the most populated cities is leveled over a game. Hell that last idea is only “real” concept in this volume. Maybe I underestimated it.
There is something innately wrong when a manga’s bangai (side story) is much better than the honban (original). If the cast were as natural and as funny as in the side story, wow, would that be great. These moments are funny and honest, while the rest of the series is contrived, disjointed and frustrating. After the second volume, I had some hope for this series, and actually there were moments in this one that had me fooled. However, I can now whole-heartedly say that Tunasima is lacking as a writer. As I have said before, he has to rely on shock to get things moving. It has been rape before. Now its robo-tentacles spewing fluids on the faces and bosoms of the Jinki team. Then we have furry arms dealers and yet another kidnapping. What’s next, a cameo from Black Jack!? Not too far-fetched considering one of the Hachi Shojin is “hiding” as a professional baseball player.
Mania Grade: NA
Art Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: ADV Manga
Orientation: Right to Left