Comic Party Vol. #03 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Monday, May 23, 2005
Release Date: Friday, October 01, 2004
Translated by:Mike Kiefl
What They Say
It's the Comi Rangers to the rescue! When Kazuki and company find Kingu Jacky's bomb, will they be able to put of the Comic Party pooper? Even if this TNT terrorist fizzles out, Kazuki must still figure out how to make his doujinshi light up the best-seller lists before he burns out. Meanwhile, will Mizuki turn the next Comic Party into a costume party success>? Stay "tooned"!
TOKYOPOP continues to go a good job with the packaging for this series. On the cover they have a piece of original cover art (they keep the character art, shrunk it, and removed the background) featuring rivals Yuu and Eimi. The images is framed it under the logo and a border made of panel art. I like the look. First, it is not as busy as the MediaWorks' version, but it also keeps the idea of comics and manga. The opposite cover has an image of new character Haga Reiko wearing one of her handmade cosplay costumes.
Logo Check!!!.... I cannot say I like the logo much. With TOKYOPOP's there are now three versions around. I just wish there was some consistency (especially since they use the original logo on the volume header). What is funny about the logo is that the original logo is in English already, so TP did not need to do much work with it.
The printing continues be very good. Inui uses a variety of screen tone grades but they all look clean, so moiré issues are not as prevalent as they were in the first volume. Best of all, the print is good enough to see all of Inui-sensei's detailed line art. TOKYOPOP kept the original volume header (with Japanese logo), chapter headers, bumper art, an ato-gaki manga and two letters from ComiPa fans! TOKYOPOP also included a handful of ads - Sgt. Frog, GetBackers, Psychic Academy, Ai Yori Aoshi, Pita Ten and Love Hina.
Inui's art is great. He does a good job rendering these character designs and his unique sense of style gives this version of ComiPa some originality. Similar to the AQUAPLUS original concepts, these characters tend to be on the lean side - long legs and long thin bodies. Eyes tend to be super big and moderately detailed, which is not often seen in shonen manga. Inui's personal punk influenced style is obvious in the costume designs and the attitude. Characters tend to have a lot of variety in regards to what they wear and how they pose and it is refreshing to see an artist put so much detail to little things like that. I am also impressed by how Inui is able to use a variety of techniques in his work. Most of it has been straight up comedic, but he has also included art styles that are deeply rooted in horror and action. Take the crazy transformation on page 27. The intensity lines and the ghoulish expressions are a staple of horror manga but Inui makes them work well in his Comic Party.
Backgrounds are decent. They can easily be much better, but seeing that this is just a shonen comedy, I would not expect too much detail. The layout is not very active, though there is quite a bit of variety in regards to panel size and layout placement.
Much like the previous volume, this edition of Comic Party also features some really nice action scenes. The movements are mainly taken from existing fighting video games. The combo's themselves are unique and would take a little time for any video game freak to master, but Inui draws them frame by frame to make every transition seem plausible.
Typical of TOKYOPOP, SFX are not translated. Given how this is a manga about manga this is ironic, but after a few years of doing this I still question why TOKYOPOP still does this.
As I have not read this version of Comic Party in Japanese, I cannot say how accurate the translation is. TOKYOPOP has decided to increase the use of honorifics, which has improved the readability a bit. However the slang is still there, but not in the concentration as before. If I do have an issue, it is about Subaru. I am not sure if this is consistent with the original, but for the most part, it was always Chisa-chan that would say, "Nyah" and "meow". That has changed to being Subaru's idiosyncrasy in this volume. I have read a few versions of this series and seen the anime and Chisa has consistently had that quirk not Subaru.
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
None the training and all of the planning one can do is enough to re-create the chaos and the live real time variables than can arise during a moment of terror. Subaru, Kazuki and the gang tried hard to prevent any problems from getting out of control at this summer's Comic Party. They created a defense squad covering all of the bases. Traffic control, communications, medical, defense and support each one relying on the other in order to maintain safety in an event that is already associated with chaos.
Unfortunately, no one could foresee how much would happen in those few hours that summer day. The violence, the fear, and the destruction were far beyond what they expected. Nothing like this had ever happened before, and they were caught off-guard. Even with all of the precautions and the quick response, they could not prevent the madness. What they prevented was the death of Comic Party.
The courage of the ComiRangers and many of the fans present, defeated the threat. They used their wits, their speed, their limited resources, their teamwork and their strength to protect an event they worked so hard to put on and maintain.
They did this for the doujinshi they drew. They did this for the costumes they sewed. They did this for the fans that come from across the country. They did this for everyone who worked months to put this event on. They did this to keep creativity and community alive. Would you have done the same? Would you have risked as much? If any of this was as important to you... maybe... right.
If you were designing a Comic Party action game, what would you include?
-Female characters cosplaying? Check!
-Characters parodying martial arts moves from existing manga and video games? Check!
-Power ups and weapons? Check and check?
-Special attacks and tag team attacks with taunts and victory poses? Comic Party has it.
It is a celebration of a genre, one that many otaku can relate to the action adventure. Here characters go through a liner path - meeting each other, uniting for a common cause, training, separating before they are called on for their mission, disaster strikes, the battle begins, new enemies become heroes, final battle, twisted ending and true final fight - done quickly parodying titles like Those Who Hunt Elves, King of Fighters and the Bouncer along the way. There are side stories to be told, of course, however the goal is to ascend to the top and defeat whatever evil awaits the protagonist there. The stories will become legend amongst those who really care about ComiPa, to everyone else life goes on as if none of this ever happened. Such is the life of a ComiRanger and Inui knows that. Fortunately, for his readers he does not mind sharing all of that madness with us!
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Orientation: Right to Left