Red Prowling Devil Vol. #05 (Mania.com)
By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Release Date: Friday, August 01, 2003
What They Say
For the first time in her life the Red Prowling Devil goes down! Meanwhile, Pierre Doupon, the man claiming to have killed the Red Prowling Devil is receiving praise and promotions. However unknown to Pierre, Naomi miraculously survived the crash and is on the road to recovery. Is this the beginning of yet another heated rivalry?
Even though this title is flipped we get some really great art on every cover. This time we see a brand new NiG-29 fighter with a close up of Naomi. Have to say Shimizu goes ladies and fighters really well and having both on every cover is a treat (wished his males were nearly as good).
Now it's time for logo check! (2003 Megs) the logo used for RED is okay. But knowing that the original version has Prowling Devil in a smaller font ticks me off because the current one is covering up that wonderful cover art.
No one can say Shimizu's covers are not good. They are great. His female characters are some of the most gorgeous I have ever seen. They are drawn very simple with thick lines and all appear to be to scale (i hate seeing characters that are 5' something look 6' tall and have legs that are almost 5' long with breasts that would be too have to support on their tiny torsos) Everyone so far has a unique quality and fashion sense that is wonderful whether in uniform or street clothes or not at all clothed.
Same could be said about his mechanical art. His jets are very nice. The detail varies between action scenes and while they are stationary but they always look good.
His male characters are a mixed bag. Cyrus is just weird looking. Frantz is possibly even worse than Cyrus. Fortunately most of his long term supporting male characters (Singh and Harmil most notably) look better from their start and Iwanorf is starting to get a retouch on his designs as he gets more lines.
The translation is much more consistent in this volume. I guess five volumes are enough to get names and spellings corrected, huh.
SFX are also all done in English sounds. They are pretty tastefully done but as most people now C1 does some of the best subbed SFX out there and their work can be found in most of their other manga titles.
Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In the last volume Naomi, aka the Red Prowling Devil, was shot down while piloting an old jet over the mountains of Magjistan. Her partner Harmil is still in the air in a dogfight with the person that shot Naomi down, Pierre of the White Mace.
The White Mace has finally surpassed the Katiucha Base in regards to size, firepower and possibly talent. They prepare to go through their final attack of Katiucha as they praise and promote Pierre for his accomplishments. This does cause a little stir in the ranks of the White Mace. Cpt. Romanova is still very cautious towards Pierre. She cannot get past the cruel things he has done in the past to get to where he is now. And now that he has gained power and respect she can do little against him. Add to that Major Singh's cool attitude towards everything and Romanova is constantly in a state of defense and confusion.
Meanwhile, Naomi has survived her crash and Katiucha is beginning to start to re-group as they are well aware that the White Mace will be attacking any moment now. They attempt to do almost everything possible to protect themselves but they are quickly caught under fire and are without many available pilots and even fewer high quality planes.
Things become desperate and everyone - Harmil, Cyrus, Naomi and Iwanorf - all got through life threatening situations to attempt to save their base and themselves.
With Naomi being hurt for the start of this volume focus was directed to the supporting cast for most of this GN. And luckily they do a good job. Characters that were there to ease the tension like Cyrus and Iwanorf get a lot more lines and really share a bit of what they are a part of this secret organization. They have lost everything but both of them still hold on to their own sense of duty that they got in the organizations that they were in before joining the Katiucha camp.
Even getting to know more of the White Mace was pretty cool as characters like Romanova and Singh were already holding a lot of the drama but are now having to stand aside as their peer Pierre moves up in their ranks. Unfortunately, a few more characters are introduced and that eats up a bit more time. We need to get introduced, we need to see their motivations, and we need to see one of them about to have sex with Romanova (seriously if a hot shot comes up there she is).
I really wonder why Shimizu does that. He did it last volume by adding Pierre and here we go again with some more pilots lining up to get Naomi. Why aren't Singh, Romanova, Matsurika and Harmil enough? They provide a lot of drama and interesting personalities; more than enough to really carry this. Heck they pretty much have been the backbone despite new guys like Pierre, Lin, Diana, and Zychov.
I am surprised I made it this far but this one disappointed me. I am now over the halfway point so I will not be quitting on this but if I were to make an impression on the series off of this volume I would not be continuing. There is a lot of good stuff here but I just was tired of the added fluff especially since the previous two volumes were so good (those cliffhangers were great but this one ended on a weak note)
Good but not very tight
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 17 & Up
Released By: ComicsOne
Orientation: Left to Right