Q-ko-chan Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Matthew Alexander
Review Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Ueda Hajime
Translated by:William Flanagan
Adapted by:William Flanagan

What They Say
Young Kirio Muji has been adopted by a cute robot named Q-ko-chan and is taking part in a battle against alien octopus-like creatures, mind-controlled aliens, and sometimes his own government. But now a whole hoard of other robots like Q-ko-chan have shown up, and when his hated sister Furiko is adopted by the most powerful of the lot, the battle must now reach a climax!

The Review
Okay, let me see here, so Kirio and his friends all have their own doll to pilot now. Each doll considers each other doll to be their sister, but Q-ko Chan is one of the original nine so she is stronger than those dolls piloted by Kirio's friends. It turns out that the malfunction Q-ko Chan has suffered has caused her to forget her original orders; to retrieve human children and then terraform planet earth. On top of forgetting her orders, Q-ko Chan has always questioned her orders and along with her malfunction it also seems that she is experiencing love for Kirio. For this reason, Q-ko Chan refuses to allow Kirio to pilot her after he tries to kill two older boys who bullied one of his friends. This nonchalant attitude of Kirio towards killing other humans definitely destroys any sympathy the reader may feel towards Kirio. Then again, since Kirio is a school kid and pilots Q-ko Chan like a video game I guess it is not too far fetched for him to think like he would while playing a game: Kill 'em all!

Aside from the above information I really have no idea what is going on. It's obvious that the story is building to some kind of a climax, but I feel like I was left deep in a cavern with no light to help me find my way out. What I did understand was the sibling rivalry between Kirio and Furiko. Furiko has always hated her little brother, and when the Queen doll (the most powerful doll) merges with Furiko, she then has the power to confront Kirio. The utter hatred between brother and sister is rather strong and surprising, but then the book just ends. Octopus aliens are on the rampage and 103 dolls are coming together (to terraform the Earth?), the human groups are killing each other off and then nothing. It just ends. I honestly have no idea why anyone published this story. It never made any sense and only fans of Ueda would enjoy the artwork. I have really enjoyed nearly every series Del Rey has published thus far, but this is one I could have done without.

Mania Grade: D+
Art Rating: C
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 209
ISBN: 0-345-49209-9
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left