Hikkatsu! Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:Sakura Eries
Review Date: Friday, June 13, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yu Yagami
Translated by:Christine Schilling
Adapted by:Kai Connick

What They Say
It's man vs machine in the final volume of Hikkatsu! Shota's perilous crusade to rid the world of evil appliances comes to an explosive ending as he and his friends travel to the now deserted Neo Tokyo - where they find a weapon intended to shoot straight to the center of the Earth! Can Shota's Recovery Blow save the entire world?

The Review
After a skirmish with some zombies straight out of a bad B-movie, Shota and his friends make it out to New Tokyo. But instead of the thriving metropolis that once existed there, they find a wilderness inhabited by wild boars, woolly mammoths, cavemen, and an enormous gun pointing into the ground! But the gun isn't a product of an enthusiastic clan dedicated to the construction of skyscraper sized firearms; it's the Reset Gun, created by the Restart Association. According to its chairman, the gigantic weapon, aimed towards the center of the earth, will stabilize the Earth's core. But will the Reset Gun really deliver on its promise to end the Malfunctioning Era?

Hikkatsu concludes with a twist and an ending I find confusing and unsatisfying. The Reset Gun is an interesting solution for reaching the source of the problem of the Malfunctioning Era; it's certainly more logical than Shota burrowing to the center of the Earth. However, it's never quite clear how Shota determines the Chairman's true intent for the Reset Gun, nor is it clear how the Chairman intended to take over the world once the Malfunctioning Era ended. In addition, all our characters, uniquely random as they are, remain flat. There is a final scene between Shota and his karate master, but even that is more hackneyed than dramatic.

Despite the weaknesses in plot, there's some entertainment be found though it's largely light, middle school-level silliness. For instance, we now get to watch Shota breaking things with his Destroy Blow instead of with his unperfected Repair Blow. And for action lovers, there are plenty of fights that use everything from standard pistols to giant blasting robots to skateboards and billiards equipment.

Translation notes, character notes and story thus far summary, and ads for other Go! Comi titles are included as extras in this volume.

Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: C+
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Go! Comi
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1-933617-59-6
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Hikkatsu!