Dragon Head Vol. #04 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Translated by:Alexis Kirsch
Adapted by:Aaron Sparrow
What They Say
The journey out of darkness continues as Teru and Ako head to Tokyo - and encounter more death and destruction on the way!
Mochizukis incredibly terrifying phobia pot-boiler continues, only this time hes added a few more ingredients to the mix; just in case you were growing tired of his stew of fears up until this point. How about a nice dash of abandonment and eerie silence? Or perhaps a dollop of fires, tornadoes, and lightning? Outside of these environmental factors, our survivors still have to deal with the human element as well; minds twisted from living on the brink of death and destruction, also referred to as darkness by Teru. Soldiers no longer are there to serve and protect the citizenry, but rather they are now out to protected themselves. And what will happen to Teru when he is pushed past that line of sanity? Witnessing a half-naked Teru covered in blood and throwing Molotov cocktails around might just be the most disturbing scene in this series yet.
I also continue to be impressed with how Mochizuki has adapted his artwork to fit with the current scenarios. Gone are the constricted tunnel illustrations, and in their place are huge landscape panels--sometimes taking up both pages--that are just filled with detailed chaos. When a whole city goes up in a towering inferno, not only do you feel trapped in the blaze with the characters, but you also can feel the massiveness of the situation. From page to page I just shake my head in horror at the jaw-dropping visuals.
My one single point of frustration with the release continues to be the lack of SFX translations. We do thankfully get sign translations in the margins, but the lack of SFX translations hamper the psychological horror experience. I am completely unable to understand what sound Seto hears that causes her eyes explode with shock. Please, I beg you TOKYOPOP, translate the SFX!
As a side note, this volume also contains the single greatest next volume preview ever; and at only 2 pages long. You want me to wait 3-4 months after seeing that!?!? You bastards!! At any rate, if you still have not experienced Dragon Head, you are missing out on what is arguably their greatest catalog title at the moment.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Orientation: Right to Left