A.I. Revolution Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Sakura Eries
Review Date: Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Release Date: Thursday, February 28, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yuu Asami
Translated by:Christine Schilling
Adapted by:Brynne Chandler

What They Say
Explosions, rescues, time machines, mistaken identities and former loves all come together to complicate Sui's efforts to teach Vermillion - and now Kira - about being human. Not that Sui has much time for the two hot robots, what with her bad-tempered friend Aoi wreaking havoc on the city...

The Review
Life's tough when you're the world's most advanced humanoid robots, and even simple tasks end up turning into complicated messes. When Kira is asked to accompany Ren, a genius friend of the Makihara family, he winds up having to rescue her from kidnappers after her research data. Shortly afterwards, during a trip to the Scientific Society Meeting, Vermillion and Kira have to save the conference building from a bomb attack, and an explosion sends the two into an extremely bizarre situation. And when Vermillion tries to befriend Aoi, the son of one of Professor Makihara's coworkers, Vermillion ends up having to pay the price of grumpy teen's mischief.

A. I. Revolution continues with four chapters, each its own stand-alone story. The first three chapters detail the continuing adventures of Sui and her robots while the last chapter is a flashback into Kira's time with Sakaki before he came to live with the Makiharas. One of the funniest things about this manga (though complete unintended by the mangaka) is how dated it is despite the fact that it's supposed to be a futuristic story set in 2021. A. I. Revolution was originally released in Japan in 1996, and the size of the computer bombs Vermillion and Kira have to dismantle and Aoi's "virus-spreading floppy (disk)" that infects the city's computers made me laugh.

Futuristic anachronisms aside, there are still aspects of Asami's plots I find unsatisfying. For instance, Ren's kidnappers shoot Kira down in order to escape with her. But later, Ren contacts Kira through her communication device, and somehow that revives the downed robot to rescue her without any repairs or assistance. If Kira was really functional all that time, you would think he would have made the effort to dispatch the bad guys before they took Ren away. Also, Aoi's tearful confession that he created the virus-spreading floppy just for fun and didn't think it would do any real harm was hard to swallow (especially since his virus brought the entire city to a standstill). And, as mentioned in my review for Volume 1, Vermillion's and Sui's interactions just aren't that interesting. Kira's snide remarks and uppity attitude as well as the flashback into his past does breathe some life into the story, but not enough to have me excited about reading Volume 3.

Translation notes, a one-page comic about the mangaka and her coworkers, and a brief mangaka profile are included as extras in this volume.

Mania Grade: C
Art Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Go! Comi
MSRP: 10.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1-933617-65-7
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: A.I. Revolution