Cromartie High School Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: ADV Manga
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 168
  • ISBN: 1-4139-0257-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Cromartie High School Vol. #01

By Mike Dungan     March 13, 2005
Release Date: March 07, 2005


Cromartie High School Vol.#01
© ADV Manga


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Eiji Nonaka
Translated by:Brendan Frayne
Adapted by:

What They Say
Takashi Kamiyama is an average student who made the half-baked decision to attend a not-so-average school. Cromartie High is home to thugs and bullies, the undereducated and underachieving… and of course, a foul-mouthed robot suffering from denial! Takashi will have to learn more than his ABCs to survive, and getting to class on time will be the least of his problems in the halls of Cromartie High School!

The Review
Packaging:
As my review copy is an uncorrected galley proof, I can't comment on the packaging or art reproduction.

Artwork:
Eiji Nonaka's art is nothing special in terms of beauty of linework, but he is very good at the pacing and timing of his stories through his art. He keeps it all very simple, with easily recognizable characters and simple paneling. In fact, nearly every panel is a simple rectangle, with almost every each page using 4 rows of panels. Backgrounds are usually non-existent. The characters are the story, and he puts them front and center.

Text/SFX:
The English adaptation, presumably written by translator Brendan Frayne, is very good. This is a high school full of delinquents, and the slang used is very effective. Unlike some adaptations that go way too far, this one is kept straight-forward, just like the characters. There is a slightly outdated feel to the dialogue that is perfect for the story, as the look of the students is decidedly old-school. Since the comedy is mostly situational or physical, the jokes work well in English. All sound effects are translated on the page right next to the Japanese sound effects. There are four pages of translator's notes at the back, one thing ADV does well. In the front of the book is a history of the school, as well as the school's anthem, which is hilarious.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Takashi Kamiyama is a fairly typical middle schooler with a bright future ahead of him. Unfortunately, he enrolls at Cromartie High School to prove a point, which is promptly forgotten. Cromartie is the biggest bunch of badasses, tough guys and hoodlums in Tokyo. Kamiyama manages to adapt to his new surroundings, even making friends, such as the mohawked Shinjirou Hayashida, an easy going guy who sort of latches on to Kamiyama and becomes his buddy. The students are all extraordinarily stupid, which is driven home when a gorilla beats them all in an intelligence test. More and more strange students show up, such as "Freddie", who never speaks or wears a shirt and bears a striking resemblance to Freddie Mercury, the late singer for Queen; the aforementioned gorilla; Hokuto, who speaks like an imperial overlord and thinks he's going to take over the school; and Mechazawa, a robot who denies being a robot. The stories are short (there are 23 chapters in only 168 pages) but hilarious, from the tough guy leader of the first year students trying not to let on to anyone that he gets terribly motion sick, to the guys trying their hands at having a normal conversation. Nonaka's humor is sharp and to the point. He inserts a few pages of character descriptions every now and then, and ends every chapter with a little post-script ("Bet that was one mean puddin'.") The book ends with a 16-panel story called "Manga I Drew in 5 Minutes" in which he totally fails to explain how a guy who hates to read ended up being a manga artist.

Comments
A comedy manga that makes the reader laugh is a rare commodity. This one succeeds. Kamiyama's oblivious trip through the world of high school hooliganism is hilarious, and a great read. Throw your favorite Queen album in the player and give this one a read.

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