Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Released By: TOKYOPOP
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 168
- ISBN: 1-59816-031-1
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Devil May Cry 3 Vol. #1
By Julie Rosato
October 27, 2005
Release Date: October 11, 2005
Devil May Cry 3 Vol.#1
Translated by:Ray Yoshimoto
Adapted by:What They Say
Based on the best-selling game, Devil May Cry 3 is an action-packed adventure, pitting good against evil...and brother against brother!
Dante is a demon slayer and bounty hunter with a demon heritage of his own that haunts his past. He's currently unemployed--and bored to death. Opportunity knocks in the form of a missing-child case, which his friend and manager, Enzo, offers him. But a four-million-dollar reward, an unexpected demon attack and a little girl named Alice all conspire to send Dante through the looking glass on a nightmarish adventure beyond his wildest imagination.The Review
I love a guy with style (x2): Dante and Vergil may not see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but they most certainly have the same tailor.Packaging:
TOKYOPOP uses the original cover art and it is a good barometer of the content found inside. It is heavy and dark, featuring a central shot of Dante with a confident smile and his guns blazing over a background of reds. The original title logo is used as well, and is the same as that of the Japanese version of the video game. (Compared to the English version, the only difference is that the large “3” appears in white behind the logo). Overall it is a very striking cover. Inside the printing quality is excellent. The abundant black spaces are solid and there is no bleed anywhere, something particularly appreciated for the reverse-negative style text balloons. Several pages of character files and artwork follow the story. The color plates at the beginning are reproduced in black and white.Artwork:
The artwork is very stylish and, I think, generally impressive. It stays true to the game’s character designs and motifs, the perspective and proportions are some of the best I've seen recently, and the inking job is excellent. The action sequences are carried out well, especially for having to illustrate the frenetic pace and scope of Dante’s moves in battle. The style here is full of solid blacks and heavy linework. Done in stark black and white contrast, there are no grays or shading tones used. The backgrounds are often empty to draw focus to the character art, but architectural details are surprisingly well-rendered, right down to cracked tiles and crumbling walls.
One for the girls: Dante doesn't appear to own any shirts so there are plenty of gratuitous, bare-chested shots of our hero.SFX/Text:
SFX that are part of the panel or background art are left untranslated, but most of the sounds are actually in text bubbles and are therefore translated.
The translation reads fine overall and is free of errors. There is plenty of attention paid to Dante's enormous attitude and he's got some really great lines here. Everyone loves a guy who thinks highly of himself, right? A word of warning though, vulgarity and foul-language abound--the Older Teen rating is well-deserved.Contents:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This book begins with a prologue outlining the legend of the Dark Knight Sparda. After years of separation and harmony, the demon king sought to reunite and rule over the worlds of Light (mortals) and Darkness (demons). For years the two worlds warred but eventually the light was overwhelmed by the darkness. Just when it seemed all was lost, Sparda, a powerful warrior having no loyalty to his own kind, fought against the demons on behalf of humanity. Defeating the king and sealing off the powers of darkness (including his own), Sparda became the savior of the human world, where he ruled for many years. Two thousand years have passed since these events have taken place and the story of Sparda's twin sons, Dante and Vergil, begins. Borne of a human woman, these two brothers embrace opposite sides of their heritage, and as such walk a path toward two very different destinies.
Dante is a bounty hunter who specializes in demon disposal thanks to his half-blood heritage. One day in dire need of a job, Dante accepts what he thinks is a simple rescue mission, and what follows is a creepy little Alice in Wonderland tale.
Finding the girl (Alice) at a local castle in the custody of a demon posing as her stuffed rabbit, Dante proceeds to show off his fine shooting skills. Naturally, the rescue doesn't quite go as planned. The Mad Hatter joins the party and we learn that Dante kills demons to avenge the deaths of his mother and twin brother. However, the Mad Hatter then tells Dante that his brother still lives. Dante's there to do a job though, and after refusing to join their ranks and play along, a great demon is unleashed to kill him. More shooting ensues.
Meanwhile, a man bearing a striking resemblance to Dante is headed toward the castle, leaving corpses in his wake.
Dante makes short work of his foes, but it turns out the whole job was orchestrated by the demon rabbit, who merely wished to test Dante's powers. He also wants Dante's amulet. Disgusted and unwilling to cooperate with the demon world, Dante takes his leave. Exiting the castle, he just misses running into Vergil, who has come seeking the rabbit.
It appears Vergil is trying to open the pathway to the demon world once again, but for that he will need Dante. What is the tower Temen-ni-Gru and what does it have to do with Dante's amulet? What awaits the two brothers upon their reunion?Comments
I think Devil May Cry fans will be really happy with this book. Both the art and writing really seem to capture the essence of the game(s) and there's more action and violence here than you can shoot a gun at. Two guns, in fact. Personally, I really like Dante; he's got a lot of attitude and he's the perfect picture of a tortured soul. He's strong, but bears a great shame and hatred in the half-demon heritage that grants him his power. (And boy, can he glare.) But Vergil's shaping up to be a great thunder-stealing antagonist, too. Who couldn't love a power hungry half-demon megalomaniac with incredible sword skills who doesn't waste his page time?
Like its source material this book is intended to act as a prequel to an existing universe. The story is generally linear and unfolds in a manner accessible even to those unfamiliar with the Devil May Cry franchise. Back-story elements are dropped at regular intervals to reveal just enough information, but since the story has only just begun, this volume relies heavily on Dante's flashy moves and attitude to propel itself forward. Substance mostly takes a back seat to style, despite a surprisingly large amount of dialogue. Essentially it reads much like the games play -- armed with a bit of cryptic information you get pumped for the start of the mission, but it's a long haul until the end fight (what with all that shooting and jumping around). Completion of the task is worth it though, for some interesting tidbit comes after, piquing interest for more of the story.
This series would probably also appeal to those who like action manga, despite the obvious tailoring to game fans. For the game fans though, it looks like there could be a decent opportunity to expand on the story of Devil May Cry 3, especially given that the events in this volume don't even happen in the game. I think it's clear that the stylistic focus will be action (as it should be), but I am hoping that the conflict between Dante and Vergil will also be fleshed out. The strength of their story could provide the momentum needed to give the manga a life of its own – to go beyond simply mimicking a stylish action video game. This opening volume is content to start there though and readers looking for an entertaining way to just clock out for an hour could certainly do worse than to choose this book.