Naoto is every bit as deadly with her black-bladed katana as she is sexy. She may just make a nice counterweight to Heine’s badass berserker antics.
Writer/Artist: Shirow Miwa
Translation: Alexis Kirsch
Adaptation: Alexis Kirsch
What They Say
In her search for the assassin who "stole her past," Naoto follows Heine and Badou to go see the head of one of the Underground's gangs. But what starts out as a simple quest for information ends up as a rampageous firefight. And just when it seems things couldn't get worse, the Hardcore Twins, Luki and Noki, show up to "play." Which is when things really get interesting; Boasting furious action, switchback plotting, magnetic characters and dazzling art, Dogs tells the story of four people struggling to survive a dystopian urban future by gun and sword and courage and luck. Driven by their ghosts--both dead and alive--and a desire for truth, their paths converge in the dark, labyrinthine heart of the city streets.
Badou and Heine make an incredibly entertaining duo. Heine is all business with an inner demon he wrestles with daily, and Badou is a goofball who could care less about anything that isn’t trying to kill him or keep him from his cigarettes. While these two generally provide the comedy and badass situation handling aspects of a good story, Naoto sprinkles in the sex factor. Don’t be fooled, Naoto may be sexy, but she is just as deadly as Heine. Naoto was raised to hate and kill by a professional assassin, so she is no one to overlook in a fight.
Naoto has latched onto Heine ever since she learned he knew things about the underworld levels, where she suspects her parent’s killer lives. During a visit with the old lady who provides Heine and Badou with jobs, Naoto reveals much of her past and what little she knows about the assassin who raised her. Not getting the information she desires, Naoto continues to shadow Heine.
With a new job in hand, Heine and Badou go to rough up some troublesome punks. Normally, this wouldn’t really break a sweat for either of them. That is until the Hardcore Twins, Luki and Noki show up and go on a rampage. These freaky pre-teens work for the same group as Giovanni, and they each have mutant abilities. One twin can create large blades from her hand while the other guns.
Complete chaos erupts once Naoto joins the fight. She can’t let anyone kill Heine until she gets the information she needs. Guns, knives, guns, huge swords, guns, and a katana all in the same place make for a trip to the emergency room in the making.
I enjoyed this volume better than the last, as it did a better job of mixing in character development with the high-octane battle scenes. Plus, I really like Naoto’s character, she kind of reminds me of Roberta from ‘Black Lagoon’, quiet, sexy, and super deadly. A sneak peak at a new character may double the sexy katana assassin lady count. It seems Giovanni works with a woman yielding another black-bladed katana like the blade Naoto carries. The potential connections (and battles) waiting in future volumes are incredibly enticing.
Any fan of ‘Black Lagoon’ should really give this series a chance. The mixture of adult characters attempting to survive in a screwed up cesspool of a world, cool battle scenes, and powerful female characters should appeal to the same fan base. Add in Viz’s appealing presentation with a larger format and color pages at a good price point and you have a nice seinen series.