Eiken Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: AW Productions
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 198
  • ISBN: 1-58655-659-2
  • Size: Shinsho
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Eiken Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 18, 2005
Release Date: July 01, 2005


Eiken Vol.#01
© AW Productions


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Matsuyama Seiji
Translated by:BunnyBotX
Adapted by:

What They Say
Mifune Densuke just enrolled in the exclusive Zashono academy. He's eager to participate in extracurricular activities, but he never expected to join the mysterious Eiken Club.

Strangely enough, every other member is a busty co-ed, and many of the activities involve bikinis. But Densuke isn't interested in anyone but the shy and beautiful Chiharu. Will he overcome the wall of women that stand between him and true love?

Or is he doomed to a life of double-entendre inducing situations?

The Review
Bazooka boobies, short skirt and stocking, bloomers and glasses gals are all present in a single harem manga. How could this go wrong...?

Seriously, I am asking, how did this end up so bad?

Packaging:
Interesting presentation for this title all around. Eiken is presented right to left in a shinsho sized graphic novel. Media Blasters uses the original Akita Shoten cover art but rearranges the piece a little differently by placing character art in different positions on the cover. The front cover features the members of the Eiken (except Kirika) on a yellow-checkered background, with busty lead female/lead sex object Chiharu in the foreground. The image is wrapped in a red frame. The logo they use is the same used for the anime, also by Media Blasters. At the bottom left corner of the cover, next to the artist name, is an advisory warning noting explicit content. The opposite cover features a long volume description on a pink checkered background, surrounded by a images of a bikini clad Kirika giving Densuke a hip attack and a completely soaked Chiharu (covered in some white fluid) on all fours while wearing a bathing suit a few sizes small.

Inside the printing is okay. In early pages there are some serious moir issues, but that improves quickly. AW keeps kanji on chapter headers; they also keep bumper art and the character bios at the end of the GN. They also place character art inside the covers. Nice touch.

Artwork:
Boy Matsuyama's art is just painful. Actually I could not find his character designs attractive at all. I think it is proportion that is completely whacked, that has turned me off. Some of the characters look huge. Kiraka looks like a guy in drag, with her tall body, broad shoulders, thick thighs and huge feet. Chiharu is so much bigger than Densuke, she looks pretty manly as well, though not as much as Kirika. Starting at the top with their painful bosoms. Matsuyama either does not draw them in or he places huge utters deformed and not very aesthetically pleasing. I understand that they are a joke, for Matsuyama often has them hurting people or jiggling much to the pleasure of the characters in the manga. But their shape is just too much for me to take. I also find it funny that Densuke is often standing in a posture to accentuate his bust, even though he is a guy (arched back, breasts out, shoulders and hips back... strange). Matsuyama apparently cannot draw an ass for the life of him. Check the back cover and the lumpy bumpy butt on Chiharu; that has to be either the most painful wedgie possible, is packing heat or she has had some kind of strange surgery cause she has 3 cheeks. Same goes with Chiharu in chapter 1. Camel toes are seen on one side, not usually the other. And wedgies are not etchi, they are weird.

Costume designs are overdone. I don't think the costumes are really the problem, but actually the overuse of tone on the characters as a whole, just gives this really busy feeling. Inks are really heavy, tone is all over the place and Matsuyama tries to make sure bust lines and costume details stick out and all of a sudden you get a big mess.

Manpu is overused as well. Every panel is just so loud and busy. Perspective often ends up blowing up the proportion to unreasonable rates, because of how Matsuyama is proponed to close-ups on breasts and panty shots. I found it hard to concentrate.

SFX/Text:
Simple title to translate, especially when one considers how some of Media Blasters’ titles like Pilgrim Jager have complex language issues. This is the first translation I have read from BunnyBotX but I saw very few problems outside of a few typos.

SFX are not translated. This is definitely surprising in this age, when fans have voiced their displeasure over the lack SFX translations from a few publishers in the past few years. This manga does not have a lot of SFX, but I really wish they could have been translated in some way.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Densuke is one of the lucky ones. He just got admitted to the prestigious Zashono Academy. He is one of the 54,000 students from grade school to high school enrolled here, and he expects his new school to bring excitement and new experiences to his life. Unfortunately, no one ever seems to notice him.

While other students get snatched up and invited into clubs, teams and other extra curricular programs, Densuke is ignored and he goes straight home. Even his friends saw no hope for him, as they make fun of his lack of personality. Densuke is a shy type who tends to keep to himself, and while his lack of presence might frustrate him now, he takes things in stride. He got to this school on a whim, so what if he doesn't join a club right?

Well, there is one club looking for someone like Densuke. The Eiken even goes so far to scout, haze and illegally enlist Densuke for reasons unknown to him. But what exactly is the Eiken and why all the trouble to round up a person like Densuke? Apparently, one of the prerequisites might have to be a busty student. Kirika, Chiharu and Komoe are F-cups and up, respectively, and they don't seem to mind wearing tight uniforms, bathing suits and skimpy gym cloths around the clubhouse. Then there are the outcasts - Teddy (is always in a full bear suit), Rin Grace (is a blonde Brit in a lailai dress), Densuke (invisible boy) and Kyoko (mecha girl). Freakishly busty girls and freakish geeky social outcasts - what a combo.

The president, Kirika one of the more bulbous and more annoying characters in the history of shonen manga, couples busty characters with outcasts to take advantage of the rest of the student body - bring them in with the weird otaku tendencies and have them stay and pay with sex appeal. There are no real activities in this club, so everyone is left to their own vices, but some of those vices are questionable at best, yet no one really cares because no one wants anything to do with the Eiken. But hey, as long as they pay their dues, right?

Comments
Eiken... Some characters in the manga from the second chapter on, warn each other to stay clear of the Eiken. No one ever explains why, but there is an underlying fear of this random club.

As I began to read on, I think l came to understand what they meant. I really did not need to know what the Eiken does, and no matter how much good press the girls try to put out, often in the form of jiggling, I find myself not liking this book and the club it covers much. Moreover, at the core of why has to be how empty these characters are.

Take away the boobies and these characters are boring. Hell, even with them, they are simply forgettable. See unlike another club manga where the characters don't do anything but tend to at least have one common theme (Gen*@#ken), Eiken has no purpose outside of sexual exploitation, swindling and hazing. These characters have little personality and for most of them, their only method of communication appears to be put-downs, tricks and apologies. It is difficult to read because none of it is funny and very little is even fun. Chiharu is a sad example of a subservient popular well-rounded love-interest. She is supposed to be an all-around student - athletic, talented and smart - but we never see any of that. She is just protected by her classmates, because she just transferred from an all-girls school. I wonder how she became so popular so quickly in a school of 54,000 like that? She is meek and lacks self-confidence but her body and innocence is supposed to be a draw. Then there's Densuke. I am glad that the manga makes fun of meaningless and invisible he is because all is in this title is the punching bag for the endless barrage of abuse brought on by his club comrades. His "friends" pick on him, he is a glutton for punishment within the Eiken and he never seems to show spine.

If the writing was not bad enough the art for this title was just straight up comical. Matsuyama can draw 111cm busts on every page and that would not improve the art in this manga. Characters look disgusting for he does not seem to understand form. The overuse of tone, excessive and the confusing layout is distracting and frustrating. There really is too much going but very little substance. I think only interesting part of this volume had to be when Matsuyama finally achieved his goal have having Densuke in drag. Not only was he one of the cuter characters in this title, but also his hyper layout switched to flowery shojo mode while he used what had to be the most brilliant line in this series so far ("My butt is feeling a little breezy but this outfit is so comfortable and I'm starting to feel happy..").

Okay, the only thing that was able to save this from F-ville was cross-dressing. How is that going to save this potential disaster for the remaining 17 volumes!

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