First President of Japan Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Gutsoon!
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 210
  • ISBN: 1-932454-02-0
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

First President of Japan Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     May 31, 2005
Release Date: August 01, 2003

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Tsugihara Ryuji / Hidaka Yoshiki
Translated by:N/A
Adapted by:

What They Say
The new leader of Japan must build a new government as the superpowers enter into war in Southeast Asia. With conflict at the borders and enemies at home, how will this leader protect his country- and himself?

The Review
Gustoon! has done a nice job on this. The binding seems to be a little better and once again the actual manga is presented in B6 form despite the fact that the book is in a Tall B6. The cover is slightly better than the Japanese cover. Not quite as busy but I really wish the title was not eating up so much of the cover. I also like seeing Sakuragi looking a little more agro especially since that is in tune with this volume. Only extra is a page with a message from the author.

Hikada really presented this series in a nice way. Backgrounds are very detailed and the occasional use of news photographs really gives the realism a step up. Personally I do not like the character designs too much (the slightly real style doesn’t really work for me especially with the extra large foreheads Hikada is known for.) His sense of style is pretty good though so its not all bad on the eyes.

Layouts are pretty amazing for a drama. To be honest there is a good amount of action in this series. Most of it coming from the military scenes but even in the dramatic moments the layout really presents a sense of tension and urgency.

As was the case with all of Gutsoon!'s translations, First Prez reads and sounds very good. The vocabulary used and the terminology is perfect. The interactions and personalities come through very

If there was a flaw it has to come from the inconsistent SFX translation. Some of them are translated and these are active SFX (actions or feelings instead of actual sounds). I am not sure why this became Gustoon!'s policy, but it was not a good compromise.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
At the end of volume 1 Japan was under pressure from every direction. War had broken out in the Korean Peninsula; the security treaty with the United States was closed and the country was now without any military strength outside of their National Defense Force. The economy is also being hit hard as businesses are weary about the state of the country.

To make matters worse, the current cabinet is still trying hard to ruin Prime Minister-elect Sakuragi Kenichiro despite having their world crumble around them.

Luckily Sakuragi is almost running the country already with his work behind the scenes. Whether its calling secret meetings with heads of major corporations or he is making press conferences to inform the public about a scandal that can possibly take him down before he even sets foot in office. Sakuragi is almost always ahead of the game.

This volume shakes things up a bit though. When the violence comes very close to Sakuragi and his life is in danger the flow starts to change dramatically. Now Sakuargi has to pick himself up, he has to maintain composure and he still needs to complete the duties that he has to do in his position.

Sakuragi starts off strong but is he under control? And with all of the issues going down around him you have to wonder if he will be able to make it alive politically and physically.

Tsugihara keeps up the tension and the suspense in this volume. Things come in fast and at times it seems like the bad days will never end as something new always seems to come up.

This really makes for a fast read. At times it can be a little frustrating since there is little down time and the overall sense of time is also a little confusing. I will say that this being a short series having so much go through and noticing that most issues are resolved really makes me appreciate the work that was put into this series. You can only wonder what this would have been like if were a little longer. At the same time this is all fiction so knowing that things are always happening to heads of state I can understand how this can be seen as reasonable from an international journalist/commentator.

Character development is really interesting. I felt that Sakuragi was done and set halfway through volume one. You knew he grew up in the States. You knew he was completely revolutionary compared to the "liberals" that were currently in office. But with the introduction of a new character, Amy Spider daughter of Jefferson and Rachel Spider, and members of Sakuragi's adopted family you get to see some the other side of the First Prez. Yeah, he has been laid back with some of those he is familiar with but at the same time he is very protective of those he cares for. This really comes out when a member of his inner circle passes away from brutal circumstances.

To me this series is as refreshing as it is tense. I love having manga from this underrepresented genre available in English. First Prez is a good example of the genre and while it isn’t perfect its a fun time and something really different from what most people get to see in translated manga.

Dramatic, full of suspense, sexy with a bit of action this series has a lot going for it. And with around 10 more chapters to go one can only wonder what will happen to Sakuragi and his country next.



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