First President of Japan Vol. #03 -

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: 193
  • ISBN: 1-932454-08-X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

First President of Japan Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     June 05, 2005
Release Date: October 03, 2003

First President of Japan Vol.#03
© Gutsoon!

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

What They Say
The new Prime Minister of Japan must beat back the flames of war and save a failing economy. Is one strong leader enough to bring the nation back from the brink of chaos?

The Review
Gustoon! has done another nice job on this. They do something unique with this series by presenting the manga in B6 form despite the fact that the actual pages are in a Tall B6, so every page is sitting under a header of "First President of Japan". The front cover is all new art featuring Sakuragi in front of a large metal globe. Its pretty nice but I still think that the logo is too large (in this case its so large Sakuragi's head covers part of it.)

Extras include ads for FotNS: Masters Edition Ad, Raijin Magazine and Graphic Novel and mangaka/author profiles.

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 it is not all bad on the eyes.

Layouts are pretty amazing for a drama. And while there is a good amount of action in this series the layout gives a sense of tension and a fast pace through even the most dialogue filled pages. Action pages are also well done but stylized. So while the action is okay its not as detailed as say City Hunter.

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 well.

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)
In volume 2 Sakuragi started making moves as chaos is happening all over east Asia. Add to that the death of one of his closest allies and things were looking bad for the new Prime Minister.

But as readers know by now, Sakuragi is someone who feels freedom and peace is earned and not entirely a right. Now volume later, a new cabinet is worked on through some extreme tactics. While abroad, Sakuragi tries to gain the support of his neighbors (and former classmates at Stanford) to create a defense treaty. None of this comes easy but once the wheels start turning its pretty hard to stop someone of his personality.

Once again, Hidaka-sensei fills these six chapters with a lot of drama, suspense and the occasional twist here and there. I still feel as if some of his ideas are leaning a little heavy on the fantastic but enjoying politics and fiction I find an appreciation for this that I can only compare to good satire. While the situations potentially are possible the results are typically asking for a reaction from its readers. It works to a degree but what it really does is set a mood and pace that makes typically slow reading (political drama) something a little more exciting.

My previous issue with time has been fixed here. Only a few days go by in this volume and they are paced out pretty well. This really gave a sense of urgency but at the same time I felt that Sakuragi was doing something so extreme it felt almost illegal. Taking advantage of chaos he calls for elections within a week and thus gives his opposition little time for building a campaign (reminds me of what happened in Kalifornia.)

Character development that was so crucial in the last volume slows down here. We start to see Sakuragi's leadership come through but you pretty much expected most of that. Where he surprises is his trust. Its almost arrogant. Standing before his elite military squad he appears without guards while terrorists have taken control of a nuclear reactor and have been plucking off people left and right. Sure the president needs to show his trust but that was almost asking for trouble.

Three down and one more to go. And while I have read this already in the pages of Raijin Magazine reading the GNs is still just as fun. I think I would have liked Gustoon! to go with 3 GNs instead of 4 (like Shueisha did) just because I am always left wanting more.

You know I am counting the days to volume 4 (December 10th, I believe) and once that day comes and goes I'll be writing JakeT for some "President of Japan" goodness.

(By the way I wrote this in 2003 and I am still waiting on the sequel.)


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jnager 3/13/2012 9:00:33 AM

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