Mania Grade: B
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B
- Text/Translatin Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Infinity Studios LLC
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 210
- ISBN: 1-59697-029-4
- Size: Shinsho
- Orientation: Right to Left
Hurrah! Sailor Vol. #01
By Jarred Pine
June 10, 2005
Release Date: May 15, 2005
Hurrah! Sailor Vol.#01
© Infinity Studios LLC
Translated by:Kentaro Abe
Adapted by:What They Say
Sometimes in life, we have to stop what we’re doing to ask ourselves, “why does such and such have to be like this?” The world of Katsuo Nakane’s, Hurrah Sailor, deals with this question as Konika, Ichino, Mareta, Shoya, and Ensign Kurie find themselves stranded on a planet whose inhabitants have developed virtually no technology at all.
The Two United Empires and the Federation Kingdom have been at war for centuries and entire galaxies have been turned into war zones. With neither side ever achieving a decisive victory, the conflict has been dragging on so long that both sides have even forgotten the reason why the war originally started.
But now, for Konika of the Federation Kingdom, and the others from the United Empire, they must put aside their differences to find a way off the planet together. During this process, they find that perhaps there are no differences between them and some of them begin to wonder if they wouldn’t be better off not returning to the war.The ReviewPackaging:
The cover art is the same as the Japanese release, featuring Mareta and Ichino amongst a plain white background, with the English logo is along the top with the volume number below it. The original cover is pretty boring as it just has too much white space, although the colors on the two characters are very sharp and clear. The back cover also features a small color illustration amidst a sea of white space.
Inside there is one color volume header page, along with black and white chapter headers, both featuring character illustrations. There are chapter dividers that just use a panel from earlier in the manga. The paper is interesting, as it makes the print job look quite shiny and sharp, but it is a little thin as you can see the heavy tones bleed through a bit.Art:
The artwork is very simple and clean, reminding me of the same style as Yotsuba&!. It looks nice but it feels sort of generic to me and it’s very static and flat. The are an array of facial expressions, from more serious to comedic, and some use of deformed designs for a humorous effect. The backgrounds are sparse, which is too bad since I was wanting to see more of this remote planet.Text/SFX:
The SFX are done two ways from what I can tell. For the most part, the SFX are translated and subbed next to the originals, but there are a few instances where they were completely retouched. It seems that the SFX that had an all white background were retouched, while the others were subbed. The sub job is okay, but I found it created more clutter as sometimes it wasn’t near the original text and was covering more artwork. The subs also try to mimic the original text, which makes them bigger than they need to be.
The translation is very solid and reads quite clearly. The character Konika speaks in an almost undecipherable dialect at times when she gets stressed, and the text got across that same effect nicely. There also is a pun about “Niku-man” in one of the chapters that has an editor’s note in the margin. Overall a very nice translation with an okay SFX job.Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
Hurrah! Sailor is based on a PS2 simulation game in Japan. The story here follows the survivors of a spaceship crash on a remote planet in some undisclosed galaxy. The spaceship Narai was shot down during a battle in the ongoing space war between the United Empires and Federation Kingdoms. The survivors are four soldiers of the United Empires along with a Federation soldier named Konika. Together they form a truce and work together on this remote planet to try and repair their shuttle so they can go home. The story has a very slice-of-life feel to it, as it just follows these survivors as they do their daily routines while trying to figure ways to get the resources they need to get back home. In each chapter we learn a little more about the planet they are on, the villages nearby, and the lives of these survivors.
Since this is a slice-of-life style of story, the characters have to be likeable, which they definitely are here. Mareta is the well-endowed airhead who got into the army on pure luck, but her personality is explained in a flashback and you realize she is sort of a tragic character. Ensign Kurie is the daughter of an admiral who is a bit too serious and anti-social, but like Mareta, she has a nice chapter where her background is explain a bit that makes her a more 3-dimensional character. We also have Ichino, who is the AI for the ship and has a few fish-out-of-water moments that are funny. Shoya is a weak soldier who is constantly arguing with Konika, the enemy soldier who also crash landed with them. Their relationship is explored a bit more as we learn later on in the book that Konika shot Shoya in the shoulder when they first landed, and she has a hard time believing that Shoya is not holding any ill will against her. It was a real surprise seeing how much was flushed out for each character in this short amount of time.
Behind all the slice-of-life moments and silly humor is a really interesting commentary about how our lives are so driven by our surrounding environments. Outside of the war, these people are able to live their lives without all the external pressure and pushing. Enemies no longer have to be enemies, but rather can be friends. Many times we all feel like escaping to an island where we can leave our worries behind and focus on our own lives, much like the character Mareta. All this is kept pretty light, but having it in the background turned this into a more engaging read than it would have been without it.Comments
This first volume really took me by surprise. At first glance this looked like a Gilligan’s Island sci-fi harem manga that would be forgotten immediately. However this first volume left a good impression on me and I still think about some of the events that happened. It really comes down to the characters, as they were funny and memorable, and even a couple started to become more three-dimensional, which I did not expect with a two-volume long manga.
The mood of the manga is very light and easy, with a few moments of more serious characterizations with a couple of the survivors. The comedy is done nicely with a mix of parody and slapstick humor for the most part. Mixed in with the slice-of-life story structure and intriguing themes about escaping reality, this story definitely leaves an impression that isn’t instantly forgotten. It won’t make any waves or stand out much from similar titles, but there is something here that can be enjoyed by many. It will be interesting to see where this goes with the final volume.