Hyper Police Vol. #03 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 178
  • ISBN: 1595322965
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Hyper Police Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 24, 2005
Release Date: June 07, 2005


Hyper Police Vol.#03
© TOKYOPOP


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:MEE
Translated by:David Ury
Adapted by:

What They Say
While chasing down a bounty, Natsuki finds herself in an all-male bathhouse... with explosive results! Meanwhile, Sakura places a bounty on the head of Sakunoshin, a time-displaced samurai. But Sakura soon discovers the truth and in a classic example of female mood swings, she quickly falls for the rugged swordsman. Then spring fever hits hard, and the group's thoughts turn to love... or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.

The Review
Packaging:
There are times when TOKYOPOP can be creative and smart in regards to packaging, but most of the time they overdo it. With Hyper Police, they went overboard. There is so much happening on this cover, it is painful. I am glad to see them using MEE's cover art, featuring Natsuki showing off her new blade while Batenen covers her back. Behind the image is panel art, text (in English and Japanese) in yellow tone. Above there is a new logo, with translation in kana. There are racing stripes coming from the logo, crimped piping around the cover and a bone tone band on the right. Woof. The opposite cover is perfect; there is an image of Fonne in a tight leather outfit beneath the volume description on a gray background.

Inside the volume header is not in color, but they keep all the original headers and extras intact. The printing is actually very good looking; inking is sharp and tone looks good. The binding and cut of my copy is a little shabby looking, but I believe that just happened to be an anomaly. At the end of the GN, TOKYOPOP keeps two pages of 4-panel manga and adds a preview for volume four, a wanted poster with a bounty on Mee, and ads for Beck and Princess Ai.

Artwork:
Mee's art is a mixed bag. As someone who has become accustomed to the designs from Studio Pierrot's anime (released by Image in North America), I was happy to see that the designs for most of the cast are the same. Actually, I was surprised how little they have changed through the years and how well they were rendered. Sakura, Batenen, Tommy and the chief all look as I remembered them. Some characters come off completely different. Natsuki and most of the normal looking humans tend to look a little off. They are not as tight - extra cute, rounder and shorter. It is distracting for the rest of the cast looks leaner, meaner and has much more detail. Overall, the designs are still very fun and very creative. Mee takes the concepts of catgirls and supernatural being to another level. There are fox-girls, dog-boys, lizard-men, giant bugs, demons, walking talking toadstools, werewolves and the list goes on and on. Mee also gives these characters some culture by creating beast specific clothing and specific supernatural abilities.

There is only one panel of nudity in this volume, but as Sakura is breast-feeding she is super-sized and often falling out of her clothing.

Mee's background art is very good. Practically every panel is filled with detailed art giving reader the opportunity to get familiar with how much the Earth has changed over since the 1990's. The layout has its difficulties. While Mee keeps it active, he sometimes has a tendency to not set up action very well (there were more than a handful of times where I had a hard time figuring out what was going on).

SFX/Text:
While I have heard tighter adaptations, this one is not bad. I guess my issues are with the lack of honorifics and how the characters do not appear to have individual voices. Actually that second issue has been resolved, but is now the cause of another problem. I would have rather the translation focus on the personalities but TOKYOPOP has moved to adding more slang to the translation. This is definitely a mature title but the sexual jokes often coming out of nowhere was annoying.

I also noticed that they were a little lazy with the signage translation, for they picked and choose what they had translated. TP does not translate SFX, but they did translate signage to a point. One of the signs was the favorite cafe of the cast, Lamp Shinjuku, was simply translated Coffee House Shinjuku. They also pick and choose what to translate (but considering the amount of signage in this series that is understandable).

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sakura is on a rampage. At the end of the last volume, she found herself in a strange situation where she was striped naked in the cave of some unknown freak. What she was doing there and what that guy did to her was unknown, but now someone in Tokyo is going to have to feel the wrath of an 8 tailed fox... with a bounty license! She wants to catch this freak and kill him. Human or monster she really does not care. Her womanhood was possibly violated and nothing is going to take that back, but vengeance is currently the best redemption she can think of.

Sakura was never someone who conformed to societies norms. Actually she took pleasure at times at being stingy, spending big and eating big. She did not mind abandoning her comrades as long as it meant saving her furry butt. If she didn't have to work, she would possibly be on the streets looking for some way to get her ninth tail. And if it weren't for Natsumi's crazy sleeping habits she would possibly have that ninth tail by now.

But when she does catch her man, she no longer wants to kill him... she wants to jump his bones!

Spring fever spreads like wild fire in this version of Tokyo. Practically everyone and everything is in heat. The government has called for a weeks vacation and everyone is taking advantage of the situation in their own way. Were-turtles are humping in the streets. Giant spiders are devouring their mates in broad daylight. Catgirls take bites out of werewolves; foxes sexually assault samurai and hound-dogs howl at the door of their mistresses. Tokyo has become a steamy sticky mess of pheromones and moans. Even violent crime has dropped dramatically, giving more time for the nookie.

Make love not war is the last thing Sakura would say eleven months of the year, but in the start of spring its the only thing on her mind.

Comments
You knew it was bound to happen. Mee has been pushing the sexual tension from the start of the series. He has been fooling with the idea from the start of this series by having his cast hang out in strip bars, placed them in romantic situations to give readers the impression that romance will be a part of this story. Now he completely goes all out and spring time finally gave him an opportunity to turn Hyper Police into a mockumentary on catgirls and dogboys in heat. And he uses this to work on the relationships these characters share with each other. The friendships and the romances they share get to have new dynamics in the spring time where everyone is ready to pounce one everything.

I love the idea for it makes for some the etchi-er moments in the series so far. Moreover, we get to work on the individual characters more instead of seeing episodes of bounty hunting. We experience their troubles with love along their good times together. This begins to move the title from something simple and episodic towards a continued story where the cast have to work on the issues that bother them. It is a big change from the action of previous chapters, but I feel it comes at a good time. Any later and the rest of the series will be rushed. But we are at a point where the cast can settle down into its roles before moving on to some longer arcs.

Hyper Police might not be for everyone, but for those looking for a seinen comedy with sci-fi elements it does that better than most.

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