Kabuki Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translation Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 184
  • ISBN: 978-1569705926
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Kabuki

Kabuki Vol. #01

By Danielle Van Gorder     December 31, 2008
Release Date: September 23, 2008


Kabuki Vol. #01
© Digital Manga Publishing

When Kounosuke finds himself mysteriously transported into the future, will he be able to find his lover again?

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Yukari Hashida
Translation: Melanie Schoen
Adpatation: Melanie Schoen

What They Say
Konosuke is the favored son of a noble family. When he is caught in a fire at the mansion, a blow to the head causes him to remember scenes from a previous life. A former Warring States Period daimyo, he had a torrid love affair with his page, Kakeya. Kakeya had sworn that when they were born again they would be together in the next life. But when Konosuke wakes up, three men appear before him - all named Kakeya! Can Konosuke traverse time and be reunited again with his beloved Kakeya?

The Review!
Packaging:

DMP's books are usually very nice, but for some reason the art reproduction in this one is not up to their usual standards.  Lines are blurred, the screen tone reproduction gets very muddy in points, and quite a few pages end up looking too dark, like an uncalibrated copy machine was used at some point in production.  Ordinarily it might not be as noticeable, but with so much screentone used in this book it's painfully obvious at points.

Artwork:

Hashida's art is light and flowery, with her soft, sketchy lines grounded by heavy use of dark screentone.  It makes for some interesting plays with positive and negative space in some panels, but overall it just ends up feeling too dark.  In the end, it feels like the artist just wasn't confident enough in her own skills and instincts, and used the screentone as a crutch.

Text/SFX:

All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original.  The translation flows smoothly without any notable rough spots.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Five hundred years ago, Kounosuke was the master of a castle under siege.  With all hope of victory lost, he and his page Kageya committed suicide, after swearing to meet again in another life.  Back in the present time, Kounosuke wakes up in another body, one that looks like his but younger, in a world he doesn't know or understand.  Gradually, he comes to discover that he's the orphaned son of a wealthy business empire, whose house was burned down by arsonists.  There are currents around him that he doesn't understand, but the only thing he cares about is finding Kageya again.

As it turns out, the Kageya family still serves his, but there are three generations of Kageyas, and Konounosuke can't determine which one (if any) is his Kageya!  To top that off, someone is trying to kill him, and he still has high school to face as well, despite having no memories of anything (or knowledge, for that matter).  His past indiscretions come back to haunt him, as well as his wife from his previous life.  But all of that pales next to the simple fact that his Kageya won't touch him until he turns eighteen!

Comments:

This was an extremely silly book, and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.  The premise was interesting, but it felt like Hashida was trying to do to many different things, and never quite managed to nail the execution of any of them, resulting in a disjointed story that never quite reaches its potential.  There are some fun points - Kounosuke convincing himself that three different generations of Kageyas were The One, for example - but in the end this is a fairly forgettable book.

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