KI-ME-RA Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: ADV Manga
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-4139-0016-X
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

KI-ME-RA Vol. #01

By Megan Lavey     September 14, 2004
Release Date: October 26, 2004


KI-ME-RA Vol.#01
© ADV Manga


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kazuma Kodaka
Translated by:Christina Sohn
Adapted by:

What They Say
The fate of mankind lies hidden behind the storm clouds of California, housed within a curious capsule beneath the stars. Unbeknownst to his late-night discoverers, Osamu and Jay, the mysterious green-haired creature sealed inside the pod holds the fate of two worlds within his fragile clutches. As a warring pair of vampire aliens descend to Earth, the recovered alien - Kimera - will become the centerpiece of a battle, one where his own death will save one world, but destroy another. Osamu will become trapped in the middle, as Kimura's protector, but little does he know, a craving has begun, and his flesh has caught the eye of his new charge.

The Review
Packaging:
Since this is an uncorrected galley proof, we get a Xeroxed copy of what the front and back cover should look like in black and white. The back features a picture of Kimera along with the summary while the front shows Kimera surrounded by the majority of the supporting cast that's introduced in this volume.

Artwork:
The character designs are pretty realistic here and the book is drawn pretty well. Even though it's not a shoujo book, some of the male characters remind me of Yuu Watase's characters. The aliens are the standard fare that many have come to see from comics and movies that involve aliens generically. It's solid art, yet nothing stands out for me. However, a word to the wise, this book carries a mature rating and it does live up to it with a scene of graphic gang sex.

Text:
Other than a few spots of kana and kanji left in at the beginning, this book is a pretty good read and the transation appears accurate.

Content (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS):
ADV Films released the 60-minute OVA of this series in 2002, and from all appearances, this manga series (originally released in 1995) isn't all that different from the OVA that it later spawns.

Friends Jay and Osamu run across a turned over trailer and call in the accident. But as they poke through the debris, they discover a shipment that's suppose to go to the lab where Jay's father works - including a glass tube containing what looks like a woman. Or is it? She looks like a woman, but has the required plumbing to be a man.

Her name is Kimera, and thanks to a kiss she shares with Osamu through the glass wall of the tube, she has chosen Osamu as the one she wants to mate with. Kimera is one of the few members of a race of vampire aliens that can reproduce, and when she chooses Osamu for this task, this puts everyone's life in danger.

Kimera reminds me of your typical alien movie with some hentai thrown in to spice things up. Over the course of the book, I had problems deciding whether or not to call the androgynous Kimera a man or a woman. She is referred to as "Mother," but is also referred to as "he" in the book. I really don't have much of an opinion on Kimera herself - she seems to do nothing in the book but have gang sex with random men and devour people.

Because of this, I find it hard to sympathize with her or her people's fight. I actually wound up feeling sorry for the children involved in the series, and there is actually quite a few. There's a random child who sees his mother done in, Jay's daughter Jodie (who is quite cute) and finally Pepelo, a quiet child with some extraordinary gifts who is adopted by Romocco. My favorite scene in the book is a very quiet one between Osamu and Pepelo, when Osamu uses origami to bridge the gap between himself and the boy.

The other part of the book I enjoyed was the final story - a look back in time to Kimera's origins as a breeder. The look and the tone reminded me a lot of the Ah My Goddess! movie, with the innocent Kimera reminding me of Belldandy and Kianu of Celestin. Naturally, the story goes in a very different route, but it's a very sad tale.

Comments
While pretty entertaining, Kimera really doesn't stand out for me. I've seen much better sci-fi with more interesting characters. While Kimera herself intrigued me at first, the rampage that she and her people seem to be on turned me off on her race and pushed this down to the status of a generic sci-fi flick. If you enjoyed the OVA, you'll like the book. But with the graphic sex and violence, take the mature warning on the cover seriously.

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