Madness Vol. #01 - Mania.com



Manga Review

Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Art Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: D
  • Text/Translation Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 and Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 14.99
  • Pages: 272
  • ISBN: 978-1427816696
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Madness

Madness Vol. #01

Madness Vol. #01 Manga Review

By Patricia Beard     September 13, 2010
Release Date: December 01, 2009


Madness Vol. #01
© TOKYOPOP

What if Demon Eyes Kyo pitched for the other team? Heh, heh, just kidding. Kinda.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Kaira Simotsuki
Translation: Unlisted
Adaptation: Unlisted

What They Say
In 3000 AD, mankind is in chaos after a series of natural disasters. And it's up to the Catholic priest Izaya and his mass-murderer companion Kyou to save the day.

The Review!

Technical:
Tokyopop/Blu has chosen to release Madness in an omnibus format, an excellent decision given the quality of the reproduction that they were willing to give this title.  A standard release would have killed this series off almost immediately with readers who would likely not get past the first volume because of the visual mess of some of the pages.  The problem lies not with the character designs which are attractive and competently drawn. It's in the combination of some poorly conceived and rendered actions scenes on Shimotsuki's part, and sloppy and cheap reproduction by Tokyopop. One would  think that Tokyopop could have tried a little harder with an artist who can be a good as Shimotsuki (Devil Kings Basara).   The overall effect can be jarring, enough so that some of the clunky localization doesn't seem so bad.
 
Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
In 3000 AD, after a period of war and invasion by the ruthless group called Madness, young priest Izaya has taken on the burden of protecting not only the town of Philistine, but the man imprisoned in the basement of the church, a man presumed to be the head of Madness. Izaya finds it difficult to believe that Kyo, whom he has prayed with and over for the past three years to be the ruthless killer he is purported to be. But the invasion of Philistine by a former cohort of Kyo's who is in pursuit of Kyo's legendary sword, Siegfried, not only sets the town even more against Kyo, it awakens Kyo, red eyes and all, to his ruthless killing machine former self.  And while the reawakened Kyo saves Philistine, the townsfolk are none too pleased with such a danger magnet as Kyo and very willingly accede to have Kyo leave with their priest, Izaya, who is more than a pretty boy cleric - he is a limiter to berserker red-eyed Kyo, the Suppress who can return Kyo to a more stable and less ruthless self.
 
Kyo and Izaya hit the road with the intention of turning his pursuer's head in for the bounty, much as Kyo/Kyoshiro and Yuya hit the road to find Kyo's body and Yuya's brother.  Of course, it doesn't take long for Kyo and Izaya to come upon one of Kyo's former comrades, the frisky Oboro, who puts out quite a surprising "welcome mat" for Kyo.  After Oboro finally comes on board as member of Kyo's little band, it doesn't take long for another former member to make an appearance.  When Oboro discovers that Miyabi, Kyo's former Suppress who betrayed him and tried to kill him, is in the next town, he and Kyo head out to find her leaving Izaya struggling to keep up and finally getting separated from them.  Izaya's beauty gets him into the clutches of a local brothel owner and he is rescued from ravishment by one of the prostitutes, who turns out to be Miyabi.
 
Miyabi, who is reminiscent in her character design and libidinous attitude to Kamijo's treacherous spy, Izumo no Okumi, and the cross-dressing member of the Four Emperors, Akari, plays a more prominent part in this adventure than expected for a female in a BL work.  It is Miyabi, with her heretofore undisclosed reason for wanting to protect Izaya, who begins to move the story in ways that the other characters cannot when she joins the group.  The volume closes with the group under attack by unknown forces out to destroy the members of Madness and Miyabi badly injured as a result.
 
In Summary:
If the reader can put up with the occasional confusing mess that appears on the page (much worse in the beginning of the volume), the story is an entertaining one, if not completely original.  The inclusion of a female as a meaningful, contributing character is an unusual feature and a welcome one in this tale that is turning out to be a story with BL overtones rather than BL driven.  While some readers will be disappointed that Miyabi's sex scenes are more explicit than Kyo and Izaya's and in the prominence that Miyabi is now holding, it's the story that counts and this is shaping up to be quite an adventure.

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