Monster Collection Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 17 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 176
  • ISBN: 1-4012-0651-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Monster Collection

Monster Collection Vol. #02

By Connie Zhang     June 27, 2007
Release Date: August 01, 2005

Monster Collection Vol.#02

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Sei Itoh
Translated by:Alexis Kirsch
Adapted by:Jake Forbes

What They Say
Kasche continues her quest to become a monster summoner! Kasche's hunt for the stolen Guardian of Knowledge has led her to the once-peaceful city of Wallace, where rebellion is brewing under its Lord. But the truth is more sinister than a mere coup!

With the aid of mercenary Cuervo and the comely demon Nastasha, not to mention a little assistance from a mysterious and lecherous lizard-man, Kasche must infiltrate the palace and steal back the Guardian before it can be used to unlock the dangerous Encyclopedia Verum!

The Review
Magical fellowships on epic journeys in fantastical worlds are a dime-a-dozen these days. It's rather unfortunate that Itoh's spin on this conventional formula breaks no new ground in this volume. Previously, he introduced us to two extremely likable characters Kasche, ditzy summoner extraordinaire and Cuervo, kindhearted mercenary-for-hire who hit it off right away (or at least there was a lot of hitting involved). Having narrowed down the mastermind behind the Guardian of Knowledge theft to a rogue summoner in the land of Wallace, Kasche and company immediately set off for a hot spring. This being an M title means that we're treated to plenty of nudity (though, none full-frontal) and where better to expose flesh than at a hot spring?

Throw in a lecherous lizard-man with some mad fighting skills, Cuervo in a small towel dashing to the rescue and Kasche whipping off her towel to reveal her "secret weapon" and you have the makings of pure comedic gold. Before long, the trio enters Wallace and prepares to steal back what was stolen. Thankfully, Itoh doesn't protract the journeying part of the story to several books (thoughtfully omitting any "leveling up" escapades) and cuts straight to the chase. Bad guy ruler of Wallace (who doesn't much like peace) intends to rebel against the Holy City and comes armed with badass allies: Eclipse (the horned rogue summoner from earlier) and a Fallen Angel (a sinister cherub from the deepest pits of hell). Suffice it to say Kasche and friends are in way over their heads.

Regrettably, the predictable storyline isn't the only letdown. The artwork becomes almost manic, with most pages filled to the margins and bursting with speedlines. Consistency is another issue, especially in the faces, and Itoh takes a number of shortcuts (such as shading) to avoid having to draw in details and actual backgrounds. Colored pages are included again, which more than make up for the lackluster cover. The same can't be said for the dialogue which is just as bland as ever. SFX are translated and are overlain. Overall, this volume can't hold a candle to the first. There may be more action here, but very little actually happens. The characters aren't nearly as dynamic and what little is revealed about the villains is dangerously banal.

Having written itself into something of a corner, it seems that Monster Collection has already run out of steam. It's hard to imagine that there's enough story left to fill four more books.


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