Phantom Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-59816-770-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Phantom Vol. #01

By Jarred Pine     March 06, 2007
Release Date: January 30, 2007

Phantom Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Writer: Ki-Hoon Lee / Artist: Seung-Yup Cho
Translated by:N/A
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
K--an agile mech pilot in Neo Seoul police's high-speed mobile unit--specializes in chasing down and eradicating terrorists. His duty has always been to protect the citizens, and he's given little thought to the mega-corporations that run the city. But when an ordinary arrest explodes into a nightmarish battle, K is painfully forced to question his convictions. Stripped of all sense of right and wrong, K must make a terrible choice--either join his enemies, or lose all sense of justice!

The Review
Why do I care? It's a question that was never answered, so I am left without any strong feelings either way about Phantom. It just exists.

Print reproduction is muddy with quite a few areas definitely on the dark side of the scale. Not a clean looking reproduction by any means. The cover, however, is nicely design with some nice textual elements. There are a good amount of extras included as well, including a preview for Archlord.

Line work is very thick, with a good amount of detail, but there seems to be an issue with composition and perspective. Action sequences are often indecipherable and panels feel cramped while reading most of the book.

SFX are not translated. The English script reads okay, but it feels as if a little too much creative license was given, resulting in such lines such as Like a hooker with a 5 o'clock shadow, I'm not buyin. Heh, the irony.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I'm tempted to just sum up and close this entire review with one word--apathetic. That's exactly how I feel after reading Phantom, just utterly unmotivated. Perhaps that is due to Ki-Hoon Lee's story lacking any motivation or spark to get me going, despite the numerous pages of mech warfare.

The characters are bland cardboard cut-outs, from the obnoxiously loud mech piloting hero to the sassy nurse with disproportionate breasts. Honestly, we've seen this whole secret organization taking on the Global Axis of Evil storyline before, so you have to bring some decent characters to the table to make up for the terribly derivative plot.

Speaking of which, the plotting moves at a herky-jerky pace that feels like it was written according to the Michael Bay School of Taking Your Money; come up with massive explosions first and then write some semblance of story around them. Blowing shit up sells tickets (or in this case, books) dammit!!

The story does have its fair share of twists and turns, as predictably as they may be, but the question that just kept popping up in my mind on numerous occasions was,"Why do I care?" A question that was never answered, so I'm left without strong feelings either way about Phantom. It just exists.

Just a real apathetic reading experience overall for Phantom, not feeling strongly about the title either way and am just left with another book to throw in the Manga Glut heap. Instead of choosing my weapon, I'm just gonna choose another title.


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