Pilgrim Jäger Vol. #03 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: AW Productions
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 1-58655-636-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Pilgrim Jäger Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     September 24, 2005
Release Date: July 01, 2005


Pilgrim Jäger Vol.#03
© AW Productions


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Writer/Artist: Ubukata Toh / Itoh Mami
Translated by:Julia Rose
Adapted by:

What They Say
Finally, the Silver Coins are together. But despite their unified purpose, they're bickering with petty disputes. Meanwhile, Karin has found that she's being observed by a mysterious woman whose intentions are unclear and whose very presence is menacingly evil. Adele's multiple personalities want to do more than just talk to her and give her advice... now they want control!

The Review
Packaging:
Media Blasters did everything right with this presentation. First, they used the original logo and cover art. This cover features Mr. Serpent looking as ominous as ever as a dark vortex grows out from the palm of his hand. I like how the image and logo full of blues but the flecks of yellow and red just jump of the darker shades. The opposite cover simply has a close-up on the Fennel Stalk above a short volume description. All of this is done on a matted cover, just for added measure.

Inside the printing is superb. I believe this title comes from the original Japanese printer films, so the printing is very clean and with wonderful clarity in color pages as well as black and white. They include the original volume header, and like the first volume, AW includes a few color plates for this release. At the end of most of the chapters are page long notes sharing information on historical and religious topics covered in the manga. The notes also go into depth over the original concepts in this story. At the end of the GN, there are conceptual designs for Adele and Karin, an ato-gaki with Xavier and Loyola playing old-skool soccer and part one of "Communication Homunculus".

Artwork:
Itoh's art is fantastic. It reminds quite a bit of the art from Priest, which also has a great sense of form. Character designs have sketchy lines that come together to give these characters a realistic look to them. There is a lot of detail and each character is done with their own unique characteristics. At time, characters might be out of scale, but I have felt that has been done purposely to enhance the sense of mystique around the lead characters. Costumes look very good and they are often nicely detailed to show social status in what was a class society. Facial expressions are not great, but that is to be expected because the art is too intricate.

Backgrounds are great and Itoh uses them to full effect in the action scenes. This places the reader in a perspective where they can feel right in the scene. The layout is also great. It move at a very comfortable pace that does not let the action take command or let the dialogue slow things down much.

Text/SFX:
Pilgrim Jager is not an easy title to translate. Obviously, this manga was in Japanese, but there are Italian terms tossed in here and there to help put the setting in context. Then because of the religious aspect, there is plenty of Latin to translate as well. Media Blasters has done a very good job translating each and more importantly keeping a flow within the three languages. They have provided a glossary of terms at the end of the GN for additional help and they include notes in the gutters for concepts that are more pressing to the text. MBP also uses a fun, though a little small, type font that works well with the era this is set in.

SFX are not translated. This is definitely surprising in this age, when fans have voiced their displeasure over the lack SFX translations for the past few years. This manga does not have a lot of SFX, but I really wish the few that are present could have been translated in some way.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The time has finally come when the ten silver coins would gather to bring forth a new age. From different lands, political backgrounds and religions each one of the coins brings a unique strength and perspective to Rome. However, as the Silver Coins begin to work together it is quickly apparent that their differences might be too great to overcome. One can wonder if these ten would co-exist in any other situation, for even this meeting has begun with its share of problems. Their bias, their experiences and most importantly their strong wills are preventing them from being able to work with each other on even the smallest problems. The only thing holding them together is their connection to those in power in Rome. So strong is that force that it can almost will them together as powerful tools against those who intend to bring an end to the secular rule that governs much of Europe.

There might be another thing. They have yet to figure out is origin, but somewhere someone has communicated with them as a whole. Sent telepathically to each coin at the same time, this message shook them enough fundamentally their egos could not stand up against its strength. Who has called them and how did they speak to them all at once like that? It must be the work of miracles! This must be the reason they have come to Rome!

Meanwhile in Naples, there are some strange people gathering there as well. Unfortunately, there is even less information on who these people are and what their motivations are. Actually, on the surface it appears as if none of the meetings here was even planned. People are just running into each other in the worst possible way. At the very least, these people are slowly making life a living hell for Adele and Karin. Simply having some of these people in the region might blow the cover on these ladies and they could start a riot with the Church's army that is already suspicious of what might be going on with the Commissioner. Let’s hope this threat quickly comes to pass as Karin and Adele are having enough trouble without these new people. Adding sinners to Adele's multiple personalities might push them over the edge before the series rally gets good.

Comments
The Church and politics, many would say they should have nothing to do with each other. It is clear that in Ubukata's Italy, these two concepts make poor bedfellows but such was life for much of the renaissance period. This was an era where humanity began to challenge the fundamentals that dominated the social landscape - socially, philosophically, artistically and scientifically.

The Silver Coins would normally be considered outcasts by society. Their dedication and unique abilities have made them valuable to those they associate with. However, take those connections away and many would fear them. Who would trust a monk who admits to have committed each sin and denounces the inquisition? How could a boy become the greatest missionary in Catholicism? People born through caesarians are considered living dead. Jews working for with those within the Catholic Church? Medicine is still considered alchemy by many and that would be against the Church. Each character has a unique gift one that brought them to Rome; talents that will cause great things in history (Micheangelo's art or Loyola's teachings).

Still these characters have come together for some vile reason and Ubukata does not mind to have their personalities clash and work together when neccessary. There is too much history to ignore with each personality, but at the same time Ubukata brings them together because someone had to take them in. Some person pulling their strings has the power to do so, and possibly so much more. This is what is so intriguing about this title. The potential for something great builds with each volume, as the characters develop and this plot begins to connect the cast together and brings them closer to a goal.

I have to say I know something is happening here and I think it is going to be something really big. I think it has to do with betrayal and some strange coalitions. I think there will be some pretty interesting conflicts along the way. However, I do not know what is going on now. Moreover, while I feel this volume has answered some of the questions I had from the previous volume, now I have just as many questions and maybe even more.

That said this title really has me intrigued. I just do not know where this title is going, but every new volume provides some excellent entertainment values. Normally, the confusion alone would turn me off, but Itoh’s art and Ubukata’s cast have me reeled in. This is one of those head-scratcher titles that are hard to put down. Every time I feel as if I get it, I am proven wrong and I want to learn more about the story. I am enjoying the conflicts with politics pushing the plot. Then there are the personal struggles with religion and the supernatural that seems to be rooted with most of the cast. I do not even want to talk about Adele’s problem (or should I say problems), because I do not think anyone can really comprehend that yet.

So much to enjoy here, but still so little to really get a full grasp of. I guess that’s why I have to come back and ask for more.

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