Planet Blood Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-59532-538-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Planet Blood Vol. #02

By Jarred Pine     April 05, 2005
Release Date: April 12, 2005


Planet Blood Vol.#02
© TOKYOPOP


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kim Tae-Hyung
Translated by:Woo Sok Park
Adapted by:

What They Say
Noodles and his band of fighters are intent on taking back the Horai kingdoms of Gaia and Pratria from his twin brother overlord Zetsos. To do so, they must quest for the six Neoptolemos, ancient battle relics that will provide enough power for the small army to stand up against the massive armies before them. However, Zetsos has sent assassins after his brother's loyals, one of which is Yan, a space warrior from another time and place just like Sinan. But Sinan and Yan aren't the only ones in Horai uprooted and transported here from the great Moon/Mars war...

The Review
Packaging:
The cover features another Tokyopop original illustration, featuring Pantera and Minte, which is very nice to look at, even if they look a bit different than the actual designs inside. The logo is across the top and on the bottom are some tribal designs and the roman numeral “II” for the second volume as well as the creator name. The Tokyopop stripe is present along the left in a dark, slate color. The back cover features a close up of Pantera from the front cover along with the volume summary. The volume and chapter headers are present and feature some interesting artwork featuring the characters outside of this fantasy world and in a more modern world setting. The print job is nicely done with the tones coming out dark and clean.


Art:
The character designs are very clean, with use of heavy dark lines, but I found them to be a bit stock and generic. I’m also not a big fan of the lumberjack look of some of the characters. The costumes are nicely detailed but feel a bit clichéd, especially with Mayi’s loose apparel. Mayi and the other women are definitely drawn as fanservice bait, and for those interested there are a couple ass-shots of Mayi.

Like the previous volume, the background art is for the most part minimal. This is a problem when the setting is supposed to be a rich, medieval world, as I found myself wanting to know more about this strange world. The lack of depth can be a bit frustrating.

Text/SFX:
SFX are left untouched and are not translated. I found myself numerous times wishing I knew what the sound was since it was supposed to be a sound away from the action. The dialogue is translated well and flows smoothly. There is a slight difference in the way Sinan and some of the native Horains speak. It’s subtle but it helps characters like Noodles and Zetsos feel more proper and members of royalty.


Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
It is quite apparent while reading Planet Blood that Tae-Hyung can’t quite focus on what he wants this story to be. Because of this lack of focus, there is a lot of potential with character conflicts and strong drama that is left undeveloped, which becomes quite frustrating.

One of the first scenes in the book features a fanservice comedy bit as Mayi goes to bathe and all the males try and peep on her without letting the others know. There is a lot of this type of comedy surrounding Mayi and it falls completely flat and I found myself disinterested. Mayi is also kidnapped, again, and it becomes quite clear that she has no depth and is just there for all the men to swoon over her scantily clothed body, and fall into peril over and over again.

Sinan comes into contact with two people from the Mars/Moon world. One is a Moon soldier named Scott. There was a lot of potential here for conflict as Sinan and Scott were enemies at war in the other world, but their differences are settled in the matter of a few panels and they end up becoming friends. This really made me feel as though the war in the other world was not as important as it was explained earlier. It can’t possibly be that bad if two enemies can solve their differences in a matter of minutes! The other person that Sinan runs into is Yan, his friend and fellow soldier who has been living on Horai for 3 years. Yan is an assassin working for Zetsos, and he is after Noodles’ head. Yan ultimately backstabs Sinan, but I never really felt the strong drama that should have been present. Their reunion was rushed and once again I felt like there was opportunity wasted here.

The gist of the plot in this volume involves Noodles and company getting split up as they come under attack from Zetsos’ assassins and Mayi is kidnapped. The pace was slower in this volume, which helped set up some characters and plots, but I felt like it all sort of dragged a bit much.

Comments
After some promising setup in the first volume, Planet Blood settles into average fantasy clichés and tired storylines that squander a lot of potential and waste a lot of opportunities for strong character drama. It became really frustrating to see Mayi become useless kidnap bait and the butt of flat fanservice jokes that just aren’t very funny. While the artwork is clean, it ultimately feels cold and the lack of depth and background detail makes it hard to become a part of this strange fantasy world. Everything in this volume really just feels average. There is nothing really good or terribly bad, it’s just plain and average. And I really want to shave Telamon’s mustache.

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