Project Arms Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 207
  • ISBN: 1-59116-058-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Project Arms Vol. #02

By Jarred Pine     March 22, 2005
Release Date: September 01, 2003


Project Arms Vol.#02
© Viz Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Ryoji Minagawa and Kyoichi Nanatsuki
Translated by:Katy Bridges
Adapted by:

What They Say
When Ryo and Hayato find out that the third ARMs kid is Takashi Tomoe, the new transfer student at their school, the mysterious Egrigori organization deploys precocious twins, Jeff and Al Bowen, to go after them. To Jeff and Al, it's all fun and games, especially when someone gets hurt. The only way the ARMs kids are going to survive is by working together-but Hayato's a hot-headed lone wolf and Takashi just wants to run away and hide. Do they even have a chance of surviving?

The Review
Packaging:
Cover art is from the original Japanese release which features Ryo and Hayato in sort of an action scene with what looks to be silver rip marks across the book. It’s not the best looking cover and the ripping effect comes of a bit garish. The English logo is presented at the top of the page with the Japanese katakana translation above in smaller font and the English volume subtitle underneath. A small black bar with the Viz action logo streaks the top while another black bar streaks the bottom with the creators' names and volume number. There is a volume header that has the table of contents on one side, and the story summary on the other. Each of the chapter headers feature the chapter number along with the title, which is integrated in with the artwork. At the back of the book is a page about the creators. The print job is done very well, with all the tones looking very sharp without any fading or bleeding.

Art:
Minagawa’s character designs are definitely an acquired taste. The characters aren’t pretty to look at, but there is a lot of detail put into the facial expressions. If I had one minor quibble, it would be that there is a bit of overuse of that whole deer-caught-in-headlights facial expression. The art is done very well for this expression, but I’d like to see a bit more range to help bring out some other personalities.

The background and action art is incredible. There’s plenty detail put into almost every panel, giving the reader a really nice sense of perspective. The action scenes are really clean and are laid out in a clear and concise manner that allowed me to become a part of the action.

Text/Translation:
The volume is printed right to left in the B6 size. SFX are left as is with a glossary in the back of the book with page number followed by the romanji text and the English translation next to it.

The translation and adaptation is nicely done. The only minor complaint I have is that some of the dialogue, especially Hayato’s, is peppered with a little bit of slang. It’s very minor though and is for the most part negligible. There were a couple grammar errors, one being where “Student” was not plural when it should have been.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
The ARMS trio (Ryo, Hayato, and Takeshi) must save the other students from a couple of kid geniuses from Egrigori, Al & Jeff, who are also known as the Chapel Twins. The twins were part of the research and development team at Egrigori, and during their work they created a couple of cyborgs named Plus and Minus. By operating these cyborgs from a remote location, the twins have turned the school grounds into a battlefield. After rescuing the other innocent students, the ARMS trio sets out to find the twins and stop their terrorism.

This storyline with the twins drags on for far too long. There were a total of four battles that should have been cut down to maybe two. The dragged out story wasn’t all for not though. Ryo, Hayato, and Takeshi start working together as a team which will be important in future storylines as they start to take on more Egrigori assassins. We also learn a lot more about the nature of the ARMS technology through the twins and by Ryo’s actions with his own ARMS. Also, at the end of the twins storyline we meet an important character from Hayato’s past that opens up a lot more questions about Egrigori. The final two chapters work as a bridge between the twins and the next story arcs, as we see the new team in a much more relaxed atmosphere with a little bit of humor added in which helps with connecting with the main cast.

Comments
The second volume drags out the Chapel Twins story arc a bit longer than I would have liked. While we do learn a bit more about ARMS and Egrigori and see the teamwork building, in the end this really is just a long introduction to the new character Al. Even though the story drags, the action scenes and clean artwork makes this volume a good experience. There were a couple action scenes that made my jaw drop. I still like a lot of the mystery that is behind the scenes and I’m looking forward to learning more.

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