Psychic Academy Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1591826217
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Psychic Academy Vol. #01

By Mike Dungan     November 17, 2004
Release Date: March 01, 2004


Psychic Academy Vol.#01
© TOKYOPOP


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Katsu Aki
Translated by:Jan Scott Frazier
Adapted by:

What They Say
Ai Shiomi is pushed into attending the Psychic Academy, a place of learning for psychically gifted students. Not only must he live up to his older brother's heroic reputation as "The Vanquisher of the Dark Overlord", but he must also deal with the fact that his brother teaches at the academy and insists on embarrassing him, especially in front of all of the girls at school who find him mysteriously attractive now that he has super psychic powers. And all Ai ever wanted was a quiet, normal life.


The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ai Shiomi is a regular kid pushed by his parents into attending the Psychic Academy, a school for people with psychic abilities. Ai really doesn't want to attend. Although a test showed he has psychic talent, it's never manifested itself and he really doesn't feel particularily gifted. However, his childhood friend, the beautiful Orina is attending the school, so he gives in. On his way to school, he sees a baby about to fall from a balcony, but before he can do anything, a beautiful, short-hair girl uses her psychic powers to save the baby. He's in awe, but for some reason, she seems angry with him. She's a student at the Psychic Academy, meaning he runs into her again. He soons learns why she seems angry with him. She thinks he's making fun of her. Unknowingly, Ai had levitated the baby long enough for the girl, Mew, to catch him.

Ai attempts to settle into his life at the academy, but it's difficult. First, there's his friend Orina, who is known as Sahra at school. Every student is known by their aura eminence, and he doesn't have one. Although they're not dating, they are very close and he has a mad unrequited crush on her. Next, his brother is a teacher at the school. His aura eminence is Zerodaimu Kyupura Pa Azaraku Vairu Rua Darogu, but he's happy being known as Zero. He's also known as "The Vanquisher of the Dark Overlord", a reference to a great battle that saved the world a few years earlier. Zero loves the fame and plays up to his image as much as possible. He shows up in class dressed entirely in black leather, complete with cape, looking every bit the mystical hero. But he's got a necktie on, so it's okay. He also loves to smother Ai with love and affection, especially in public, which makes Ai's life even harder. When Zero's not trying to make Ai's life miserable, he's chasing after the stunning Chiroro Dapura, one of Ai's teachers. Then there's the matter of the bunny. A rabbit that telepathically talks in a pseudo-Deadend Kids patois has latched on to him and won't let him go. He's Master Boo, and he's going to train our boy up right! A couple of other students are Kyaru, a cute bespectacled girl who is quite adept at discerning aura compatibility and fortunes, and Telda Janar Guga, Ai's new roommate. He's dark-skinned, long-haired, speaks in a very formal, stilted manner, and is quite obviously Not From Around Here.

It turns out that Orina and Mew are roommates, which complicates things for Ai further. Also, Kyaru has divined that Ai and Mew's auras are 100% compatible, which worries Orina. She has a crush on Ai, just as much as he has a crush on her. Mew is fascinated by Ai's power, which she can tell is incredible. So she invites him into the practice gym at night to have a little fight with him. With Master Boo's help, he's able to survive Mew's attacks. Orina arrives and breaks things up, and she uses her powers to help heal the injuries he received.

The next morning, Master Boo has Ai head into town to do some more training. Unfortunately, leaving school grounds without permission is prohibited without proper permission. Orina, fearing Ai has run away, enlists Mew, Kyaru and Telda to help her find him, after obtaining the proper passes. With Mew's compatibility, it's no surprise she finds him first. It turns out Master Boo has had Ai take him to an arcade so Boo can pick up girls. Unfortunately, there's an upperclassmen there, and he's using his powers to rough up people and make a few extra bucks. Zero, who has been following Mew, steps in just in time to break things up.

Ai has now made an enemy of the punk, who's named Tanja. He and his crew will be gunning for Ai once they get off probation. In the meantime, Ai and Orina get permission to leave the campus to go shopping for a gift for Zero's upcoming birthday. It's really more like a date, though, and things get very friendly very quickly, but Ai is conflicted. He loves Orina, but he can't deny he thinks about Mew a lot. What's a kid with low self-esteem supposed to do?

Comments
When Psychic Academy debuted in Kodansha's Monthly Magazine Z back in 1999, it was an instant success. A big reason are the girls. Let's just save ourselves a lot of time on descriptions: All the women, students and teachers alike, are gorgeous and spectacularly endowed, with lush, voluptuous bodies. Orina has a strange hairstyle. It's short, pink and puffy in front, and long, purple and straight in back. Mew's hair is short and dirty blonde. Their personalities are day and night. Orina is bright and perky, Mew is dark and taciturn. Ai may suffer from low self-esteem, but he's able to put it behind him long enough to want to learn about his powers and how to use them better. Master Boo may be in the running for strangest animal sidekick in all of manga. His wisecracking pseudo-1940's toughguy banter can be a little off-putting at first, but one quickly adapts to it. It also gives him some of the best lines in the book. But man, that is one freaky looking rabbit.

Aki's art is solid and competent, but not much more than that. As mentioned all the women have exactly the same body type, so he relies on facial features and hair to differentiate them. There is more variation in the guys, but not a lot. His style looks like it's firmly rooted in the mainstream of shonen manga art from the 90's, which isn't a bad thing, but don't expect anything terribly original. He's trying to tell a shonen love triangle story with lots of fanservice, and his style is perfectly suited to the task.

Tokyopop has given us the color two-page fold out in the front of the book which came with the Japanese edition, which is a nice touch. As is normal with Tokyopop, no soundeffects are translated, which is a continuing disappointment. At least important signs are translated. Nathan Johnson's adaptation works well, especially dealing with Master Boo's odd style of talking. Art reproduction is about average, not spectacular, but not awful. The front cover features a group shot of Ai, Orina, Mew and Boo, along with Tokyopop's original logo. It looks nothing like the Japanese logo, but frankly, I don't see a way the old logo could have been used or even adapted for use in English, so the change works. The back cover features Zero against a red background.

I enjoy Psychic Academy, though I'll be the first to admit it's not the deepest book out there. What it is is an entertaining shonen romance with likeable characters, lots of action and lots of pretty fanservice. I enjoy it enough to pick up each volume as it comes out.

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