Revenge of Mouflon Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Released By: Gutsoon!
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-932454-30-6
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Revenge of Mouflon Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     October 22, 2004
Release Date: June 01, 2004

Revenge of Mouflon Vol.#02
© Gutsoon!

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Ueno Jiro/Ono Yoichiro
Translated by:N/A
Adapted by:

What They Say
Sano Yohei is caught up in a government conspiracy that threatens to clip his wings!
In a nightmare that could be torn from today's headlines, terrorists have hijacked a passenger jet in the skies over Japan, bailing out after murdering the pilots. But passenger and popular comedian Sano Yohei draws on the legend of wild mountain sheep (mouflon) to overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds and safely land the plane... right in the middle of the Diet Building! Hero or not, though, Sano's troubles are just beginning, as he finds himself on the lam from his own government, which seeks to make him the fall guy for terrorism. Can the Savior of the Comic World become a mouflon once again to extricate himself from an international web of deceit!?

The Review
Like most of Gutsoon!'s graphic novels this series is presented in a tall B6 in its original right to left format. This volume features Sano Yohei sweating bullets as JEL flight 807 glides into the heart of Tokyo. The opposite cover features a dozen TV screens; some covered in blood, each with a different Tokyo landmark on them. Logo Check! Gutsoon! uses the original logo as the subtitle for the English version. Both versions feature "revenge of" in blue with "mouflon" in red with all of it on top of silhouette of a ram head. Underneath all of this is the romaji reading for the Japanese title "Houfuku no Mouflon." Nice! Inside, Gutsoon! keeps the original volume header and all of the chapter headers intact. The printing is perfect. Since Gutsoon! is (was?) the American branch of Coamix they had access to the original plates for this series, so each page has sharp inking, perfect tone and is free of alignment problems. Best of all it is printed on some nice paper. Gutsoon! included messages from the artist team of Ono and Ueno, along with an ad for Fist of the North Star: Master's Edition.

Ono's art is very nice. Very thick strong lines are used on the nicely proportioned characters and detailed backgrounds alike. Character designs are fashionable and current. Backgrounds are accurate so when the jet flies over the Rainbow Bridge, you know they are past Haneda Airport and too far west to land at Narita... a mid-city landing is inevitable. What's distinguishes this series from other Ono titles is the detail in his faces. With his trademark thick lines expressions (which are sometimes pretty extreme) look that much more impressive. With the emotional peaks and valleys of this series those expressions really vital to progression of the plot. You might not see the entire face of the terrorist but Ono does show their evil smiles as they jump from the airliner. Creepy!

Gutsoon!'s translation is good but not as good as some of their other titles. Honorifics are not used at all but they do keep names in Japanese order (family name first with given name last). I did not notice any grammatical or spelling errors and the retouch work here is top-notch. Gutsoon! throughout their short initial run never translated SFX. It really is disappointing in this series with all of the action. With stealth work, gun violence and an out of control jet, experiencing the sounds can be vital to the enjoyment overall.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having had averted an international disaster Sano Yohei and his new best friend former Joint Chief of Staff of the Japanese Self-Defense Force Nishida Masayuki should be considered heroes. They should be getting ready for their parade through the Yamanote, their countless interviews and their potential book, movie and TV deals. These two should be the hot news topic for the next year or so for their courage and ability to act under tremendous pressure. And Sano will be getting into the news all right... as a terrorist! He will be the fall guy for all of this and the orders are coming from someone way up there. Actually those making the shots appear to not even be the Japanese government or the terrorists at all. Apparently saving the nation from an international incident brought up another international incident, which will begin a string of other international incidents.

Sano, of course, is the last person to know about his new social status: treasonous felon. So when he finds out about his new image he decides to once again break the law to save himself and hopefully save the populous at large. To Sano being on the lamb is something straight out of a movie he would normally not be cast in. With his world falling apart around him Sano's only chance is to take the law into his own hands. He is one of a few people who know some of the truth behind the hijacking. He knows that this will not end the terror, so what he needs to do before anything else is inform the public of the truth. If he does not get that out there then not only will he unjustly be incriminated but also he would be a part of this whole cover-up he opposes. He knows he will risk his freedom but he does not want to be a hypocrite. He chose to be a mouflon on Flight 807 and now he is doing what a proud mountain sheep would, and face his enemies head first.

Sano was right his actions did cause quite a stir in the media and amongst the public but he was not prepared for how they would receive them after his confession. Truth is told Sano has yet to have done anything wrong, but that has not stopped people from hating on others before. However he was instead welcomed for his honesty despite the fear and anxiety it may have generated. Unfortunately, those who want to create chaos for everyone soon greeted him, also. Sano seems to have the worst luck lately but now he is in deep. He will now be a part of something much bigger than he expected, but he knows he has a responsibility to keep on going - not just for himself but for everyone who cares about him and that number has increased dramatically recently.

At the same time, Sano Yohei, a professional comedian, as the protagonist from the very start he is able to cut the tension with his mannerisms and his personality. As a lead character he is so unaware of what he gets into, that his struggle seems really genuine. Sano is really a man of the people - a comedian that gives as much as he takes - but under this extreme adversity he does not cave in. Instead he continues with intentions that most of us have, but we may not be able to accomplish. Place a character like that in some great suspenseful action and add a great supporting cast and you have a very fast read full of thrills and twists. Those living in America may see another angle that is often mentioned by the characters in this title. The chaos, the distortion of the facts and the lingering pain and confusion is easy to relate to. Seeing these characters struggle as their life changes before them, as they begin to feel as if the world is against them is as stressful as it is entertaining.

Using action and political themes Revenge of Mouflon is a seinen title full of tension, angst and a nice amount of comedy. This is a perfect example of a seinen suspense manga that we rarely see in English. Titles like this are a norm in a magazine like Business Jump (Shueisha) or Afternoon (Kodansha) you might not be able to share with a broad audience because of the sex, nudity or uneven writing. Revenge of Mouflon can be for everyone that wants politics and suspense, but could pass on the other adult themes that could distract from the original story. To be honest I wish this could have been made into a film as the plot moves very quickly and so does the action.

Right now I am completely torn. This is a title that should be experienced by most manga lovers, but with Gutsoon! going on hiatus their properties have into limbo for months now. If you have the means to enjoy this title raw I highly recommend it. If not, the wait might require one turning into a mouflon before getting another volume anytime soon.

Highly Recommended (... if Gutsoon! would only come back and finish this title)


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