Rizelmine Vol. #01 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 144
  • ISBN: 1-595-32901-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Rizelmine Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 19, 2005
Release Date: August 05, 2005

Rizelmine Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Sugisaki Yukiru
Translated by:Alethea and Athena Nibley
Adapted by:

What They Say
Will you be RizelMine?

The government has been conditioning experiments to genetically engineer a human. Its first creation is a girl named Rizel, and the experiment is a success - sort of. While healthy and cheerful, 12-year-old Rizel also possesses the uncanny need for love to further her development. Saddened by this emptiness in her life, she sheds tears that can end up destroying a city block. So what's a girl to do... except get married! Enter Iwaki Tomonori, your average, 15-year-old boy. His world is turned upside-down the day he arrives home to find that the government has just announced that he's a married man!

The Review
I have to admit that before I saw RizelMine on the TOKYOPOP booth's shelves at SD ComicCon, I was going to pass on this one shot. The cover art brought me in. On the front cover there is an SD image of the “person" this title is named after, Rizel. She is wearing a pink and red outfit made up of a frilly dress, shall, vest and long gloves on a solid white background. Very cute. TP decided to go minimalist on the cover by only having the character art and the title on the cover, no fancy spines or background art. The opposite cover is covered in teddy bears in all colors imaginable and among them is Rizel. This is what pulled me in, very colorful and quite an eye-catching piece. The logo is simply the title in red bubble font done in all caps.

Inside, TOKYOPOP's printing looks very good. Sugisaki uses an interesting mix of tone weights and they all look very clean in this title. They also include a pair of full color plates. Rich in color - pinks, blues, violets and reds - they are a very good addition to an already good-looking title. At the end of the series, TP provides the original first chapter and original character designs for the anime.

I have not read too many of Sugisaki's titles. The last one I really got into was Candidate for Goddess more than a few years back. Her designs have come a long way. Honestly, her art as a whole has, for it used to be extremely busy looking with characters that were not very original. Now her designs have a bit of variety. They have lots of depth, as she becomes much more confident and conscious of how to use tone. Characters come in a variety of looks. Some are simple without unique qualities or features. Tomonori is an example of that. Others like Sensei have detailed facial expressions and lots of costume variety. Sugisaki has really done a good job with proportion and I love how she draws her bodylines (I feel I can understand why Tomonori likes Sensei so much).

Sugisaki still has trouble setting up action scenes. Her layouts have improved in regards to perspective but are still way to busy. Panels are far too active for the content. The story is already very fast, but Sugisaki has characters and SFX jumping in and out of panels. She clutters her already tiny panels with huge text bubbles. In addition, she uses so much manpu you hardly ever know where these characters are.

SFX are not translated. Even though there are moments where one might not see an FX for pages, all that are present should be translated. I do not understand why TOKYOPOP continues to do this for a majority of their titles.

I cannot say how accurate the translation is but it sounds good. Honorifics are used quite a bit, which is great because of the unique relationships these characters share. This title is also free of typos, spelling errors and syntax problems. Just a solid title (outside of the SFX issue).

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Let's settle this from the get go. Iwaki Tomonori is an eighth grader that likes older women. He has fancied mature girls since he was five and there is no way he is ever going to like someone younger than him. No way, got that! High school girls, college students, OLs even teachers tend to drive Tomonori crazy. He has fallen in love with the female staff at his schools since first grade. Sadly enough, he has not been very lucky (good thing, imagine the legal issues).

Rizel is in love with Tomonori. It was love at first sight for this cute cheerful naive girl. But poor Rizel is only 12 and try as she may she will never get his attention. Not even a legal binding contract called marriage will get Tomonori to like her. And she knows because as of today she is officially Tomonori's wife!

Who is Rizel and why has she tied herself down at the age of 12! And why has she chosen a person like Tomonori to fall in love with? Her papas are surprised because there are plenty of other people who would gladly be her husband. These men would give her gifts and attention and treat her well. Tomonori cannot do any of that right now... unless she was 16 and up! But someone better make Tomonori change his mind or else he and maybe even the whole world will end up feeling Rizel-chan's pain.

I have read a few one shots before and I think I have to say, I have a hard time properly reviewing many of them. I guess if you have a story that has some continuity from start to finish it is not too difficult. However, for a title like RizelMine where there are only six chapters totaling 126 pages of story and three of those six are random episodes without an ounce of continuity, its hard to find the words without spoiling too much.

Essentially RizelMine is a lost love comedy, and like many of these one of the lovers does not realize who the other is until it is almost too late. Along the way to this realization, varying levels of hilarity ensues and then the two get back together in some form. End of story. What Sugisaki does with this title is make an old idea really seem extremely derivative. At first I got this weird Urusei Yatsura feel. Not only does Tomonori look like a younger Moroboshi but he also tends to avoid his new wife as much as possible. Then there is rich boy Ryuunosuke who falls in love with Rizel on his first day at school. Then there is the weird history between Rizel and Tomonori. Hmmm.

RizelMine does have enough of its own style for it to stand on its own, however there is so much filler in this title very little of what is written really provides much for the plot. I guess that is how this property was stretched out to a 24 volume TV series from MadHouse and m.o.e. All we get in the manga is the first chapter, where we are introduced to the main characters and the last two chapters when Sugisaki gives us some background and wraps up the title. In between, we get lots of slapstick, lots of crying and more than a few references to Azuka magazine and DNAngel. That might be enough for some readers, especially if you are fans of Sugisaki's work. I cannot say this is a title to get too excited about.


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