Seimaden Vol. #04 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Art Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 180
  • ISBN: 1-4012-0702-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Seimaden

Seimaden Vol. #04

By Connie Zhang     June 13, 2007
Release Date: March 22, 2006

Seimaden Vol.#04

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:You Higuri
Translated by:Jonathan Tarbox
Adapted by:Jonathan Tarbox

What They Say
The Demon King Laures has been taken prisoner.

His enemies will stop at nothing to destroy him and have targeted his beloved Hilda as the means to exact their revenge. Steadfast Roddrick attempts to rescue his former girlfriend, though great danger bars his way. With Laures held powerless, the lovers' fate may be in the hands of an old flame, who must conquer his own demons in order to save them all.

The Review
Much like the scatterbrained storyline, Higuri's storytelling has become shoddy. Most of the plot points intersect in this volume, but just about the only steady plot development is Hilda's constant need to be rescued. Everything else is a jumbled mess of backstabbing, disastrous happenstance, recycled exposition and stilted artwork to boot. The underlying theme of Higuri's work is tragedy � tragic love, tragic friendship, tragic pasts � with Hilda as a tragic heroine who can't seem to trust anyone anymore: not Laures who may have stolen her memories, not Roddrick who she can't remember her past with, not Zadie who wants to use her as bait, not Tetius who's out for her life and not Cheryl who must bear the biggest burden of all for Hilda.

But the real tragedy is in the squandered potential of this series at the hands of this volume. Not only has Higuri's artwork become wildly inconsistent with proportions all over the place, but it's such a rushed job that details and backgrounds are almost entirely absent. With so many things happening at once � Roddrick's torn loyalties, Tetius's true colors revealed, Hilda's repeated captures by different parties, the Count's mutation into a monstrosity, Zadie's being backstabbed and Cheryl's sacrifice � the art simply doesn't keep up. Action scenes are static and dramatic scenes are uninspiring as characters emote while standing around posing awkwardly.

The one highlight has been the comedy snatches where Higuri's lazy art is acceptable and even desirable to dispel the tense atmosphere with ease and good comedic timing. As has become the norm, CMX includes four colored pages and finally drops the wince-inducing tangerine yellow frames on the cover. Instead, we're treated to a beautiful portrait of Laures and Tetius in a homoerotic embrace that won't fail to please fans of Higuri's better artwork. But whereas the packaging is a winner all around, CMX's translation seems as rushed of a job as the art. A handful of grammatical and spelling errors mar the already unremarkable dialogue. And is it Zadei (as the previous volumes will have you believe) or is it Zadie?

Seimaden really drops the ball here and discards the manifold improvements from previous volumes. I don't know where this is all going, but I'm hard-pressed to recommend that anyone find out.


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