Star Trek Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: NA

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  • Art Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 226
  • ISBN: 1598 167448
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Star Trek Vol. #01

By Sakura Eries     September 14, 2006
Release Date: September 01, 2006

Star Trek Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Translated by:N/A
Adapted by:

What They Say
In celebration of Star Trek's 40th anniversary, here are five new episodes set in the Original Star Trek series: The last survivors of gender war live on as spirits in machinery and take control of Enterprise; a dying race unwittingly creates the ultimate resistance to disease; a small colony tries to cheat death by uploading its collective consciousnesses into a satellite; warring planets exchange peace offerings via the Enterprise, but one "gift" turns deadly; a group of teen, warrior-robot pilots becomes restless in times of peace, turning to pillaging for thrills.

The Review
The cover design is attributed to Makoto Nakatsuka, EJ Su, and Bettina Kurkoski. To my untrained eyes, the design seems to be largely Nakatsuka's work. On the front, we have Captain James T. Kirk with Dr. McCoy and Lieutenant Uhura to the left and Mr. Spock and Ensign Chekhov to the right. They are in their standard issue Federation uniforms against an outerspace backdrop. The title logo is at the top in gold with the subheader "Shinsei Shinsei" in English and kanji at the bottom of the cover in yellow text. A steel gray vertical bar, designed to look like metal plates, runs up the left side of the cover and has the Tokyopop logo in white printed near the top.

We have that same gray vertical bar running up the right side of the back cover. The back design looks like a scene from Nakatsuka's "Side Effects," showing the Starship Enterprise above the black hole-straddling-space-base. At the top right are icons for CBS and Star Trek's 40th anniversary. At center is a content description in yellow font, and towards the bottom are age and genre icons in red and the ISBN code.

Extras consist of table of contents and "First, Do No Harm," which is a selection from a Star Trek short story anthology. I do wish that Tokyopop included the backstory on this manga anthology, which feels a little like a Star Trek themed "Rising Stars of Manga" compilation. Binding is average, and the printing for the manga portions of the book are fine. Surprisingly, the text for the short story extra looked grainy and could have been sharper.

Because there are five different artists with five different styles, I decided not to give an overall art rating for this title. Instead, I'll give a brief description of each artist's style.

Makoto Nakatsuka, "Side Effects": Character designs look like a hybrid of American and Japanese styles. Good use of frame spacing, especially the two page wide outerspace scenes. However, his mutant monsters look like reject designs for The Thing from the Fantastic Four.

Gregory Giovanni Johnson, "Anything but Alone": Classic American-comic book styled drawings. Hardly any use of gray tones.

Jeong Mo Yang, "' Til Death": The most poorly drawn in the anthology in my opinion. The penwork, especially in action sequences and where there are speed/effect lines, come off as rough and sloppy.

Michael Shelfer, "Oban": Anime-styled artwork. Clean lines, good tone work (especially the explosion backgrounds), and nice variation in panel spacing.

EJ Su, "Orphans": Most definitely anime inspired, especially with the humanoid shaped mecha units. EJ Su goes more for a cute/chibi look than a sleek, sophisticated look with his character and mecha designs.

All the stories appear to have been written by English-speaking authors, judging by their names. However, judging from sound effects embedded in the manga, "Side Effects" was originally rendered in Japanese while "'Til Death" was originally in Korean. The remaining stories look as if they were originally drawn in English. Sound effects were untranslated. I found it strange that they didn't at least translate sound effects in bubbles. The personalities of the Star Trek crew are kept true to character in the translations, but there are a few punctuation errors.

The only common thread running through these five stand-alone manga is that they are short stories about the Enterprise's crew encounters with races that the Federation has had little or no previous interaction with. In other words, no Klingon brawls.

Side Effects: A chance run-in with an alien laboratory reveals a dying race's desperate last-ditch grab for survival that will have far-flung impacts on the universe.

Anything but Alone: The Enterprise discovers a colony inhabited by a race thought to have gone extinct a century ago, but the crew soon realizes that there is more to these long-lost inhabitants than meets the eye.

' Til Death: The discovery of a pair of ancient sarcophagi plunges the entire Enterprise crew into an age old battle between the sexes.

Oban: The Enterprise gets more than it bargained for when it transports a creature meant to be a peace offering between two formerly warring planets.

Orphans: A band of adolescent rebels without a cause wreak havoc in an effort to survive after the demise of their empire.

Shinsei Shinsei. It's puzzling that Tokyopop doesn't translate the meaning of these words for its English speaking audience. Read in Chinese, these characters mean "New Life, New Star." I'm guessing that these words mean something similar in Japanese. Perhaps it is a reference to the fact that even though Star Trek is 40 years old, it's always fresh because the Enterprise is always traveling to new places and encountering new forms of life?

In any case, if you're not a Star Trek fan already, this is not the best place to get started. You have to be familiar with the original Star Trek cast in order to get most of the jokes and references (i.e. Prime Directive, Vulcan neck pinch). This collection showcases only the original James T. Kirk crew and doesn't go into any of the Star Trek spinoffs. I was expecting this title to be the first of a multi-volume epic, but it turns out that is more like a collection of Star Trek doujinshi more than anything else.

I was lukewarm towards the original Star Trek, ergo I'm lukewarm towards this set of stories (I'm more of a Next Generation gal). However, if you like the classic and prefer having complete stories in 42 pages or less, you may want to at least give this book some consideration.

Rated 13+ for violence (though this does not include any Klingon rock fights) and grotesque monster types.


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