Contains a surprisingly low amount of stripfighting.
Writer/Artist: Ken Faggio and Fernando Furukawa
What They Say
Tantric Stripfighter Trina fights an evil space federation... by taking off one piece at a time!
Young Trina Devi's homeworld Rama was destroyed by mercenaries under government orders. Now the last of her kind, Trina is skilled in Rama's native art of stripfighting: a tantalizing fusion of Shaolin martial arts and tantric sensuality. With her cybernetic sidekick Chrome Abbey and her robot assistant Bonds, Trina quests to take down the men who destroyed her planet, including a sleazy slave trafficker, a martial arts master and a terrifying Inquisitor backed by the intergalactic government, the COG and CROWN.
The packaging on this book is surprisingly competent. The cover is pretty nicely done and shows most of the important characters in a rather nice looking composition. The back cover complements with a summary, a few logos, and a strange, shadowy, dark image that works pretty well as an attention getter. The book also contains a number of concept sketches, and the paper quality is solid. As this is a title from an American artist and writer, it is in left to right format.
The artwork is decent enough, but feels rather generic and has that “kind-of-looks-like-manga-but-not-quite-there” feel to it. The characters are certainly defined enough so that you won’t be mistaking one character for another. The only true gripe I have is against the little robot Bonds, who in addition to being a useless and uninteresting character, is also one of the most bland, generic looking robots I’ve ever seen. Outside of that, the funky and potentially annoying bits in the art are what you’d expect from a book with a title like this one, such as the lack of a female character whose breasts are smaller than her head.
The Tantrika were a race of devoted peace loving people whose religion combined the powers of meditation, martial arts, and sexual intercourse. After decades of peace, though, they ended up in the crossfire of a galactic war between the “Genies” (who don’t show up in this book at all) and the Crown (the ruling class) and Cog (their religious affiliates.) Trina, a young Tantrika, was the only one to survive the massacre, and only due to the sacrifice of her elder sister.
Years later, we find Trina settling into the job of a bounty hunter with the help of an overly talkative robot sidekick named Bonds. She’s taken up this new profession in order to hunt down the lowly criminals who killed her sister, and with the help of a new boss she finds a lead on one of them and heads out. Eventually, Trina meets up with Chrome Abbey, a criminal who Trina had previously beaten with her “palm of ecstasy” attack (yes, it is what it sounds like) who has decided to be Trina’s apprentice in the Tantric ways. Officers of the Crown then come to take Trina into custody, but Abbey helps her escape with her technological skills and her spaceship named the “Stiletto.”
From there on the duo (trio, if you count Bonds, who is a completely useless character) hunt down Trina’s target, a slaver named Curse Belanger. Upon finding him, they have a slightly ridiculous fight scene with him, his battle robot, his slutty girlfriend, and his army of scantily clad women. Once they beat the snot out of him, he gives up the location of his partner in the attack on the Tantrika who might have more information on the Crown and Cog’s involvement. The two get there and Trina has a fight with the somewhat honorable warrior, Aric Terse. Right when the fight ends, the evil Titus Braille, inquisitor of the Cog shows up explains that the Tantrika were destroyed for being a “heathen sect.” He then easily defeats both Abbey and Trina, forcing Trina to use her secret move in order to combat him (I won’t spoil it, but let me tell you that it’s certainly odd and feels terribly out of place.)
Tantric Stripfighter Trina is neither an overly interesting read nor as humorously terrible as the name may imply. It’s simply generic. The overall feel of the book seems like what you’d get if you took Cowboy Bebop and replaced the plot and character depth with half naked women. Not only that, but for those expecting a good laugh from potential from the ridiculous fighting style known as “stripfighting,” prepare to be disappointed. While Trina usually does drop a layer of clothing or two in the book, it’s rarely of any consequence and most of her fighting is simply made up of moving fast and hitting hard. As a final note, although this book clearly defines itself as volume one, the plot wraps itself up fully and you’re honestly left to wonder where things can go from here, seeing as Trina has already fought the all-powerful evil killer of her people. Either way, do yourself a favor and avoid this book, as there’s not really anything worthwhile contained within.