Testarotho Vol. #03 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 194
  • ISBN: 1-4012-0744-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Testarotho Vol. #03

By Matthew Alexander     September 13, 2006
Release Date: February 01, 2006

Testarotho Vol.#03

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Kei Sanbe
Translated by:Akira Tsubasa
Adapted by:Jake Forbes

What They Say
Testarotho races towards its exciting conclusion! Trapped behind enemy lines, Leonedus and Capria find solace where they least expect it - with the very Materia rebels they came to exterminate.

The Review
Contains non-detailed nudity.

The events in this third installment definitely got me more interested in finding out how this series would wrap up. I appreciated the handicap Leonedus received in the context of being blinded, but at the same time he can now see images reflecting a persons true soul. However the problem with this being such a short series means he became a fully competent blind man in a single day. Really? Wow, talk about a stud.

Whereas I mostly enjoyed the story and the sultry vixens, I can't stand the 'Parental Advisory' sticker. Now I understand the shrink wrapped format. If that is what a publisher has to do to get their products in brick and mortar stores than fine. The problem is the sticker (which is rather large) is placed on the book itself and not the plastic wrap. Now this isn't usually a problem, but this sticker is particularly nasty as far as the adhesive is concerned. It is so sticky I might as well have been trying to pull a price tag of the glass of a picture frame. So CMX, please don't use that sticker or method on any other books.

As for the story, conflicts between opposing forces become more complicated and twisted as the lines between friend and foe blur. All of Leonedus' compatriots find themselves working with Materia at some level or another. This makes the story more interesting as members of Arsenal that have the capacity to question their leaders begin to ferret out truths the Arsenal superiors have kept hidden. For example, Leonedus learns that Arsenal has been using the plague as a weapon to kill off their enemies and wrongly accusing healers as witches and burning them at the stake.

My favorite part of this volume was when the now blind Leonedus faces off against his former colleague, Salas. Salas is a twisted individual and Leonedus is able to see Salas' true form, which appears as a goat-like devil. When Leonedus defeats Salas he begs for mercy, but Leonedus can still see Salas as a devil. So feels Leonedus obligated to take on the role of executioner and finishes off Salas. But after that Leonedus sees his hand appears as a devil hand, foretelling the transformation threatening to take control if he continues down his path of revenge.

This themes in this series isn't anything new or ground breaking. But I enjoy the art and I appreciate certain aspects of the story, especially the fact that Leonedus is practical enough to waste his enemies knowing if he doesn't he'll just have to face them again later. So at only four books this series is an affordably enjoyable read and it has color pages. As a fan, I certainly appreciate it when a publisher respects their products and fans enough to deliver the entire product.


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