Vs. Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: C

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  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CMX
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1401210694
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Vs. Vol. #02

By Jarred Pine     November 15, 2006
Release Date: September 04, 2006

Vs. Vol.#02

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Keiko Yamada
Translated by:Jonathan Tarbox
Adapted by:Jonathan Tarbox

What They Say
Sometimes it takes someone who has shared your dream to make it come true. Reiji is determined to become a professional violinist, but does he have what it takes to go the distance? His teacher - the former prodigy Mitsuko - is driving him hard. Reiji goes head to head with another gifted young artist, and the competition gets fierce. Meanwhile, a famous conductor takes a special interest in Reiji's progress.

The Review
Vs. continues to be a bit of a struggle, mostly due to the fact that the whole angst-driven character drama just isn't working for me because it's falls to much on two characters that just aren't that interesting. While I enjoy anti-heroes, it takes meticulous time and effort to properly deconstruct and then rebuild a character that will appeal to the reader. Creator Keiko Yamada just seems to want to rush this all important piece, leaving me feeling quite cold and distant from not just Reiji, but quite honestly everyone.

With Reiji away at Hane's forest retreat, it would have been the perfect time for Reiji to become reborn and learn about himself and motivations behind wanting to play the violin so badly that it pains him. Instead, the story mostly revolves around Reiji laying around in the fetal position with a moping demeanor. There's no deconstruction; no building up a new and more learned Reiji. So when Reiji returns to school to find out that he's been replaced, it's hard to be sympathetic when he lashes out at the school. And when Reiji finally gets a chance to play, Yamada throws a few unnecessary curve balls our way involving kidnapping and vehicular assault. Huh?!?

To close out the book, a new rival is introduced with a storyline that is actually somewhat enjoyable only because I love the dueling violins mixed in with Yamada's visual metaphors. Let the classical music students do battle with their brass and strings, I say!! It's just too bad the rival is an all too familiar plant to try and spice things up a bit.

The English script is well done and I'm a little more warmed up to the SFX overlays this time, but the muddy printing, thin paper, and alignment issues leave a bit to be desired.


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