Tag Archives: Viz

Hot Gimmick volume 1

Hot Gimmick volume 1Hot Gimmick volume 1
by Miki Aihara
Viz Communications

BW, 192 pgs w/ ads, $9.95 US / Higher in Canada

Hot Gimmick is the first of Miki Aihara’s manga to reach North American shores, a shojo that at first glance sticks to the tried and true formulas of the genre. Where it differs though is in its art, which in itself is enough to convince the reader to check out subsequent volumes. This is fortunate for the reader because if online research is to be believed, Hot Gimmick deviates from the norm starting with volume 2. Continue reading Hot Gimmick volume 1

Case Closed volume 1

Case Closed volume 1Case Closed volume 1
by Gosho Aoyama
Viz Communications

BW, 192 pgs w/ ads, $9.95 US / Higher in Canada

High school student Jimmy Kudo uses keen powers of observation and astute intuition to solve mysteries that leave local law enforcement baffled. As such, Jimmy has become somewhat of a local legend, helping the cops when all clues have lead them to dead ends. Jimmy is a modern day Sherlock Holmes, possessing the talents that made that fictional detective such a renowned investigator. Jimmy has, in fact, learned his skills from reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories and other detective novels in a vast library belonging to his own father, a famous writer of mysteries. Continue reading Case Closed volume 1

Ranma 1/2 volume 3

Ranma ½ volume 3 ranmahalf3
Viz Comics
by Rumiko Takahashi

BW, 216 pgs $13.95 CAN / $9.95 US

Ranma and Akane put on their ice-skates to finally duel with the ‘Golden Pair”, Azusa and Mikaao. The victors of the battle win the pig P-Chan and the loser gets nothing. As always, the events get crazy and everybody is fighting for the love of someone else and by the end of it nobody is really sure what happened.

As I started reading this trade paperback, I couldn’t help but feel the series Ranma ½ was going nowhere. The transformation of the characters into different forms was unlike anything I’ve read before, but I was starting to think this premise was getting stale after about three trades. Rumiko Takahashi can write funny situations and her gag timing is almost perfect, but the stories were being told over again in different ways.

These thoughts about Ranma ½ were changed by the introduction of the character Shampoo. She is a Chinese Amazon hunting down the female version of Ranma after ‘she’ defeated Shampoo in hand-to-hand combat. Shampoo swore to avenge herself and kill Ranma. But it wasn’t the character that made me change my opinion of the series. It was what happened. Shampoo gave Akane amnesia in a fight because Shampoo fell in love with the male half of Ranma after he beat Shampoo in hand-to-hand. So, Akane didn’t remember who Ranma was and it was the turmoil that ensued that really propelled the story. After hundreds of pages, Takahashi’s characters were finally breaking away and building their own personalities. It is evident the core players really care for one another.

So, even though every trade will be filled with turbulent love scenes and gratuitous action, I don’t mind. I’ll be reading it for those soft moments when Ranma figures out he is actually fond of Akane even though every bone in his body knows he isn’t suppose to be. (Dana Tillusz)

Ranma 1/2 volume 2

Ranma ½ volume 2  ranma2
Viz Comics
by Rumiko Takahashi

BW, 224 pgs $9.95 US

The adventures of Ranma, Akane and Ryoga continue in this second edition. This series is jam-packed with crazy love triangles; everyone is smitten with someone else but no one is able to get together. In poor Ranma’s case, he’s just trying to avoid the whole affair. Everyone seems to fall in love with Ranma whether he is a boy or if he’s turned into his female form.

Akane is supposed to battle Kodachi, the “Black Rose”, in the art of rhythmic gymnastics. After ambushing Akane a week before the scheduled battle, Kodachi bumps into Ranma. The Black Rose falls head over heels for Ranma after he beats her in a quick duel; even then she shows her true colours (she cheats at everything) when Kodachi uses paralysis gas to try and kiss him. Luckily for Ranma, Akane beats her off with a swift kick and the adversity carries on. The following day the situation gets thicker when Akane injures herself practicing her gymnastics and Ranma has to take her place in his cursed female form. And just for the record, rhythmic gymnastics involves beating your opponent out of the ring using any weapon you’ve got at your disposal. Ranma attempts to play the gentlemen (beating up girls isn’t his style) until Kodachi starts playing rough.

In another story, Akane and Ranma are blackmailed into dueling a couple known as the golden pair over the ownership of the piglet P-Chan (Ryoga’s animal form–Ryoga is cursed too and is Ranma’s archenemy; yes, I know it’s confusing). Of course, the fight takes place on an ice rink, the fighting in the style of Martial Skating, and neither Ranma nor Akane can skate. Nonetheless, some fighting takes place and Ranma receives his “first kiss.”

If this manga series is anything, it is entertaining. Ranma ½ might not be filled up with philosophy and highbrow humour, but it sure knows how to make you laugh. With all the love lost characters filling the pages, the reader can’t help but fall in love with them. (Dana Tillusz)

Ranma 1/2 volume 1

Ranma ½ volume 1 ranmavol1
by Rumiko Takahashi
Viz Comics
Translated by Gerald Jones and Matt Thorn
BW, 312 pgs
$9.95 US / Higher in Canada

Both martial artist Ranma Saotome and his father are cursed. They were training and honing their skills in China at a legendary place where they were surrounded by magical pools, sparring on the tops of bamboo sticks. Ranma’s father fell into the “spring of drowned panda” and who ever falls into that pool takes on the body of a big ole panda bear. Ranma, shocked by the transformation of his father and surprised by what happened, couldn’t fight off his panda dad and so he was tossed into a neighbouring pool, the “spring of drowned girl.” And if you hazard a guess at what happened next you’re most likely right. Ranma surfaces with a girl’s body, breasts and all. Boy was he surprised.

Rumiko Takahashi began chronicling her outrageously crazy series Ranma ½ in 1987 after she finished wrapping up her first two popular manga series Urusei Yatsura and Maison Ikkoku. Takahashi started her career studying under Lone Wolf and Cub author Kazuo Koike while she attended women’s college in Tokyo, Japan. In 1978, Shonen Sunday began serializing her first comic, which garnered much success and a huge fan following. Today, she is one of Japan’s most premiere creators with over 100 million copies of her compiled works in print. Takahashi continues to work on her newest series InuYasha that began publication  in 1996. Continue reading Ranma 1/2 volume 1