Monday, November 20, 2006

Manga Monday 17

It's another Manga Monday! This week I'll be looking at two books illustrated by the amazing Takeshi Obata!

Death Note (Volume 8)
Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

This is the worst volume of Death Note to date. But that being said, it's still one hell of a book, and at its worst, it's still one step ahead of most of its competition. Obata, of course, masterfully illustrates this suspenseful tale that picks up from where volume seven left off, leading Light to make some hard decisions about his power and the people in his life. Also, a new Shinigami is thrown into the mix, shaking things up and turning some people's plans upside-down. With a certain prominent antagonist out of the mix, this title seemed to take a dip in quality, but the new antagonists create a new sort of tension that may prove, in time, to be more effective than the original (though that does seem unlikely at this point - the successors have a lot to live up to). We'll just have to wait and see, because the suspense sure did climb near its former peaks once more as this arc progressed. A-

Hikaru No Go (Volume 4)
Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata

It's hard to believe that a manga about a board game of all things can be this suspenseful, but by god this book has me on the edge of my seat. In this volume, Hikaru finishes the tournament with a game against Akira Toya himself, a confrontation that's been a long time coming. But following this event, Hikaru has decided to adopt an on-line identity that lets his ghost Fujiwara-no-Sai play as match go as he pleases, something that doesn't go unnoticed by the entire world. Everyone wonders who this stellar player is, creating more tension than ever before. A

Shojo Beat: December 2006

The latest Shojo Beat boasts the best chapter of Ai Yazawa's fantastic Nana in recent months, and Dirk Deppey's comments about future volumes of Nana has rekindled my regard for the series and has me wondering just what Yazawa has in store for her characters down the road. Kanoko Sakurakoji's Backstage Prince remains another standout title.

Manga Monday 16
Manga Monday 15
Manga Monday 14
Manga Monday 13
Manga Monday 12
Manga Monday 11
Manga Monday 10
Manga Monday 9
Manga Monday 8
Manga Monday 7
Manga Monday 6
Manga Monday 5
Manga Monday 4
Manga Monday 3
Manga Monday 2
Manga Monday!


John Jakala said...

Obviously one's enjoyment is subjective, but I'm unclear from your comments why you thought this was the weakest volume of DEATH NOTE. Was it simply because of the absence of L? Personally, I thought this volume ramped up the excitement again after a couple (relatively) slower books. And I loved how Light had grown cocky and complacent with no one to challenge him after L's demise. It was fun to see Light outsmarted by his new opponent(s) at every turn. Next volume should be very interesting!

~ Dave said...

Sorry - I was trying to avoid spoilers by mentioning L's death, but yes, the climax of the series has come and gone with the confrontation between L and Light, and although there were two Ls to take his place, the antagonism between them isn't as exciting. It may be simply because the ension has switched from two opposing forces to three, or perhaps that L was a physical presence in L's life that seemed more threatening. I'm not saying that this volume wasn't exciting - it certainly was. But an absence of L that sees ghostly images of L to interpose tension over his replacements is literally a phantom of its former glory. This manga's trying really hard to keep things intense since they couldn't have gone any further with L, and it hasn't made the antagonists strong enough for that yet.