Monday, March 05, 2007

Manga Monday 26: Until the Full Moon

Until the Full Moon (Volumes 1 & 2)
Sanami Matoh
I was really excited to read this manga because it has an awesome premise. I just happened to stumble upon it when I was researching werewolf comics for a Halloween post last year, and there it was at a used bookstore a few months ago just begging to be picked up. The story follows two young men: one is your normal super sexy self-assured vampire, David. The other, the main character of the two-volume manga, is a half-vampire, half-werewolf named Marlo. Unfortunately for Marlo, he's recently undergone some strange changes... During the full moon, instead of changing into a werewolf, he changes into a beautiful girl! His parents are reasonably upset (about the wrong things) and go see a respected doctor, David's father, Doctor Vincent, where the doctor's playboy son falls for the woman... Now, that premise is fantastic in my opinion. Great manga material. Unfortunately, Sanami Matoh doesn't play up the most interesting aspects of the situation: the fact that Marlo is in fact two different people. Instead, Matoh almost immediately puts an end to the tension and all is revealed to David, and the parents immediately propose a marriage between the two. The next 1-3/4 volumes is merely the two of them fighting to stay together in spite of some tame obstacles thrown in their way. I don't know what Matoh was thinking with this manga, but really, the pencils don't do much for me anyway, so I couldn't have absolutely fallen in love with the manga either way. It just made it that much more disappointing. D+
Hikaru No Go (Volumes 7 & 8)
Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata
Hikaru takes some huge steps toward achieving his goal of being a worthy adversary to Akira as he advances through the ranks of insei to qualify to play in the Lyons Tournament. Eight volumes into the series, this manga about a board game is as entertaining as it's ever been. Hikaru's ghost, Fujiwara-no-Sai was really downplayed in these last two installments of the series, which is a shame because it's really exciting whenever he faces a new opponent, but this series is leading toward something great even with the supernatural aspects on the backburner. A
Monster (Volume 7)
Naoki Urasawa

I am constantly being blindsided by Monster lately. It really is a fantastic thriller. As Doctor Tenma gets closer and closer to Johan, clues to an ongoing investigation of seemingly unconnected murders shift into a horrible sort of sense. The way people go on about how much better Urasawa's later works Pluto and Twentieth Century Boys are, just make me reel. I can hardly comprehend that this isn't the Master of Suspense's greatest work to date. I'm glad Viz decided to publish this book before his others, even though I can't wait for a taste of those other books down the road! A

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