Sunday, July 08, 2007

Manga Monday 38: Tanpenshu

Tanpenshu (Volume 2)
Hiroki Endo

The second volume of Tanpenshu from Dark Horse houses more short stories from master manga creator Hiroki Endo, whose Eden: It's An Endless World! is still being released by the publisher. Tanpenshu contains mostly "real world" stories in contrast to the sci-fi epic Eden that the creator is known for, but the very first story that kicks off the second volume, "Hang," does contain science fiction elements. And it's probably my favorite story of the volume. It contains Endo's trademark stellar artwork, and is truly erotic. "High School Girl 2000" is the weakest offering in this showcase, about a man going through a mid-life crisis. It has its moments, but it's pretty forgettable overall. The bulk of the volume is taken up by "Platform," the story of a young man who comes from the family of a mobster, and the people that get involved with them, for better or worse. An extremely short, cute story, "Boys Don't Cry," wraps up the volume for a really nice package altogether. Definitely recommended, but overall, I think the first volume of Tanpenshu stands stronger. A-

Hana-Kimi (Volumes 13 - 14)
Hisaya Nakajo
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Nakajo keeps things interesting in these volumes of Hana-Kimi, as Mizuki tries her hand at reaching out to more closed-off people, particularly a cold model searching for a long-lost friend, and in the process learns something about her relationship with her love Sano. And then, of course, another predicament comes along that could expose Mizuki's secret once and for all, in the latter volume. Nakajo tries something different with these books and includes chapters focusing on secondary characters to flush them out a bit. The mysterious Taiki Kayashima gets a chapter to himself in Volume 13, while the popular Umeda gets half a book of love (three chapters) for a story whose conclusion doesn't live up to the build. But still, as always, very enjoyable overall. B+

1 comment:

Media Student said...

I agree that the first volume of Tanpenshu was the best, though both were awesome. He's probably my favorite mangaka, if only because he's not afraid to push the envelope.