Monday, February 15, 2010

Manga Monday: Bokurano Ours

Bokurano Ours (Volume 1)
Mohiro Kitoh

The science fiction title Bokurano Ours was one of Ikki magazine's flagship titles in Japan, and recently ended its serialization in 2009 after a seven year run.  It now begins its publication stateside through Viz's signature Ikki line, following in the footsteps of Children of the SeaBokurano Ours is a story about fifteen children at a Summer camp, who uncover a strange cave full of computers.  The man they find there offers them a chance to play a game piloting a giant robot, which all but one of them accept and are under contract to play to its end.  Once the game begins, they find out that it's not the computer game they were expecting, but an honest-to-god robot that they navigate to engage an opposing robot.  Each new enemy sees another one of the children in control of their robot, and each storyline follows the same pattern of relating an episode from that child's life that speaks to their personality and how they engage the enemy in battle.  While there are some interesting things going on with some of the characters, it's all a bit over-the-top.  The children also seem too broad to really care about, which is a shame for what is intended to be a pretty character-driven story.  The robots and the enemies they engage are also very familiar to fans of manga and anime, and bring better giant robot stories like Neon Genesis Evangelion to mind to this book's detriment.  With each story leading up to a big confrontation, the action could be a little more clear too.  Moves are often depicted in close-ups that are hard to figure out where they relate to the entirety of the robots, or the action is just plain confusing and rushed.  Luckily, Kitoh is a talented artist in most respects and the drama unfolds pretty seemlessly, but with so many flaws overall, Bokurano Ours is just a flashy premise with little going for it in terms of execution.

No comments: