Sunday, February 26, 2012

Commentary: AltimaA

Billing itself as the "Ultimate magazine that you are...", AltimaA isn't particularly well-known right now. It's associated with Young Ace, and is more technically known as "Altima Ace", according to an ANN article. The article also states that AA was launched back in October, so there's only been 6-7 issues to date.


(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Not much to say about this title, I guess. I was looking for something to review, and most of the other magazines didn't have freebies, so I got this one mainly because I knew it was one I hadn't reviewed yet (I left my list of magazines at home that day). The stories seem to be aimed at college students, with genres including adventure, fantasy, school life and street fighting. Some comments:


(Biburia)

Biburia Used Book Temple Incident Notebook (ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖) just started in this issue. In the first chapter, the son of a book-based temple has been tasked to return rare old books to their owners. So far, it's just a slice of life story with emphasis on authors like Natsume Soseki.

Baka ga Zenra de Yattekuru is by Hiroto Ida (Dragon Revive), based on Hitoma Iruma's story. The title translates roughly to "the arrival of the nude idiot", and in this chapter that's pretty much what we get - a nude guy crashes at a stranger's house and the two of them get into a fight.


(Lirarycle)

Lirarycle doesn't come up on a google search at all, but it looks promising. In this chapter, a boy runs into Lira's house carrying the planet Saturn in his hands. He gives it to a kind of fairy who places it on a table next to another planet. The rest of the pages are mostly visuals. Clean artwork, not sure what the story is, yet.

Every Detective Agency After This! (各探偵部この後すぐ!) is also starting up in this issue. The artwork isn't that good, and initially it's just a group of students eating lunch on the roof of the school and rough-housing each other.

Kamakura Deco and Kofu Life seems to be a slice of life story set in a retro-style restaurant/cafe. Nice, light clean lines for the artwork, although the character designs are too cartoony and static. No real story in this chapter.

Scissor Sisters (by Daigo (Eiki Eiki's sister and lead singer for the band BREAKERZ) and Marico (apparently one of the artists on the Tiger and Bunny franchise)). Three guesses from the title what this one is about. Ok, time's up. A shrine dedicated to the magical scissors girls is under attack by giant frogs, and the magical girls have to use their powers to protect it (in this chapter, anyway). The artwork is pretty good, again with nice,light clean lines. The characters are drawn pretty well, but unlike most stories in this genre, most of the girls look to be in their 20's, although the main character is still in school. Not too bad, if you can get past the idea that all of the girls wear scissor necklaces to show their affiliation with the shrine (and the shrine has a pair of scissors ornament on the roof.)

Fate/Zero (Black). Another in the Fate franchise. Marginal artwork. No story yet.


(Buratto)

Buratto Blood Lad - a silly series of short gags parodying the Blood Lad manga.



(Bookmarks)

Overall, there's not a whole lot worth paying attention to in this issue of AltimaA. The artwork is mostly average and none of the stories really stand out. The only one I have any real interest in is LiraRycle, and it was one of the shorter stories in the magazine. The only freebie this time is a sheet of plastic bookmarks featuring the characters from Biburia, Baka Yattekuru and B.A.D. (B.A.D. seems to be an evil magical goth-loli title. Decent artwork, if not on the overly dark side.) Not recommended yet, but that's primarily because it's still a new magazine and most of the artists are just starting out.

630 pages, 580 yen. Monthly.

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