Sunday, July 29, 2012

Commentary: Champion Red

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

Monthly Champion Red, 750 yen, 620 pages
Champion Red is aimed at college-age adult males, so there's going to be a certain amount of sex and violence.  Of the two magazines I picked up at the same time (along with ManSun), Red has more violence and reader service, but less outright gratuitous sex.  The overall art quality is somewhat above average, and genres include SF, giant robots, horror and fantasy.  According to the wiki entry, Red started in 2002, making it one of the longer-running magazines that I've looked at for a while.  Interspersed with the regular manga are write-ups of newly-released movies, such as The Avengers and Total Recall.

There are a few titles that are recognizable to western fans, and one of my personal favorites had run in here from 2006 to Feb, 2012 - Franken Fran (which I've reviewed in the past).

Current recognizable titles include:

Devilman Grimoire, based on a story by Go Nagai
Shin Mazinger Zero, also based on a story by Go Nagai
Kurogane Linebarrel
Giant Robo: The Seige of Babel

Manga with potential:

Ekuzosukare Zero, by Takayuki Yamaguchi
Takayuki also wrote Apocalypse Zero.  Here, two people, one male, one female, use weird super suits to fight enemies.  The artwork is clean with interesting character designs, although the acting is a bit overblown.

The Consumer Electronics Detective Quietly Laughs (家電探偵は静かに嗤う), by Yasutaka Fujimi and Iwasawa Shiuru.
As can be guessed from the title, this is one of the sillier concepts in the magazine.  A pair of detectives, and an electronics geek, use off the shelf compenents to foil crime.  In this chapter, the detectives modify a credit card scanner to catch a businessman skimming victims' bank accounts.  Moderately decent artwork, cartoony character designs.

It's Good to Hear the Voices of the Dead (死人の声をきくがよい), by Shouko Hiyodori.
This horror story currently takes place in a mansion filled with spirits, with kind of a Psycho vibe.  The character designs are part Umezz and part Yousuke Takahashi.  Very dark and atmospheric, with some graphic violence.

The really etchi stuff is generic big-breasted fetishistic domination, on the whole, and isn't all that interesting.

The one freebie is a massive 3'x4' poster on cross-hatch patterned plastic of Stigma of Quesar (聖痕のクェイサー).

Summary: Champion Red is a sex and violence magazine aimed at college-aged males.  The sex part is typical over-the-top school boy fantasizing.  The violence roams from various forms of horror, to robot combat.  While I really liked Franken Fran, that's ended and there's not much here that takes its place.  Most of the above-mentioned recognizable stuff are remakes and sequels, so not much appeal there.  I do find the character designs of Voices of the Dead to be intriguing, and I'd be interested in following that a bit longer.  Otherwise, this magazine isn't really recommended.


MikeM said...

Haha, the electronics detective thing almost sounds like a concept from Viz, but taken "seriously" XD.

TSOTE said...

Yeah, can't say that Viz has a monopoly on bad concepts...