Sunday, July 22, 2012

Commentary: Monthly Comic Rex

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

Monthly Comic Rex, 680 pages, 600 yen.
Rex is one of those rare magazines on the shelves now - one that's older than 12 months.  Having started at the end of 2005, it's aimed at the male crowd, with past titles including Hand+Red, Oni Hime, Soul Gadget Radient, Tales of Legendia and The Idolmaster: Relations.  Of this group, I've already panned Hand+Red, although I'm still following the fan scanilations of Soul Gadget Radient to find out if it gets any better.

Black Clothing Mistress

Unlike Monthly Comic Gene, Rex does have some good artwork, and one or two stories that are somewhat interesting.  But, there's some nudity and implied sex, giving it at least an "R" rating in the U.S, so it's not recommended for the under-18 crowd.  Genres include school life, fantasy, SF and horror.  The first 16 pages are color glossy self-advertisements and video game reviews.  The overall art quality is above average for this kind of magazine, and ranges from the overly childish to the moderately realistic.  However, there's really only 1 or 2 titles that I have much interest in after a passing glance.

Titles of note:

Black Sweep Sisters: This is a spin-off of Tohru Fujisawa's GTO, featuring two dissimilar exorcist sisters.  Fairly decent artwork, and nice monster designs, but weak storytelling.  There's one panel of one of the sisters firing a gun, and her finger isn't actually pulling back the trigger.  Just started; on chapter 5 in this issue.

Tonnura-san, by Ryousandata Serebi.  Three sisters pick up a fat cat and suddenly find themselves having weird, violent encounters.  There's kind of a "Lucu Lucu" vibe to the character designs, although the backgrounds are solid and some of the animals are drawn realistically.

Shirasunamura, by Kami Imai, creator of Needless.  Same basic character designs as Needless, but maybe more of a ghost or monster hunter story.

Ayakashi Koshoko to Shoujo no Mihou, by Doriyasu Factory.  Nothing in English on this story yet, although it's already up to chapter 9, and there is a fair amount of coverage in Japanese.  Nothing on the artist's name either, except for two passing mentions of doujinshi.  The title roughly translates to "The Strange Rare Book Archives and the Girl Mihou".  The main feature here is that this is the only manga I've ever seen where the artist mimics Shigeru Mizuki (which is the first thing mentioned in each of the Japanese articles).  In this chapter, the boy maintaining the archives encounters a vampire that gets him into trouble.

Summary: Lots of horror and some fantasy, with a bit of nudity and sexual escapades.  Pretty much sums up seinen manga as a whole.  The only stories that I really care about are Shirasunamura, which looks like another Needless, and Ayakashi Koshoko because of its Mizuki-styled character designs.  No freebies.

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