Friday, August 31, 2012

Commentary: Monthly Zenon

Ok, time to ramp things up prior to wrapping them up. Japan has passed legislation to put teeth in the anti-video piracy laws, which go into effect in October. It will be illegal to knowingly download commercial videos, such as movies. Since many video games include movie clips, video games are supposedly covered as well. I have no idea how this relates to manga or magazine images, or the rights to use images for review purposes. So, I'm going to finish up my commentaries on manga magazines in September. I may also cease my manga book reviews and consider removing the manga scans from the photo hosting sites. The main thing though is that I only have a few manga magazines left to comment on anyway. So, I'm going to start running the commentaries back-to-back to finish them off more quickly.

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

Monthly Comic Zenon, 650 yen, 670 pages
Zenon is from the same people that gave us @Bunch.  According to the wiki entry, the weekly @Bunch was replaced by the monthly version and Zenon was an unrelated title started at the same time.  ANN describes Zenon as weekly @Bunch's successor. Either way, there's no wiki entry on Zenon at the moment, and little other information in English.


Initially, I thought Zenon was a samurai-only publication, since Gifuu Doudou was always featured on the covers.  However, we have Angel Heart 2, the sequel to Angel Heart, by Tsukasa Hojo (creator of City Hunter and Cat's Eye).  There's also a licensed re-make of Cat's Eye, by Hojo, Shin Asai (art) and Sakura Nakameguro (scenario). The target audience is probably college-aged males, or younger salarymen.  Genres include adventure, Edo-era drama, slice-of-life, art, sword-making, cooking, fantasy and politics.  The artwork is generally above average, although the storytelling is nothing really spectacular.


Itsuya-san, by Mizu Sahara, is just starting out at chapter three, about a female artist.  Light, airy lines, often no backgrounds at all.

Kanayago, by Yuu Hikasa, is brand new.  A girl goes on a search of discovery for the secrets of katana (Japanese swords).  In this chapter, she has to tolerate the chauvinism of an apprentice smith on her way to meet his master.  Heavier lines and awkward facial expressions.

(Gifuu Doudou)

Gifuu Doudou, by Tetsuo Hara, Nobuhiko Horie and Yuuji Takemura. Set in Japan's Warring States period, Gifuu is a retelling of the tale of two of the leading figures of the time: Naoe Kanetsuku and Maeda Keiji.  Hara is an established writer, notably on Hokuto no Ken. The art is solid, although the characters have ultra-long necks, and the action is a bit overblown.

(Ikusa no Ko (Child of War))

Ikusa no Ko, by Tetsuo Hara and Seibou Kitahara. The second title by Hara, he does the art on this one was well as co-writing it.  It's very similar in appearance to Hara's Souten no Ken, with incredibly manly men and women with big breasts and pouty lips.  There's no description, but it may be a retelling of the Oda Nobunaga story, from the Warring States period.  Very elaborate backgrounds and character designs.

(Cat's Eye)

The original Cat's Eye revolved around 3 sisters that ran a coffee shop during the day, and acted as cat burglars at night to recover the art treasures stolen from their father.  The remake might be following the original concept, but the artwork and character poses are just silly.  It's hard to believe that Hojo would expect the targets to fall for a simple eye mask disguise like this one.  Ignorable.

Summary: I liked the original Angel Heart, so I'm willing to give the sequel a try, and anything by Tetsuo Hara is worth at least sampling.  Otherwise, there's nothing in Zenon I have a lot of interest in.  No freebies this time.


delaiglesia said...

It would be a pity if you stopped posting reviews. How about using fewer pictures?

TSOTE said...

Thanks for the comment.
That's a good option. I'll see how that works for later reviews.