Wednesday, July 5, 2006

The Law of Ueki DVD Impression

The Law of Ueki, what an interesting story. We know this story, other-worldly begins pick earth kids to fight for their glory, kingdom, throne or something else of consequence. The most recent example that comes to mind is Zatch Bell! where Momodo are paired up with an Earthling who utlize their book to fight other Momodo till one is left, and thus king.

That basic concept is what you have with The Law of Ueki where POWERFUL CELESTIAL BEINGS select middle-school kids to fight for them in a tournament to determine who will be the next king ... of where, who knows, but that's besides the point. I did not put too much hope into this Vol. 1 of The Law fo Ueki from Viz Media, but woooooooooo, was I surprised. Yes, I've already said this formula has been done before, but I never said it was a bad formula. Do you know how many giant-mech anime I own, or fighting games? Anyway my point is no matter how cool, lame, common or unique the story concept without unique twist, turns, characters and settings it will fail. The Law of Ueki need not worry.

Tsubasa Fukuchi's art style is instantly engaging, reminding me very much of One Piece, yet a little more down to Earth due to the setting (modern day Japan, middle school). The narrative does not take itself too serious, but also does not turn into an Excel Saga type of adventure. Kosuke Ueki is very care-free kid, even as he loses his talents, and appears to have a truly good heart, which is why he's picked to represent Mr. K in the upcoming tournament. Granted the power to turn trash into trees (whaaaaaaaaa!!!!) Ueki will lose his talents (think popularity wtih girls, ability to study) if his powers are used against non-combatants, or against an opponent who's already lost their power. Sounds weird and it is, but it's this strange mixture that make Ueki so charming. Anybody can have super powers, a giant robot, magical armor, but turning trash into trees, that's pretty sweet.

Volume 1 of The Law of Ueki will introduce readers to the world Kosuke Ueki inhabits bringing a handful of supporting characters into the fold as it goes. You see Ueki for who he is, and witness the ways he learns his power and uses it to protect those he cares for. At the end of the day I would say The Law of Ueki is a great read for anyone with a passing interested in Zatch Bell!, and for those who don't care for Zatch due to its more child-like art and story telling, you MUST pick up The Law of Ueki. If it's crazy powers and even crazier combat you're looking for The Law of Ueki is for you. Ok Otaku, get up, go out, and buy this manga, it's money!

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