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Monday, March 5, 2007

O-Parts Hunter vol. 1 Impression

Say hello to Seishi Kishimoto, younger twin brother or Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto but not an artist living in the shadow of his brother's success. The reason, O-Parts Hunter. The similarities in art and setting style are very apparent, which Seishi points out on page 8 of volume 1. Two siblings growing up will share experiences and influences in their art, another fact Seishi points out, but that is where the comparison ends. After reading volume 1 and 2 of O-Parts hunter I'm inclined to compare young Jio to a young Goku and Ruby to Bulma in Dragon Ball. Replace the search fro Dragon Balls with O-Part relics and a (SPOILER) Giant Monkey Saiyan to Satan and you start to get the point.

O-Parts Hunter follows the adventures of Jio, a young boy with one goal, world domination. Jio hooks up with Ruby, the Bulma of our adventure who's following in the footsteps of her famous treasure hunting father in the search for O-Parts. O-Parts are relics from an ancient civilization, relics that all of mankind fights over. At their heart O-Parts are weapons of various sizes and power that can only be used by O.P.T.s, which stands for O-Parts Tacticians. O.P.T.s can fight for good or evil so there are plenty of clashes between O-Parts users.

In volume 1 you get to know Jio, just a little, see his 'powers' (sorry, you have to read for more, no mas spoilers) and how he teams up with Ruby. This is what a volume 1 is supposed to be, a great introduction to the characters and settings that gives enough action to leave readers wanting more, wanting volume 2. The story so far is pretty standard anime fare, young boy, journey, special powers, but what separates this manga for me as an action fan is the involvement of dual personalities, government conflict and the O-Parts. Jio is young enough that he does not have this long drawn out back-story to learn, but there is some meat there to digest … GOD I wish I could say more about his background but it will ruin what was one of my pleasure in volume 1. To wrap up the story it's open-ended enough that you can enjoy the journey with Ruby and Jio, but you will begin to see conflicts coming down the road, good stuff.

A good story means nothing without the art and settings to back it and this is where O-Parts really shines. Seishi does indeed have a style with similarities to his older sibling, and this is a very, very good thing. The emotion, both humorous and deadly serious, on each character is so convincing that you'll be laughing one moment and turning the page in anticipation of the action the next. The settings and creatures found in O-Parts reflects a world that was truly devastated populated with unique creatures both big and small.

O-Parts Hunter provides a good story, great art and an overall fun package that any action fan will enjoy. If you dig Naruto, Dragon Ball, Beet, King of Hell or any top notch manga pick up O-Parts. This is on treasure hunt I'm signing up for the long haul on and you should too.

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