Sunday, April 27, 2008

O-Parts Hunter vol. 9 Impression

Fight! This is the main theme of O-Parts Hunter volume 9 from Viz as the contestants arrive at Olympia ready for the preliminary rounds. Jio has been knocked out, but gets included in the finals, along with Yuria (young girl form another ship) as two of the ships only had one entrant … everyone killed by winners. There is a case of mistaken identity as Jio is dumped with the rest of the losers form the ships. Yes he survives, but this shows you just how little regard the folks of Olympia have for the world below, just dumping bodies from their ships, brutal! So, the tournament begins and first up, Jio vs. Anna, the larger chested lady who sucker punched him in the ship. We learn about her reasons for entering the tournament right before she loses (naturally) to Jio. We are also introduced to Lord Ikaros of Rock Bird, who has an evil aura surrounding himself. There is something fishy about how the city stays afloat and the frequency of these tournaments … hmmm. In the background we learn more about the Zenom Syndicate and their demon reverse Kabbalah, the Ten Sephirot, the Stea Government and the ten angels of the normal Kabbalah and all the weirdoes intertwined. New players such as Kite and Yuria are introduced, each with their own reason for fighting and there are secret agendas at work everywhere. Not your normal tournament indeed.

The art, impeccable as always with variety and flare just perfect for the setting. Evil guys look evil, good guys look tough and nice and the oddballs, yeah they are all wrapped up like a mummy. The story or I should say it’s take on the tournament storyline, is fun. From Dragon Ball to Naruto the tournament in manga is indeed a staple, and it’s never, ever just a true fight. The going-ons behind the scenes of Rock Bird is what allows this tournament to stand apart as you’ve got two government factions working on angel and demon Kabbalah’s, their agents sprinkled around, hidden agendas for each tournament participant, they mystery of the cities leader and that’s just the beginning (there is a guy running around with fish weapons!) O-Parts hunter is not breaking any Shonen molds, nor does it break any new ground. What it does is take excellent art mixed with superb character designs and takes the staples of the Shonen world (super powers, tournaments, journey, etc) and weaves a tale that is just as enjoyable to it’s core as any title out there. At the end of the day this is all you can ask for from a manga, one that leaves you wanting more and happy with what you just read. This is O-Parts Hunter, a fun engaging action ride that you don’t want to get off of and you cannot wait to get back on. Nine volumes in, not too late to pick up every last one and get rolling.

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