Sunday, January 4, 2009

Momo Tama vol. 1 Impression

Momo Tama volume 1 manga
Don’t let the pink cover fool you, Momo Tama from Tokyopop is not a fluffy manga. The story goes in ancient times the mythical Japanese hero Momotaro defeated and banished the Ogres from their own island. Fast forward a few centuries and the 9th successors, descendant of the Ogres has returned to the island. Kokonose has just a few things going against him, his size, age and how cute he is. His infiltration does not go as planned and he ends up enrolled in the training school for Ogre hunters that the military runs on the island. They have a hint for which he is, but instead of eliminating him he’s enrolled as a student. Now if only he could cause some real damage, but so far all he’s managed to do is annoy his new roommate (who seems to have some powers of his own) and be looked at as very, very odd by the rest of these reluctant students. How will Kokonose retake the land of his ancestors and will anyone take him as serious as the current Momotaro?

Nanae Chrono, you have surprised and delighted me. Momo Tama is not what I expected based on the cover art with a cute Kokonose surrounded by pink, puffy lettering and a pink spine. The symbolisms of the peach on the scepter and back cover is explained in a very fun and surprisingly deep story. Kokonose is deeper than the cuteness he portrays. He shows a naivety to the ogre he’s supposed to control as well as the history of the ogre and the island. Here is this little boy, supposed to be all evil but seems more Dennis the Menace than Freddy Krueger. There is also a question of the abilities, the extent of, for the students at the school as well as the ogre attacks, how often, how powerful, so there are a lot of questions to be answered. The development of the story and characters is well paced with questions and history filled in without boring the reader. The mystery and upcoming action is what really makes this story enjoyable, but the art is also top notch. These characters are very well designed and drawn, lines are crisp, sharp and there are no wasted strokes, nothing messy to see. Seriousness, humor, anger … all emotion is captured flawlessly; it really is an excellently drawn manga I must say. The mechanical side of the art is spot on also.

So Momo Tama volume 1 is a manga with excellent art, fun and engaging story and characters that just fit (and remind of Disgaea from time to time). I have a tough time recommending this manga for any one particular type of fan so I’ll say … anyone who likes manga based loosely on history, mythology such as InuYasha, then give this one a try. Makes a man unafraid of pink.


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  2. I felt weird buying it. The other manga I was getting also had a pink cover... ><