Friday, March 27, 2009

Tantric Stripfighter Trina vol. 1 Impression

Tantric Stripfighter Trina vol. 1
Tantric Stripfighter Trina from Tokyopop mixes scantily clad, well endowed ladies, mystical martial arts, high-tech weaponry, space ships and an oppressive religious run government for a cocktail that is one tasty guilty pleasure worthy of a mature teen but not adult rating.

Trina Devi is the last survivor of planet Rama, a planet once populated by a peaceful religious sect that practiced the Shaolin martial arts with tantric sensuality. From this mixture was developed the art of strip fighting. For unknown reasons the planet was set upon by mercenaries under government order to eliminate anyone on the planet. As the sole survivor, Trina is now older and out for vengeance by hunting down the slave trafficker, martial arts master and anyone else involved with this raid. Having seen her sister gunned down protecting her Trina is driven to discover the truth and why the COG and Crown government exterminated her race. Accompanied by her robot Bonds and a new apprentice in-training (almost) Chrome Abbey, these three will travel and fight until the truth is discovered and Trina discovers her own path in life besides vengeance.

Ok, from the intro above sounds pretty tame, race destroyed has lone survivor, lone survivor seeks vengeance, corrupt government behind destruction, mystery begins to unveil. Yes, the story Ken Faggio weaves is pretty standard but it’s the stripping twist and Fernando Furukawa’s art that will set this book apart from others. See, Trina has a fighting style that does not kill, it incapacitates, and the core is sensual dancing in barley any clothes … yup stripping. There are times Trina is down to her skivvies with nothing but stars covering her ample … assets. See the story is actually fun to follow, and there are times Trina shows a deep spiritual side, but this is watered down by the fact she has only stars covering her lady parts.

The art style is more detail than most any manga, really. It follows a more American comic style in its look and feel and really only its format keeps it manga classified. There was a very well drawn comic a few years back called Exposure that really upped the panty fetish factor. Never could you take this series serious and sadly Tantric is on that same course. The art is outstanding, very detailed but which galaxy exist where every woman has perfect, if not a little too big, proportions?

Overall there is a good story here mixed with interesting story points from revenge, corrupt government, sci-fi, martial arts and that creepy inquisitor. That story is brought to life by excellent art but also brought down by a ‘taken to far’ stripper concept that when all is said and done could have still been included in less proportion and severed a larger manga audience. Sadly the cover will turn off a certain number of anime fans while attracting little boys for giggles.

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