Friday, October 23, 2009

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Manga Impression

CSI Manga
CSI has hit Vegas, Miami and New York. Next up, the land of the rising sun, Japan. Well, not really but the new CSI: Crime Scene Investigation manga from Tokyopop offers us an interesting story spun with manga style art and a format between traditional manga and American comics. So what’s to like for both CSI and manga fans, lets take a look at the story by Sekou Hamilton first.

Kiyomi Hudon is just another 15 year old, growing up in Vegas scraping by with her father. There is one thing that separates Kiyomi from other 15 year olds and that’s her love of forensics which drives her to take the CSI internship exam. Only five interns will be accepted and it’s either this or a part-time job for Kiyomi. As results are relayed Kiyomi is thrilled to learn she’s been accepted with fellow interns Damian, the jock, Kirin, the nerd, Christof, the … kinda psycho Goth and Gregory, the suave ladies man. The group begins day 1 with a drip to the morgue and an autopsy for a girl, Gretchen Yates, who attended the same school as the interns. As they visit the crime scene and learn about the lab the CSInterns delve into the case of Gretchen and come to the startling realization one of their numbers is responsible for the crime. How will the case play out when it’s just study for them and the murder has an inside knowledge of the case. It’s just another day in the life of a CSI intern.

Give away the ending, now way, sorry, not going to happen. The story is typical CSI minus the musically scored investigative scenes. Taking the angle of an internship at CSI with Grissom and Catherine making an appearance makes it believable and fun for fans. Overall the murder and its resolution leave a bit to be desired but its fun for mystery fans, albeit a bit quick. The art is quite good making Grissom look fresh and young while Catherine looks year’s younger and very manga-ish. The interns all fit their stereotypes, Damian for example as the jock has a crew cut. The lab, settings, crime scene all match those seen in the show. So the story is good, characters ok and the art good, but what does it offer to manga and CSI fans?

Manga fans, you get the above and an introduction to what CSI is all about. Yes the show is deeper than just interns but the settings are pulled from the show. The cast has changed, but not as big an impact as they make appearances only in the manga. This is a good mystery manga that won’t break anyone’s grey matter but is still fun to follow.

CSI fans get two things. A look back, before Grissom left, at what could be a very real side-story in the CSI universe. It’s an easy investment, easy cost, good story, and good art PLUS there is a chapter from the novel Brass in Pocket, so you have that going for you, which is nice. CSI fans also get a cliff notes intro to the world of manga, which only gets better the more you explore. For example check out the Conan (detective, not barbarian) manga fro some great crime solving.

Overall a good read for both sets of fans for different reasons. The one hope I have is this is not a one-shot, that we get more intern stories in the current setting.


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  2. Thats really fantastic stuff right there!