Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ratman vol. 2 Impression

Humor, action and great art continue in Ratman volume 2 from Tokyopop

Shuto has an ideal view of what superheroes are all about but these views take a punch in the gut in volume 2 of Ratman from Tokyopop. This very shonen action manga pokes fun at a few established franchise and concepts and manages to take the young boy as hero concept in a new and very funny direction. The story crafted by INUI Sekihiko is brought to life by plain beautiful manga art. So what’s volume 2 all about, let’s take a look …

Shuto is settling into his role as a bad guy in Jackal while still holding out hopes of becoming a real hero, a corporate sponsored hero fighting for all that’s right. Even as he tries to play at hero he still manages to get into enough trouble to be seen as a villain. Shuto is taught how the Ratman transformation works and trains against one very funny, five person, color coded team of Jackie’s that shows just how far he has to go in being better hero or even villain. Add to this that fact his mega-cute classmate Mizushima helps run Jackal, more from a motherly aspect, and Shuto has no choice but to keep on keeping on. Things seem to start to go right as another hero driven friend, Kizaki, invites Shuto to the hero awards until a trip to the bathroom reveals a darker site (not that, gross!) of heroes. The true corporate nature, status seeking agenda, of one particular ‘hero’ is revealed and Ratman is in for the biggest encounter of his short career. Is he a hero or villain and does it matter when the lines are blurred for those dubbed heroes?

The humor of the story is hands down the best and most refreshing aspect. Jackal is full of interesting characters, best of which are the Jackie’s. The Jacky Five needs its own spinoff series, no joke. Shuto goes along with the group, no real choice, and becomes closer with Mizushima while still holding onto his dream of being a hero. Thing is it’s her normal, non-Ratman knowing friend, Kizaki, who’s relationship begins to show Shuto what some heroes are all about … fame and glory no matter the expense. Some of the story is predictable but it’s still great fun to watch (thanks Jacky Five). Love the story so far, a nice quick read since it’s hard to put down.

The art is awesome. Environments are detailed when needed while the design of each character plain rocks. The expressions, detail, shadowing and proportions of heroes, villain, Jackie’s, everyone really just rocks. Sounds odd but this manga looks pulled from animation cells with so much delicious detail and originality. Gotta hand it to INUI, it’s rock solid and up there with titles like Maid Sama! and Deadman Wonderland in my favorite art, clean art, style in manga.

Overall this second volume keeps the story going with great pacing and story while never letting the reader have an excuse to put the book down. I want volume 3 and so should any self respecting shonen manga fan.

1 comment:

  1. Do you know where I can read this volume online?