Friday, May 4, 2012

MISC. MANGA, *Mechanical Man Blues

Tsukasa Kotoboki was the character designer for several anime projects in the 90s, including Saber Marionette J and Dante’s Inferno, as well as the creator of Cyber Team In Akihabara. But one of his original manga creations oddly enough one that didn’t feature in Japan. Mechanical Man Blues was similar to Astrider Hugo as it was Radio Comix getting a manga creator to do a comic specifically produced for America.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, mankind has been subjugated by a robot empire titled the Syndicate that either kill humans or enslaves them. One of the last few resistance leaders is the incredibly voluptuous Lady Sonja who could give Red Sonja a run for her money. She finds the remains of one of the prototype killer androids called a Mechanical Man which were supposed to be the ultimate terminators. Sonja brings it to the eccentric scientist Prof. Poporo to reactivate it to fight for them, but they’re interreupted by an upgraded robot sent to stop them. The Mechanical Man does come online as the luscious Sonja is killed just prior to it. The android called Gun is later found by a totally different band of human freedom fighters, and tracked down by some other robot assassins. The Syndicate resorts to sending their pair of bikini-clad killer android sisters to kill Gun, but one of them ends up going crazy, while the other joins Gun and his party.

The comic never fully concluded, and the plot does skip around from one part to another, making it hard to get a official grasp of the world this takes place in. The art style is crisp and damn good. Kotobuki is very slick at dishing out the fan service, which is what makes his work in the new Dirty Pair manga more appealing. But he probably could’ve used a little more help on the as far as the story was concerned. Only three issues of this were actually printed in America, which were collected into a single graphic novel from Radio Comics, although from that you miss out on Adam Warren’s cool colored cover art from Issue #3.

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