Sunday, June 30, 2013

MISC. MANGA, *Shy Girl

Mix in Back To The Future and Tank Girl, and you might get some idea as to where this 2-volume original manga-styled graphic novel series is coming from. From the now defunct Best Sellers Illustrated comes this "Cinematic" graphic novel which tried to cash in on alot of the Americanized anime and manga that was going on around the mid-2000s, although this tried to bring in a little of the "bad girl" influence from the 90s too. Written by Stephen Stern, one of the creators of Zen Intergalactic Ninja, and drawn by Bill Maus who created the Zen spinoff series, Nira X: Cyber Angel, you can see where the creators were trying to use their flare for cyberpunk in this.

Beginning in the year 2140, the hoverboarding scantily-clad teen Shai Rand comes home to find her parents murdered. They were working on a time travel theory, and Shai realizes that the evil corporate beeyatch Vanessa Largo that her parents were in league with is the one who had them killed and stole their research to go back in time and change history. Shai uses some of her parent's leftover technology to jump back to the year 2005, and makes contact with her teenage great-great grandpa to secure her own timeline. Shai learns that Largo and her minions are trying to steal the original foundation of the time travel tech from a young genius, Warren Havermeyer. Shai(who has now been dubbed "Shygirl" by her grandpa)becomes Warren's bodyguard after explaining the situation to him, but ends up falling in love with him too. Shygirl then chases after Largo into a nexus between realities where anyone can be given any kind of power they want. After a superhero-styled fight with their new abilities, Shygirl locks off Largo in the nexus leaving her trapped there forever. Shai heads back to the future, even though her parents still remain dead in it despite the sacrifice she had to make to keep reality from being altered.

Shygirl was biled as a "cinematic graphic novel", and that does slightly play out in these two album-sized volumes, although your average manga tends to lend itself to that style anyway given the steady relationship between anime and manga. The publishing company folded business a while ago, but you can still find copies of both volumes from regular comics dealers, so its worth looking for if you manage to get a good bargain on them.

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