Monday, June 16, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Monster Musume

With Monster High oddly becoming the hot doll fad of tween-age girls, Monster Musume takes it to the anime level with some really obscure monsters and turning them into hot ecchi babes! By "Okayado", this was his first big hit, and is fan service galore for the furries, but does have something for non-anthro fans.

The existence of half-human/half-animal monsters labeled "liminals" have been made public, and now some have moved into the world while living with a host family, which is similar to an exchange student program. Miia is a lamia(or snake girl)that moves in with local Japanese boy Kirihito, who in true harem genre fashion doesn't have either of his parents around. Miia has fallen for him big time for some reason, and takes every chance she can to try and seduce him, despite the somewhat approval of their government liaison, the leggy Ms. Smith. Later on, Kirihito gets even more monstrously sexy additions to his harem house of horrors, the ditsy harpy Papi, the buxom centaur Centorea, and the female slime Suu. There seems to be some interesting social situations like where some clearly American tourists are talking smack about Miia in front of Kirihito and he defends her honor, but its mostly a lot of situations with Kirihito getting caught between the monster maidens totally naked.

I appreciated the effort put into the art style, and the sympathetic tone given for each of the monster girls as being strangers in a strange land, but ultimately Monster Musume is one big harem manga bonanza. Granted, it adds a little more to the mix with supernatural sirens instead of technicolor-haired schoolgirls, but you won't find too much in the development of any real plot here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Edge Of Empire

Rod Espinoza did a more fleshed out version of his stories from the Victorian Secret specials about a trio known as the Three Sisters who act as sort of an all-female rescue squad set in a steampunk/fairy tale world.

The sisters are two baronesses and a lady who use their special skills and super powers to protect women in a harsh male-dominated environment. Their first tale has them retrieving a different trio of female explorers from inside a treacherous desert dungeon. Next, they team up with a forest nymph to rescue a princess from some lecherous Greeks in ah their grandiose gladiator fight. Lastly, some castaways are shipwrecked on an uncharted island, and only the puppetry skills of the lovely Lady Marionn can save them from mutinies, zombies, and Cthulu!

This 2-issue mini-series has some very complex imagery to it, especially with the Three Sisters’ awesome magical arsenal.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

MISC. MANGA, Tasty Bullet

Ever wonder what would it be like if Gatorade tried to take over the world? That's what Tasty Bullet attempts to show in this one-shot graphic novel. As part of Image Comics' Shadowline line of books, this came out right at the end of the big "Amerimanga" boom that companies like Tokyo Pop were cashing in on. This was a manga-styled story written by Johnathon Vankin who had previously worked on Vertigo's Vertigo Pop line, and co-written and drawn by Arnold Pander whose work also included Image's manga-themed Accelerate mini-series.

The Bullet Corp. company has a sexpot named Tamar acting as the "Tasty Girl" spokes model for their new energy drink, Tasty Bullet. However, this new product has a serious mystery behind it that has Tamar questioning her loyalty. All the stunts she has to perform are taking their toll, and she seems to becoming more addicted to Tasty Bullet, plus she seems to have no real memories prior to being hired by Bullet Corp. She threatens to quit, but the company needs her to help pimp their drink, so they make her acting CEO. This allows Tamar to look into the company, and finds Zak, the patient zero of Tasty Bullet. He also has gaps in his memory, and together they try to find out more about the company. An underground organization kidnaps Tamar to show her the truth behind the drink, and manage to get her off the drink cold turkey. She then sets her sights on the mysterious Mr. Six who controls everything.

This was a fair manga-styled comics, although it does get a little more over-stylized than it needs to like having lots of traditional big eyes and speed lines. It's worth a read for sure, at least to add to your own personal digital library.