Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trade Marks: MW

First, let me beg forgiveness regarding my poorly informed opinions below. Aside from reading a handful of Lone Wolf & Cubs and playing with Shogun Warriors in the late 70s, I have had next to no exposure to Japanese popular culture. Someone recommended MW as a good place to start. I was told that while it may not be the best example of typical Tezuka work, it has a straightforward narrative and is very manga-virgin friendly. He was right - it turned out to be quite the page turner. It is very stylish (in a sleek, 70s way) but also very dark with a razor thin line existing between sex and violence.

Somewhere on the dust jacket, the book it described as picaresque - but I think that may be a wee bit of an understatement. Yuki is not your average lovable rogue, but rather a calculating agent of death devoid of morals. The only thing in his way is his tormented former lover, Garai - who still thinks there is some good to be found in Yuki. He is wrong. Very wrong. This is a big book (nearly 600 pages) but you will fly through it at breakneck speed. I truly appreciate the relatively low cost of such a large book - but I do wish that there was some soft of introduction for us newbies - letting us in on Tezuka's world and the origins of this work. That's really the only flaw I can find. Trade Mark: A-

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