Ultimo 5

August 25, 2011

Stan Lee / Hiroyuki Takei – Viz – 2011 – 5+ volumes

After being disappointed by by foray back into Nabari no Ou, I thought I would try another shounen series that I’d taken a break from. I’d read the first volume of Ultimo, but unlike Nabari no Ou, I don’t remember liking it as much. The good vs evil through dolls is an interesting concept for a shounen manga, sorta, and I thought it might be easier to jump back into since the gap was smaller.

Hmm. There were definitely less characters than Nabari no Ou (I really shouldn’t compare the two, they’re nothing alike, but both are shounen action and I read them back to back, so I can’t help it). I liked that the action mostly stuck to the main character, Agari, and his doll Ultimo. He had a couple different opponents, but luckily this series is only interested in the good guys/bad guys dynamic, so why they were being evil wasn’t very important.

I liked the idea that Agari was time-traveling to fight evil with Ultimo, and that his goal is ultimately to beat what appears to be a really laid-back old man who is nonetheless some sort of god. But he had three fights in this volume: one in the past, one in the dimension with the old man, and one in the present. It was a little too much jumping around for my taste, but I do like it in theory.

And other than that… admittedly, the plot is very shallow and I couldn’t really get into the characters in this volume. But maybe reading Nabari no Ou and Ultimo back-to-back wasn’t a good idea. Perhaps my heart just wasn’t in it. I do have the next volume of this, so I’m going to give it another try to see if it grows on me. As it stands, I like the concept still, but it struck me as good only for a quick shounen fix, nothing really to sink your teeth into.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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