February 11, 2012
Sekihiko Inui – Tokyopop – 2011 – 9+ volumes
Ugh. I’m still not over the death of Tokyopop. I had forgotten I hadn’t written up the second half of this series here, which is an oversight I plan to rectify immediately. It absolutely deserves to be read.
The first storyline in the volume continues from last time, where Shuto is fighting Ankaiser and is horribly disillusioned about professional heroes. He is also completely outclassed by Ankaiser, a professional hero. Good thing that the Ratman suit has its own innate, and really terrifying abilities. Seriously. The mouth on that thing gives me nightmares. The abilities aren’t particularly benevolent, or something that Shuto would be happy about, but they do get the job done.
There’s a bit more about Shuto being on the fence on the Ratman situation, too. Crea tells him he’s basically at the point of no return, but Shuto chooses once again to be a hero-villain, complete with awesome line. The post-fight Ratman discussions take place at the hospital, and involve both of the girls from Shuto’s school as well. The whole hospital scene is a bit of a character-building moment, and is nicely handled.
There’s a short story after this, mostly silly, about Shuto finding a limited edition hero collectible and getting it stolen by rampant thieves in Akihabara. We get to meet the holy maids that patrol the area, and see that they’re a kind of hero, too. Best of all, we get to see Shuto and Rio geek out about hero collectibles again, which is always a treat. Later, we’re introduced to the hero Fatman. He’s a mascot for a Pizza chain, and a hero. Shuto gets to meet him and his sister, and they have a nice little hero adventure together. There’s another Rio story in the back, too.
Mostly, it’s the sense of humor mixed with the inherent silliness of heroes and the story’s ability to still make them look cool at the right time that endears me to this series. It’s hard not to laugh at all the strange heroes, but it’s even harder not to get caught up when a serious fight is going on. Things never get too terribly serious, but it’s just enough to enjoy what’s going on.
I haven’t really done this book much justice, but it really is an enjoyable read. I’m crushed that we’ll never get to see the rest of it, but in the meantime, the first four volumes are more than worth your time.