Excel Saga 23

April 11, 2012

Rikdo Koshi – Viz – 2012 – 27 volumes

I’ve read none of the manga and seen two episodes of the anime prior to this. But I was still pretty excited when this showed up at my house. I couldn’t wait to read it. I’m not exactly sure why. I guess I heard it was funny.

Reading it without prior knowledge is pretty entertaining, simply because it is such a bizarre series. One of the enemies (or at least an enemy to Excel, I suppose) speaks with one of the most bizarre accents I’ve ever read in a manga. Also, he doesn’t speak, for some reason. His text is kinda like narration. But it acts like dialogue in the scenes. I’m not sure why. Similarly, I guess I didn’t realize that everyone could hear Elgala’s thoughts, either. That’s also very entertaining.

It’s also just funny. I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to understand running gags or character-based humor, but it helps that all of them are so absurd. I actually did laugh out loud when the Kabapu force all tendered their resignations when asked to do a task, to which the commander replied he wished they wouldn’t carry their resignation slips around with them everywhere. There was also a random Evil Dead reference during the fight in the first chapter, and that’s never a bad thing.

It took me a bit to get my bearings, but once I figured out what was going on and who was on what side, I was surprised to find myself sucked in completely. I thought Excel Saga was more of a gag manga, but if this volume is anything to go on, it seems like there’s… been a story going on the whole time. About a fake city takeover, and a fake defense against the takeover. Except now it seems to be about robots, which is just fine. I had a hard time parsing what was going on with all the robots, but I understood the twist at the end. I don’t even read this series, and I loved that curveball (or, at least I think it was a curveball… everyone else seemed surprised by it). I can’t tell if it will even have any effect on the plot. But still, it is a very awesome thing indeed.

I can’t really talk about the story here, unfortunately, because I don’t understand a lot of what’s going on and I’m not sure what constitutes a spoiler. But after the confusing first fight, I liked pretty much everything in this volume. I got to see Excel and Elgala’s secret base, and how they communicate covertly. I got to see an awesome robot chariot race. There was a fire. Hyatt bled excessively. Excel yelled a lot.

I’m not sure what to make of all this, but it left me with the burning desire to read the whole thing from the beginning. I’m not sure why. It was very funny, but didn’t crack me up. The story was unclear (to me, jumping in randomly here), and… I don’t know, not really my thing, usually. But Excel Saga is somehow addictive. It’s insanity is charming, and somehow, even the story that stumped me here was endearing. Plus, it’s edited by Carl Gustav Horn, and I didn’t know that it had copious endnotes, the same type you find in the back of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. That only makes it better.

Basically, I’m going to go out and buy 22 volumes of this series in the very near future. And I couldn’t tell you why. Apparently that’s just the magic of Excel Saga’s insanity.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

One Response to “Excel Saga 23”

  1. ZeroSD Says:

    -One of the enemies (or at least an enemy to Excel, I suppose) speaks with one of the most bizarre accents I’ve ever read in a manga. Also, he doesn’t speak, for some reason. His text is kinda like narration. But it acts like dialogue in the scenes. I’m not sure why. –

    Apparently it’s supposed to be an Osakan accent. I guess they talk that way? I’ve seen it done once elsewhere (Negima) but that might’ve been referencing this.

    – I thought Excel Saga was more of a gag manga, but if this volume is anything to go on, it seems like there’s… been a story going on the whole time.-

    Not quite the whole time, but yea, there’s been some story. The anime is more gag since the manga wasn’t super far at the time.

    -Except now it seems to be about robots, which is just fine-

    Yea, the robots!

    -I can’t really talk about the story here, unfortunately, because I don’t understand a lot of what’s going on and I’m not sure what constitutes a spoiler.-

    I think for Excel Saga, that’s fitting.

    -Basically, I’m going to go out and buy 22 volumes of this series in the very near future. And I couldn’t tell you why. Apparently that’s just the magic of Excel Saga’s insanity.-

    :D


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