3×3 Eyes 8

December 24, 2007

Yuzo Takada – Dark Horse – 2004 – 40 volumes total (suspended in America at 8 volumes)

Pai finally, FINALLY gets her memory back, but not until a huge and dramatic fight scene passes involving the Wu of the other Sanjiyan and a lot of other things.  The personality that has been inhabiting Pai’s body all this time is actually that of the seal in her forehead, a little worm-looking thing that forgot what it was supposed to be doing.  There’s a great deal of dramatic tension built up when the worm has the option to destroy itself and save Pai or keep on living as a servant in that body.

Yakumo has his arm torn off and then sealed in a jar so that it can’t regenerate.  I thought that was pretty awesome.

After Pai becomes herself again, she decides to hang out in the Sanjiyan land to keep Yakumo and the rest of humanity safe from all the evil stuff that is chasing her.  Of course, this doesn’t quite work, but there is another long stretch as Yakumo patiently waits for her to rejoin him.  He has a group of friends who want to start a restaurant, and Yakumo blows them away when he reveals he’s… well, a lot older than them (I think in his 20s at this point).  Mostly the friends were just another device to remind the reader, yet again, that Pai and Yakumo are monsters and can’t live with regular people for too long before bad things start to happen.

And that’s all we get in English.  A real shame, because as far as I read, the plot is great, the romance wasn’t overdone (and was actually quite sweet), the battles were awesome and not at all repetitive, there was a lot of gore, and the comedy slipped in every now and again was okay.  It was an excellent fantasy series, and I’m sad I can’t read the other 30 volumes of it.

3×3 Eyes 7

December 20, 2007

Yuzo Takada – Dark Horse – 2003 – 40 volumes total (suspended in America at 8 volumes)

Speaking of fantasy, here’s my favorite volume of 3×3 Eyes.  When Pai and Yakumo et al can’t figure out how to get to the Sanjiyan holy land, they seek out information.  They are eventually trapped by monks who are keeping the entrance to the holy land off limits to outsiders, and this leads the characters into a labyrinth which only a few monks know how to navigate that has the information they seek at the end.  Of course, not only is it a labyrinth in a traditional sense, but it also is full of monsters who love to tear people limb from limb.

This was a really great action-y bit of story, and I really liked the progression from being imprisoned by the monks, gaining their trust, finding out what they need is in a labyrinth, then fighting their way through said labyrinth.  Though it doesn’t sound all that original, it worked quite well, and the strong characters just sort of helped the great plot and action sequences along.  The group is pursued by Kaiyan Wang through the labyrinth, and there’s plenty of gore and fight sequences as well (the evil characters make their way through the maze by killing the ancient head monk and holding his brain captive, feeding off the information in it to survive and booby trap the place further for the good guys).

Pai still doesn’t have her memory, but that should change come next volume.

3×3 Eyes 6

December 15, 2007

Yuzo Takada – Dark Horse – 2003 – 40 volumes total (suspended in America at 8 volumes)

The story in this volume is mostly about warring groups trying to get the key to the Sanjiyan homeland, which is in the form of an incense burner with three eyes painted on it.  Pai and Yakumo want it for their own reasons, one man also wants it for his own reasons, and there is a third party who is highly organized who wants it in order to smash it so that no one will be able to get to the Sanjiyan homeland.

Pai and Yakumo are separated at one point, and Yakumo is forced to trade the key for Pai.  Demon circles are used, and at one point Pai and Yakumo were sucked into an alternate lightening dimension and Yakumo was vaporized, which was kind of awesome.  Also, there is a demon who takes an awesome form to lull people into a false sense of security, and I liked that too.

Pai still doesn’t have her memory, but we do keep getting brief flashes of her past which foreshadow a showdown between her and the other surviving Sanjiyan.  Which, yeah, isn’t too original, but things aren’t taking the direct route, and all these side trips and random, extremely violent battles are wonderful.  I really, really enjoy this series.

3×3 Eyes 5

December 7, 2007

Yuzo Takada – Dark Horse – 2002 – 40 volumes total (suspended in America at 8 volumes)

Pai’s memory is still not back.  The beginning of the volume concerns taming the Sanjiyan, who has also lost her memory, and the end of the volume explains why Pai still doesn’t have her memories, and sets up a quest so that Yakumo et al can remove the last seal from Pai.

The Sanjiyan goes on a rampage for most of the volume.  She summons a beast and smashes things in grand style.  But because she doesn’t have her memory, she doesn’t know the extent of her powers, who she is, what she can do, or what she’s capable of.  She only knows she’s powerful.  It’s kind of an interesting idea.

There’s a really cute scene between Yakumo and the Sanjiyan that I almost didn’t pick up on.  The Sanjiyan asks if she’ll get to meet the man inside her when she gets her memory back, and when Yakumo asked what that meant, she said it felt like there was a soul inside her body.  It wasn’t really explained, and it should be fairly obvious, but yes, the soul is Yakumo’s, and I thought it was cute.   Anyway.

Yeah, this series is great.

3×3 Eyes 4

December 3, 2007

Yuzo Takada – Dark Horse – 2002 – 40 volumes total (suspended in America at 8 volumes)

The story jumps ahead in time and rejoins Pai… as a normal schoolgirl.  The jump in genre is weird until Yakumo shows up as a hobo and starts forcing himself back into Pai’s life and weird puppets start attacking her.  You see, it turns out that Pai has somehow lost her memory, and Yakumo has been searching for her for a couple years.  Of course, Pai has no idea who Yakumo is now, and is rightly scared of him as well as the marionettes that keep attacking her.  She’s got a couple friends who are drug into the melee as well, and this volume concerns itself mostly with forcing memories back into Pai and the re-introduction of Yakumo.

It’s mostly transitional, and it was actually kind of weird that Takada chose to reset things so close to the beginning of the series.  The volume also has some choice fight scenes in it though.  The marionettes are controlled by a woman seeking immortality for her father, and at one point she turns Pai’s two friends into a two-headed spider marionette.  Yakumo is mutilated a time or two.  All in good fun, but I was in a hurry to get back to the good stuff after reading this.

3×3 Eyes 3

November 21, 2007

Yuzo Takada – Dark Horse – 2001 – 40 volumes total (suspended in America at 8 volumes)

I read the rest of these awhile ago, all in one sitting.  This series is fantastic, and I’m so sad that it was put on hold.   I’m going to have trouble remembering what was in each volume and why it was so great, but take my word for it that this series is worth tracking down.

The figure of man comes back for another round in this volume, and this time Pai and Yakumo help a girl rescue her brother, who was out looking for the statue.  The brother was captured by a cult who was also looking for the statue.  Eventually, things wind up on the rooftop of a building with Yakumo duking it out with a demon.  At one point, Yakumo gets shot with a ray and half his body is fried off while the other half is burned to a crisp.  Pai’s cane-demon gets vaporized in an extremely gory way.

The fight is long and drawn-out, but during it, we find out that there is at least one other Sanjiyan, and that he is the evil king of all Sanjiyan and the reason everyone but Pai was killed.  He’s got a Wu wandering around, but of course he’s a cool dude and annoyingly vague and threatening.  At one point, Yakumo tries to fight him, but the other Wu (Benares, likes the city, I guess) says that a Wu battle is a waste of time since neither can be killed.  It’s something I’d like to see though, because I know that there would be entrails everywhere since Takada seems to be fond of drawing gore.

Pai decides she loves humans even more since she’s got friends that wait for her even after the building she’s in collapses.

At the very end, there’s a party, and there’s a lot of romantic development between Pai and Yakumo.  It’s actually a really upbeat, pleasant, and friendly chapter, especially after all the heavy stuff that was in this volume.  The series handles things like this pretty well, and I like that there are periodically things to pick up the character’s spirits while the truly epic quest is going on.  Pai and Yakumo are separated though, and the last page shows the start of a long quest where Yakumo decides to search forever for Pai if necessary.

3×3 Eyes 2

October 17, 2007

Yuzo Takada – Dark Horse – 2003 – 40 volumes total (suspended in America at 8 volumes)
*this volume also has an older edition, published in 1995

Sometimes you just have to go around the country and sell books for awhile.  Not much to be done about it, especially when you don’t have internet access.

I’ve read a ton of stuff since the last time I posted, and unfortunately I’ve gotten into the bad habit of either putting it directly away before I talk about it or leaving it all over my room, where my roommate then reads it and puts it away.  I’m worried I’ll miss some things, but this is the most likely candidate for forgetting, so I’ll talk about it now.

First off, I apologize for what I said about the volumes being slim last time.  I take it back.  I would pay this much and more per volume now if it meant Dark Horse kept doing what they were doing here and kept one storyline contained in each volume.  I love it, and I miss it dearly with Oh My Goddess.  These were good times, and I didn’t realize how lucky I was.  No cliffhangers is a beautiful thing.

This volume was awesome once again, and mostly centered around Yakumo letting his friends know he was now an immortal zombie.  He uses his talent to dodge the cops one time by throwing himself under the wheels of their car, which freaks his friends out and becomes a point of contention.  Evil Pai tells him his life will never be the same now that he’s a zombie, and the story here sort of lays that all out for us.  Of course, it does it in the most awesome, action-packed way possible.  There are tentacles involved at one point, if you were wondering if this was 80s enough for you.

What a great series.  It’s exactly my cup of tea.