Illusion City 2

April 1, 2009

…And here’s the review I wrote for Manga Recon.

I think I probably would have liked it more had the mob stuff from the first volume continued, but the psychic cult ruined it for me.  If 80s psychic series are your thing (which they might be, I’m pretty sure the 80s anime industry sustained itself on these types of stories), you can read both volumes for a dollar each online at Netcomics.

Illusion City 1

April 1, 2009

Because I can’t bring mysef to break my “every volume gets a separate entry” rule, I’ll talk about this series a little bit here.  But I reviewed the whole thing at Manga Recon.

Reading this, the story gives off all the right signals.  I’m immediately won over by 80s art, the psychic powers are sort of downplayed and only used as an assist in the episodic stories, the story is set in New York, there’s a subtle romance, and the romantic interest has connections with the Puerto Rican mob.  All these are great things.

The problems are that the heroine is boring, the characters don’t really develop all that much, and… well, the heroine.  All the episodic stories end with her yelling at Miguel about being in the mofia.  Even when this connection saves her, or the situation isn’t as black and white, she still refuses to see anything but bad in what Miguel does.  For his part, he takes it and basically ignores her, but it’s irritating all the same.

The stories are things like… trying to vindicate a murdered man, saving a little boy who thinks he’s summoning satan from a drug lord by yielding up the cocaine hidden in his teddy bear… they’re not so bad, but again, the heroine sort of ruins things when they all end in the same way.

There’s also the beginnings of a psychic cult in this volume, which I knew wouldn’t lead anywhere I wanted to go.

Bonus points for Miguel’s creepy relatives though, who are all about cashing on on Saiko’s wanted status with the Puerto Rican mofia.  Extra bonus points for two of the cousins, both of whom turn out to be good guys and far more interesting than Saiko.