Warriors of Tao 4

February 6, 2008

As I suspected, the series ended after the battle between Toma and Karma.  Most of this volume is one long action scene between Karma and Toma.  There’s some stuff where the characters try and convince Aizawa to get ahold of herself and pull out of her depression since it seems to be feeding Karma’s powers, but mostly it’s just Karma and Toma trying different things.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great action scene.  Well, at least entertaining.  There’s plenty of gore and guts, guts in this sense meaning fortitude since no one is literally disemboweled (though it kind of looks like that might be the case).   Toma keeps coming and coming at Karma even though he’s got no chance, all for Aizawa.

The ending was pretty cute.  Everyone is a lot worse for wear after the battle, and there’s a really sweet scene where Karma and Aizawa finally get to connect.

It was entertaining, it was great action, it was even funny in a lot of parts, it was everything I was hoping for in a series like this, but I wouldn’t really recommend it since most people would do better with something like… well, Hellsing or any number of other cool tournament-style action series with tastes of fanservice.

Warriors of Tao 3

January 21, 2008

As much as I like this series, I know there’s no way that it’ll wrap up cleanly next volume.

Things are explained as far as Karma’s motives go, and it turns out that Karma and BJ have a thing going as far as creating the ultimate gladiator goes.  The battle royale commences between all the characters on… a spaceship, or something.  The only people who are really fighting are Toma against BJ and Karma, though.  I anticipate the next volume resolving the fight between the two, but I can’t see it going much farther than that.

The gore continues, though.  Toma is really beat up at several points, and the last panel is someone tearing the still-beating heart from someone else’s chest.  This series gets an A for overkill as far as gore goes.

Another bonus is that Toma’s girlfriend, the one he’s going through all this for, finally realizes Toma is a gladiator.  I think this would take the wind from my sails a bit, doing all this fighting and not having the person realize it, but it doesn’t seem to bother Toma at all.

Warriors of Tao 2

January 13, 2008

This still isn’t that good a series, but it’s still entertaining enough for me to enjoy it.

More members of the Earth team are sent to try and wipe out Toma.  The next opponent is a girl who controls people with lust.  She can read people’s thoughts, and seems to enjoy picking up on the thoughts of young boys who are imagining things they can do to her.  The power doesn’t work really well on Toma, who always seems to turn it around so he can imagine Itsuki doing these things.  The girl also has the power to control people through a mark on their forehead.  She controls Itsuki this way, and we find out that Itsuki’s special power is to summon demons through a hole in her back, which is way cool.

Later, the new girl starts to train Toma, and his… power-thing and him apparently mesh some more.  He turns into a bloodthirsty killing machine when he is in the zone, apparently, and his parasite is apparently giving him a power which may give him a serious advantage over much stronger opponents.  Not a terribly original advantage, mind you, but a cool one all the same.

The plot thickens.

Warriors of Tao 1

January 4, 2008

I just… had to have this series.  There were people I knew who raved about it as it was coming out, and I was always curious.  I’m not sure what prompted me to get all four volumes, but here I am.

So far, I really like it.  The main character is quite cheery and happy-go-lucky at the beginning, and while he is Better Than Everyone at something (since it wouldn’t be a manga otherwise), at least that something is Kendo, which is obscure enough to be a skill I can still respect.

There is a lot more fanservice than I was expecting, and a naked girl gets thrown into the mix fairly early on.  After that, the thing turns into what appears to be a tournament-style fighting manga.   Randomly, the main character is selected to be on a team representing Earth in a competition to figure out which inhabited planet gets to eat the beings on the other planets.  The captain of the Earth team rejects him though, and the main character finds himself fighting people with powers in extremely violent and impromptu matches.

The one thing I can say good about this series is that it has kind of original character types at work.  While there are quite a few generics wondering around, the main character is pretty unique, and later on he meets a big, happy fellow who is pursuing a career in professional wrestling.  I liked him a lot, too.

The battles are pretty violent, but not particularly gory.  While it hasn’t done anything particularly well or noteworthy yet other than have a couple good characters, I’m still compelled to read it.  It’s just about as middle-of-the-road as you can get as far as tournament manga can go, and there’s a lot of stuff I can think of to improve on, but I’m willing to forgive these flaws for some reason, and I’m really enjoying it so far.  I guess this genre is just more my thing, I suppose.