Friday, April 29, 2016

Reader's Diary #1307- Tite Kubo, translated by Akira Watanabe: Zombiepowder 1 / The Man with the Black Hand

Tite Kubo is better known for his Bleach series (which I still need to read) but the success of that drove many of his North American fans to explore his back catalogue. In serialized form, that back catalogue consisted solely of Zombiepowder.

In in brief introduction, Kubo seems to acknowledge the weaknesses of this series and excuse it for being his first graphic novel. "Mainly," he writes, "it's all battles. It's completely OK to just read it through without thinking about anything."

Well okay then. If I'm being honest, I didn't put a whole lot of thought into reading it in the first place beyond that it had "zombie" in the title. On that front, I was a little disappointed. Zombiepowder revolves around 12 Rings of the Dead which can bring the dead back to life. Besides the potential to turn the world into a Walking Dead-like utopia,  making them more of a hot commodity is their ability to give the living eternal life. Unfortunately, in this first volume, there are no zombies anywhere.

Almost making up for it is the criminal and ring-chaser Gamma Akutabi's amazing Dog-the-Bounty Hunter's hair (redundant). Beside Akutabi and his hair, the book also revolves his newly acquired young partner Elwood.

So, on the plus side is the hair and the action and a cool Western motif. On the negative side is the lack of zombies and art that is typical of rushed serialized manga (i.e., not a great deal of detail in any backgrounds).

An entertaining diversion, I suppose.

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