Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Old Boy, v. 1

by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi
Published in the U.S. by Dark Horse Manga

Slugline: After being mysteriously imprisoned for ten years, our hero is set free
and starts looking for answers.

I saw the Korean-made movie version of Old Boy (it's out on DVD now) so I have the
disadvantage of knowing how it ends (maybe/probably.) It's not a gory movie, but it's violent and mean-spirited. (Some people compare it to Pulp Fiction... which may be true in attitude, but not much else.)

That attitude is laid out in the manga, but more dilutely. In v.1, our nameless hero
is released from his captivity and only just begins to start looking for answers. Meanwhile, the bad guys are keeping an eye on him.

The movie is tightly paced and efficient, in the tradition of revenge thrillers, but
the manga shows every sign of moving at a distinctly more manga-ish pace. The art and writing are perfectly competent, but it lacks a sense of urgency, for me, and the novelty of the situation can't be re-created because I've seen the movie. So my rating may be biased, but this manga just doesn't stand out enough to be above average.

If you haven't seen the movie and you like dark thrillers, check Old Boy out in manga form and give it a chance. If you did catch the movie, get the DVD and enjoy it again, with extras.


- Miranda

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