Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mai, The Psychic Girl, The Perfect Collection, V. 1

Story by Kazuya Kudo with Art by Ryoichi Ikegami
Published in the U.S. by Viz

Slugline: You really wouldn't want to get this schoolgirl angry.

Mai, the Psychic Girl was one of the first manga that was widely released in the US. Originally released in floppies in the late 80s, it was a title that showed me, regardless of what Miranda says about Akira's influence, of just how nasty and explodey-heady psychic combat could be. Mai Kuju, daughter of a line of shrine guardians, has telekinetic ability on a truly high order, and is pursued by an international conspiracy for world domination called the Wisdom Alliance. The first book of the perfect collection reads very quickly, for most of the story is either kung-fu action or extended chase sequences, as Mai and her father realize the danger that they are in. Actually, I remember that being a problem at the time that it was being released, but the 22 page issues went by so quickly that it didn't make it really worth the time to pick up individual issues, and at the time the idea of collections were still very new.

The plot is rather straightforward, and at times it seems to be
relying on the power of coincidence to make things flow, but this is not a story that asks for much deep thinking, merely that one sits back and enjoys the pretty explosions, bashed bodies and the downhill ride. It does have a couple bits of unnecessary but not really exploitative nudity, and a couple of places where if you stop and think you may say "ick," but nothing too bad, at least in this first volume of the perfect collection.

- Ferdinand

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