Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kung Fu Klutz & Karate Cool

Created by D.J. Milky, Written by Mark Seidenberg with Art by Erich Owen.
Released by TokyoPop as a Manga Chapters

Slugline: Why yes, bullies are easily fended off and
embarrassed and never immediately return any humiliation tenfold.

TokyoPop's Manga Chapters are a combination of manga and text
pages intended for the eight-and-up audience. In this one Marvin is the Klutz of the school and is the continual target of bullies. He decides that he needs to learn Karate in order teach the bullies a lesson. Unsurprisingly, Marvin remains a klutz in karate class, despite his best imaginings otherwise. He does remember one piece of advice that his sensei gave him regarding patience, and despite his best efforts, it manages to be useful and literally trips up his tormentor.

Okay, I am always willing to give titles some slack over
suspension of disbelief, but not for something as basic as human motivation and response. Bullies do not crumble that easily. Teachers would, or at least should not tolerate the amount of disruption that Marvin creates daily without some sign that he is absorbing some of the lessons. The fact that he has a rich fantasy life isn't a problem, but the fact that his fantasy life does nothing to help, and only serves to reinforce his obliviousness to the world around him, is. Not a good message and not a believable story. There was nothing in this story that was bad, per se, but it was bad idea well executed.

Kung Fu Klutz and Karate Cool vol. 1 is available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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