Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Gentleman's Alliance Cross, v 1

Story and Art by Arina Tanemura
Released in the U.S. by Viz Shojo Beat

Slugline: Is being sold really that fun for tween

Okay, bankruptcy laws in Japan must be horrible,
because so many of the characters in anime get into their situations because of debts and so on. Either that or lawyers in Japan have an even worse reputation there than I thought. Plus, Japan must have not only imported European school systems, but also European concepts of nobility (despite having their own already.) Though their nobility is a very American one, you are rich because you are good, therefore if you are rich you deserve to be in charge. Ugh.

The only somewhat redeeming feature that the main
character Haine has is that she can occasionally kick ass. But it's a aspect of her sordid past, something I wish she would have kept because she has every right to be angry at her situation, even angry at the boy she likes because he pretended to be gay to avoid entanglements.

The details of the world are well constructed and the
art is nice, but it is like a building with no rules, or asking "How did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" There is no real point. Maybe it cleans up later in the series, but this is one of those manga that I had to force myself to finish, and whose details immediately started fading from my mind as if to protect itself as soon as I put it down.

I don't give out Dishonorable Mentions like Miranda,
but this is as close as I have ever gotten to giving one.

The Gentleman's Alliance Cross vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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