Thursday, August 16, 2007

Peace Maker, v.1

By Nanae Chrono
Published in the U.S. by Tokyopop

Slugline: Tetsu wants to join the Shinsengumi to train and get revenge, naively thinking that the Gumi is some kind of martial arts club.

Nominee for Potentially Misleading Cover, 2007: it looks like a serious and artistic manga, but inside it's actually a slapsticky shonen romp. In v.1, at least.

Volume one assaults us with several characters we've seen before - the tiny, high-octane guy, the effeminate-yet-manly guy, the tormented killing machine - and a standard revenge plot on top of what could be a more interesting story: the Shinsengumi's side of the story, in Meiji Japan. For those of us who first met the Shinsengumi in Ruroni Kenshin (speaking of tiny, high-octane guys), hearing their side of the story could be interesting. But there's no guarantee that Peace Maker is the series to do that. Any politicking is firmly set in the background, behind the comedic beat-downs and the background sob story.

Beneath the physical comedy, there may be rumblings of the serious story the cover portrays this as -- Tetsu is eager to "become a demon" to get his revenge, obviously not knowing what he's getting into in his hurry to become the man he thinks he wants to be.

Peacemaker, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Miranda

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