Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Knockout Makers, vol. 1

Created by Kyoko Hashimoto
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: It is so easy to do a makeover when you can redraw your characters

I was all ready to hate it this with the hate of thousand burning stars. Large stars, not small ones like our Sun. But it wasn’t as bad as I feared. The Knockout Makers is about an elite team of makeover artists, who seem to solely help high school and college age women. Amazing coincidence that. I wonder how many Extreme Makeover episodes made it to Japan before someone had the brilliant idea to manga-ize it.

But beside that, this book isn’t about how a makeover will make your life all perfect and beautiful. It just says that by changing your outside you can let your inside come out. Still not the most progressive message, but at least only one story in the volume has the characters professing their love for each other and there is only one where the makeover to be about revenge over being dumped, and there wasn’t an attempt after said makeover to make the ex- regret his decision. I didn’t take a ruler out and measure the characters dimensions before and after a makeover, but in a drawn book makeovers can be a lot more successful than in real life. I don’t know, maybe it is my own biases showing through here, but I am never comfortable with these kinds of stories, that your life will change positively if you just were more attractive. I have tried to objectively read at this, but the characters and story, while competent, are just not engaging or believable to me, though I will say that this tried hard to avoid descending into cliché.

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


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