Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yozakura Quartet, vol. 1

By Suzuhito Yasuda
Released in the US by Del Rey Manga

Slugline: Superteens? I think they didn't know what else to tagline this with.

Four teens work to protect the town of Sakurashin from whatever arises to threaten it. There is something going on in the town, especially considering that the smokestacks on the town's skyline have blessing strips on them. But not to worry, the four teens all have abilities beyond that of normal men. Hime, despite being a teenager is the mayor of the town seems to have enhanced strength and speed. Ao, a cat-girl can read minds and Kotoha is a magician that can create things with just a word round out the superpowered part of the team. And then there is the guy, Akina, who will no doubtedly have to fend off the interest of the three girls.

I was thinking from the back ad copy that this would be more like a traditional superhero story. I mean, there is nothing wrong with super heroic stories, you can easily argue that Naruto is one. But this story didn't feel like one at all. It feels more like a civic class, with the characters all concerned about the town, but for some reason not seeming to have any of the apparatus of a town to draw upon. People must flock to live in this town, because the property taxes must be incredibly low if the town's mayor runs things with just the help of three friends. The fact that the three friends have wacky powers is just is, without any explanation. It just doesn't feel like it holds together, with the threats feeling fairly hollow.

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


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