(Demon of Destruction Sadamitsu)
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Type: Manga comic
By: Masahiko Nakahira
Version reviewed: Chinese translation from Original Japanese manga
First published in Japan by SHUEISHA INC, 1999
Book #1 of an ongoing series
Masahiko, famous for his various work on official Street Fighter manga, is back with a brand new manga, this time of his own creation. For those not in the know, Masahiko has worked on many Capcom manga pieces, including Cammy: Gaiden, Street Fighter Zero, Street Fighter III, and Sakura Ganbaru, where he is credited with the creation of the SFA3 character Karin.
Story: Without giving too much away, the premise behind the manga is that there are 20 million space convicts that will fall to the earth, and to recapture them, a hunter arrives. Unfortunately, the cyborg hunter's body is critically damaged while trying to protect a human.
Enter Sadamitsu, a rash, arrogant bloke who loves to fight. On his way to beat up some yakuza in order to free one of his buddies, he runs into the first of many alien convicts, as well as the remains of the hunter. Sadamitsu agrees to help the hunter out, and in putting on the headmask of the hunter, gains some supernatural powers which he uses to beat up aliens and stuff.
This manga essentially does to Kamen sentai stories what Cardcaptor Sakura and Evangelion did to the Magical Shoujo and Giant Robo genres respectively. It updates and pokes fun at the generic stories found in classic Japanese genres. For example, in one scene, the self-proclaimed hero Sadamitsu jumps off a ledge in a dramatic attempt to rush to the scene of destruction.
Unfortunately the helmet tells him a little too late that the flying mechanism's busted, and he lands head first. Owww.
Unable to fly, he proceeds to
commandeer a convenient motorbike to ride.
Unfortunately again, he doesn't know how to steer the thing.
And lands with his head wedged in a van.
Hakaima's not just a funny book, of course. The action is fast-paced, with lots of villains showing up, and lots of great fight scenes. The artwork, as expected from Masahiko, is excellent at all times.
Design-wise, I've seen better. Masahiko's designs for his characters are somewhat generic, or just odd. In many places it's obvious which influences he borrows from, but in a way it adds to the tongue-in-cheek approach to classic Japanese sentai stuff.
WHO IS THAT HOT CHICK?
Kamishiro, a student who recently transferred to Sadamitsu's school (which gets blown up...always a sign of good storytelling!). What does she have to do with him and new cyborg hunter? READ THE BOOK!
I think the anime's already being planned...