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Title:
  Rumic World Trilogy vol 1 (of 3)

US Distributor:  Viz Media

Author:  Rumiko Takahashi

Suggested Retail PRiche (SRP):  $15.95 (approx. 10)

Number of Pages:  192

ISBN:  1-5693-1126-9

Reviewed:  9th May 2004

Reviewer:  Tom (Webmaster)

 

All in all this is generally great stuff and the usual brilliance you would expect from Takahashi.  Five stories that contain romance, horror, action and humour.  If you are a Takahashi fan - buy it. If you are new manga - still buy it as this will introduce you well into the diversity of the medium.

Excellent artwork as you would expect and all the Takahashi trademarks in one collection.

Breakdown:

Those Selfish Aliens:

As soon as you begin you'll quickly realise that this is the basis for Urusei Yatsura, which is no bad thing.  Short and sweet humour that is delightfully wacky.  I completely agree with Rich on this one, although it is unlikely the characters could have been used in a long-running series as they are pretty one-dimensional.  Takahashi obviously realised this and used new characters for Urusei Yatsura, although this is still very enjoyable.

Time Warp Trouble:

I didn't find this one quite as fun as what Rich did as the plot is a bit boring and you can pretty much guess what's coming.  Although Rich says it couldn't possibly advance further, I have to say that it is even too long as a short story.  Although fans will enjoy this to an extent as you'll see some of the early ideas which developed into Inu-Yasha.  Read once.

Fire Tripper:

Now this is more like it. A schoolgirl walking down the street and then suddenly - in typical random manga fashion - a gas explosion.  BOOM!  Excellent!

The plot and characterisation of this is much better then that of the previous stories and you can see why this was the real basis for Inu-Yasha.  If Inu-Yasha didn't exist, then Fire Tripper could have made a perfect series.  Although I saw the twist coming, it did not hinder my enjoyment of the story in the slightest.  Great stuff.

Maris The Chojo:

Oh dear.  What happened here?  Just as well this is a short story otherwise Takahashi would be in trouble.

I felt completely thrown in while reading this.  No built up, no characterisation, nothing.  The humour is stale and the plot boring.  Although I did like the shape-changing fox, it's not enough to save it.  Rich, how can you say this would be a good series?  I would not read this again.  And it is not that much like Urusei Yatsura at all.  Just because they fly in space it not enough ground to compare and the situations are not nearly bizarre enough.  Any self-respecting Urusei Yatsura fan would only read this once.

The Laughing Target:

By the far the best story in the book.  As Rich says this is a creepy horror tale and really is disturbing in places.  The shading and atmospheRich artwork really to make you afraid to turn the page but is a fascinating story and really is one of the best I have read by Takahashi.

I disagree with Rich when he says that this is let down by the fact that it is not developed further.  Although this is true, I felt that given that as this is horror that not being given certain answers and leaving many things unanswered made it all the more creepy.  It ended perfectly and left you wondering.  Fantastic stuff.

Product:
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