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Title:
 Trash

UK Distributor: Tokyopop

Author: Sanami Matoh

Suggested Retail Price (SRP): 6.99

Number of Pages: 210

ISBN: 9781598165166

Reviewed: 11th January 2007

Reviewer: Tom (Webmaster)
 

Mild-mannered teen Will Anderson has had little to worry in his first 15 years on this Earth.  He lives in a good home with his father and younger sister, goes to a good school and enjoys life.  That is until one day while he is eating his lunch in the park he is distracted by a penguin (bear with me) and his lunch is accidentally eaten by a stranger.  The stranger introduces himself as Guy Hooks, a member of Trash Company and says that, in return for the free lunch, he will grant Will a favour if he ever needs help.  Will then returns home to his loving mafia-boss father (again, bear with me) only for his sister to get kidnapped by one of his father's subordinates.  Will then dashes to the Trash Company where they agree to help rescue his sister.  Then the adventures begin....

Anyone familiar with Matoh's previous work FAKE will know that it was heavily inspired by 80's American films and Trash is no different.  Where as FAKE was a manga take on buddy-cop action films such as Lethal Weapon (with the twist being that the male cop buddies are lovers), Trash is inspired by action comedies such as Ghostbusters.  Like this sub-genre takes a simple premise that can lead to any possibility and fully exploits that advantage. 

The Trash Company which Will goes to for help advertise themselves as a company which does 'odd jobs' and favours investing in their services.  In reality they only take on rich clients and then rob said clients in any way that they can.  They are not as bad as they sound though and always manage to put aside financial problems in order to help anybody in trouble (surprise).  After they retrieve Will's kidnapped sister he becomes a part-time member of Trash and soon becomes friends with the reckless Guy Hooks. 

Just like the action comedies of the 80's Trash does not take itself too seriously and action, comedy and fun are the order of the day.  Occasionally these elements slow down to allow for some plot development but the aforementioned elements soon kick in again and the enjoyment factor is high when they do.  The characterisation is also strong and you can instantly click with the personalities of each character which is a real bonus in the fast-moving world of Trash.  Matoh's artwork is excellent as usual, although some may be put off by thinking that the yaoi stylings mean that Trash is aimed towards girls.  I did not find this a problem though as the action and comedy meant there was plenty for boys to enjoy.  That said there were signs towards the end of the volume that the story could shift towards a bigger yaoi theme, but I am confident that the action and comedy can be maintained should this happen. 

Anyone who is a fan of American action comedies from the 80's will enjoy Trash and no doubt fans of action manga set in the real world will too.  The only downside is that some may find the action a little predictable and a bit over-the-top sometimes, but otherwise this is recommended read which is great fun. 

Extras:

A rare extra in the form of a colour page showcasing a piece of Trash artwork is a nice touch at the start of the book, it is just a shame they didn't reproduce the original colour pages of the Japanese original as well.  The UK normally gets no colour pages though so just one is still pretty good! 

Other then that there is the usual adverts for other Tokyopop titles in the back. 

Ratings

Product: Extras:

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