Comic Picks By The Glick

Devil

July 30, 2012

This reads very much like one of those “movie pitches in comics form” that you hear so much about.  Considering that it’s credited to “Torajiro Kishi and Dynamo Pictures,” it feels more apt than usual in this case.  The high concept is spelled out on the cover as “A vampire virus rages through Japan!” and turns a certain percentage of its victims into crazed bloodsuckers with special powers that need to be put down.  Takimoto is one such cop who tackles it with a world-weary professionalism and cynicism, so naturally he finds himself matched up with Migiwa who has had no experience in the field and sees the infectees as victims of a virus who are still entitled to human rights.  Any pretense of moral ambiguity is quickly tossed out the window as Migiwa finds out in short order that the only good bloodsucker is a dead bloodsucker.  Particularly the one named Nishioka -- a former lab tech who was turned by Mariko, the purest specimen produced by the strain and one who sees herself as the next stage of evolution for life on this planet.

Kishi’s best-known work prior to this was the two-volume lesbian hentai manga “Maka-Maka.”  Here, he displays a real talent for creating dynamic action scenes, delivering a fast-paced narrative, and keeping the implausibilities to a relative minimum.  This is all good because there’s not a hint of originality to his narrative.  It’s yet another example of style-over-substance and while this collection makes me think that it could certainly work as a movie, whether or not it would be any good would depend on who they got to direct it as opposed to honoring the “vision” of the source material.  Said “vision” is a slick, well-made, predictable and soulless piece of action entertainment that would likely result in the kind of live-action Japanese movie that I’d check out at a convention if I had nothing better to do.

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