Comic Picks By The Glick

Biomega vol. 5

February 8, 2011

We’re entering the home stretch here as the series is set to conclude with vol. 6 in May.  In exploring this strange new world, Zoichi is taken to the village of the “people” he met at the end of the previous volume.  They’re such a peaceful and friendly people that it should surprise no one that their village is reduced to ash less than halfway in.  However, from those ashes (and Zoichi’s rampage through the city of those responsible for the attack) emerges something... cute.

Funipero is an odd addition, even by the standards of a series whose baseline starts at “strange” and just gets weirder from there.  You could accuse creator Tsutomu Nihei of trying to pander to a certain section of fandom by adding a character who seems designed to make the audience go “awwwwwwww,” you’d be wrong.  That’s mainly because she’s “cute” while maintaining stylistic consistency with the series’ overall artistic style.  She didn’t just walk out of “Yotsuba&!” if that’s what you were wondering, but she feels out of place in a way that’s actually pretty interesting.  It was honestly a little fascinating to watch her interact with this world.

However, she is eventually revealed to be a legitimate character with ties to the larger plot.  Her connection with Niarudi -- the antagonist who is responsible for the current state of the world -- is likely going to be central to the final conflict based on what’s revealed here.  That said, Zoichi’s decision to protect her comes off as one motivated by plot mechanics than an extension of his character.  Of course, you have to take into account the fact that he really hasn’t had much of a personality throughout this series... Hey.  As I’ve said before, I’m glad to see that Nihei has demonstrated a firm grasp on the fundamentals of storytelling.  I’ll be expecting characterization from him in his next work.

That being said, you’ve probably decided whether or not this series is for you by now.  Vol. 5 maintains the same high artistic standards and has some nice wrinkles to set up the final showdown.  I’ll be looking forward to it, but you’ve probably already guessed that.

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