Review copy provided by First Second Books.
(I could have sworn I posted this review earlier. Apparently not.)
The visual style of this slim graphic novel is clearly influenced by French-language comics of the past (French and especially Belgian). It’s doing a plot that shows up in anime a lot: basically a tournament with lots of fighting, a tiny bit of subplot for the characters but not much. But the faces don’t look like anime. The fight style doesn’t look like anime.
This is not quite Tintin Goes To A Tournament, Manga Style. But it’s pretty close.
Nor is this a complete story. If you’re someone who likes fight comics that don’t get too gory, and you don’t mind stories being stretched over several installations of blam, peuh, and thwok, this may very well be your thing. I’m going to try it on my favorite 12-year-old and see whether he likes it, but for adults it’s likely to revive feelings of being that age. You can judge for yourself whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. So far, it’s executing reasonably well, but if it’s doing more than dead-center genre-standard things, I can’t see what they are.
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