Daydream Sanctuary Features

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Flavors: Kokaku Torimonochou

This title caught my attention when I saw the news about the rumored new licensed mangas.

Kokaku Torimonochou
(Kokaku Detective Story/Utsuru Torimonochou)
by Yoshisugu Katagiri
Kokaku is a flashy, casual dressing samurai. He's always lying around, but he has no compassion for the wicked! Sneaking into gambling dens and pavilions and beating up the baddies... On top of that, how far would he go for his beloved chili peppers!? The first part of this fire breathing action packed hero's tale!! (iskultrip Scans)

I checked this out because the volume covers had attracted me~ Ad the other version of its title has the word "Detective" on it. And with their clothes it looks like its set in ancient Japan. How could I ignore a mangaka involving detectives in ancient Japan???!!! It seems cool~

Only one chapter was scanlated so far. I've read it and though I find it pretty enjoyable . . . it didn't meet my expectations.

Yeah, cover volumes are pretty, but the art isn't really that terrific. I don't think it's just the style. The art is just not great enough . . . for me. Or perhaps it's because I've read so many manga that have better art? Anyway, it's not really bad. Just not as good nor as pretty as I expected it to be.

And about the fight scenes? Not great at all . . . we just see one or several strikes and the fight is over. That's it. No cool moves or poses or stuff like that. So yeah, it's not really the type to read for the action.

I'm actually most disappointed with the story, more specifically the story narration. I mean, okay, the first chapter is about the leading guy solving the problem involving some cruel gambler. He had subordinates work for him by pretending to be with the suspect's side while he pretended to be a pathetic victim. In the end he got the bad guy exposed and all his men were beaten up by our leading guy's servants.

Okay, so what's the problem? Or rather what I think is the problem . . .

First is, we know that the guy is some hero who catches bad guys, but we don't get to know that he's actually part of some organization or is a special type of person until he showed his tattoo on the chest in the end. I mean, he just showed the tattoo after his victory, but there hadn't been an explanation on what exactly it is . . . nor what exactly he is (is he a cop? special agent? detective? special fighting org person? mafia? what? . . . I think it should have been made clear without reading the synopsis). So in other words, I think there hasn't been enough story background (wait, I think there's none at all!). That's pretty important and crucial for a first chapter. Or at least there should have been sensible/obvious hints or clues. But I didn't see them. So it's either really like that or it's just me.

Another is, for a title with the word "detective", it didn't feel detective-like to me. When the leading guy is doing his "pathetic victim" role, his subordinates have been gathering evidences against the bad guy. The problem is, it was just mentioned that evidences were gathered but those evidences aren't exactly revealed. I think it's important for detective manga to expose the gathered evidences to prove that the suspect is guilty. But all they did was just beat the bad guys up after rescuing the leading character from capture.

I also didn't appreciate the story flow much. There were no surprises or interesting twists. We know from the start who are the leading guy's accomplices are. And we also know from the start that the leading guy was just pretending to be a loser. The characters actually have impressive acting skills. It would really have been better if the readers didn't know they were just pretending during the mission. That would have made their actions more believable. Sadly, their true intentions had been made obvious to the readers. *sigh*

Though I find it nice that the manga didn't have much cliches . . . but I think it might have been better if it had the cliches. I wish it had followed the formula wherein: first, the problem is introduced; second, an unlikely hero shows up; third, hero seems like to have fallen to the enemy's trap; fourth, hero later turns out to be no ordinary person and he actually has subordinates pretending to work on the enemy's side; last, good guys save the day. At least through that I get surprised with the hero's capabilities and actual identity, and also not anticipate that his subordinates have been working for him all along. However, well, maybe that's just my point of view and preference.

But oh well, I was able to temporarily forget my disappointments on the story because the characters are so much fun~ Shou, the ninja who doesn't speak and uses a sign board to communicate instead is just so cute. Haha! I find the scene wherein Kokaku, the leading guy, forced Shou to eat spicy food really funny! Haha! And oh Ento and Ran's interactions! Ran is so mean to Ento that she would use any opportunity (seriously ANY opportunity, even if they're fighting on the same side during a battle, haha!) to beat him up or kill him. Haha! But she acts the opposite to Kokaku . . . she likes glomping her boss because she finds him so cute. Hahaha!

Overall, story didn't impress me, but the characters have appealed to me. I'm not that hooked to this though, but it has been a pretty enjoyable read so I'll of course I don't mind reading more of this. Hehe~

Sapphire Pyro
READ: 1 chapter (out of 1 scanlated chapters released so far of a 5 volume ongoing manga)
VERDICT: Following but not prioritized
I do not ignore titles with the word "detective". Mwahahaha!
Story was a disappointed though. Actually, it's not spectacular in any way.
But the characters are crack. And I love crack comedy . . . it's so easy to amuse me. I'll just read more for them~


luffynotomo said...

first time poster but still i wanted to say that this manga rules - i have read it in japanese up to vol.4 and vol.5-7 are out and i have to read em but the characters are fantastic =D

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ luffynotomo
Whoa! Lucky! I think this could be good in later chapters~ but not much scanlations of it *sad*

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