THE KNOCKOUT MAKERS • Kyoko Hashimoto • TOKYOPOP • 13+
Meet the Knockout Makers–three guys in black who specialize in hair, makeup and fashion, and who can turn even the ugliest duckling into a swan. (They apparently work for free, although they also work part-time at a host bar). This brain-dead, occasionally entertaining, stereotypical manga is written as a series of short stories, each involving a different girl: a flat-chested judo champion who doesn’t want to be “just one of the guys”; a fat girl; a boyish girl; an ugly girl with frizzy, poofy hair. The girls’ appearances have an interesting variety (changed beyond recognition at the end of each story), but the stories are poorly structured and the characters are ciphers. The real danger with all these hot bishonen of course, is that the girls will fall in love with them instead of the guys they were originally interested in; initially the Knockout Makers are given English dialogue like gay hairdressers in a VH1 series (”Honey, those pores are as clogged as a locker room toilet”), but later it is revealed that they are, in fact, straight and that they operate under a strict rule of “Before you fall in love and leave the group, you must find a successor first.” Inane and ridiculous. (Review by Jason Thompson; originally printed in Otaku USA magazine.)
* 1/2 (one and a half stars)
Sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend; I just got back from A-kon where Victor Hao and I showed artwork from King of RPGs volume 2, drew sketches and ate barbecue. I’ll be doing some extra posts over the next few days to make up for the slack. And meanwhile, winners will keep getting their stuff, so don’t worry!
Today’s photo is from Andrea M. — glad you liked Kitchen Princess and Happy Cafe, and thanks for entering the contest! And that reminds me that I have yet to reveal today’s winner…. Paul W. of Minnesota! Congratulations, Paul! I’ll be packing up more manga in delicate bundles, like the stork, and delivering ‘em to you before the week is out.