Comics / Manga

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED X Astray: Volume 1


By Leroy Douresseaux
Nov 24, 2006 - 16:15

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Mobile Suit Gundam SEED X Astray is the fourth entry in the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray Manga series.  The term "Astray" in the title refers to three prototype Gundam mobile suits, MBF-P0x, that are the focus of the Astray line.  Confused?  I almost cried when I got this review copy, because I know nothing of Mobile Suit Gundam.  Being unfamiliar with Gundam is something of a problem when trying to read X Astray.

The story focuses on Carnard Pars, a mobile suit pilot, special operative, and hired killer for the Eurasia Branch of the Earth Alliance.  Pars is a failed experiment from something called the Ultimate Coordinator Program.  A mysterious figure informs Pars that if he defeats someone who was a success in the program, a Super Coordinator, then, he (Pars) will become "genuine."  Pars target becomes a Super Coordinator named Kira Yamato.  Pars quest for legitimacy brings him into direct conflict with Lowe Gear, the pilot of the MBF-P02 Astray Red Frame and star of the Astray series, and his Junk Guild.

Even without knowledge of Gundam, a reader can get some entertainment value from this volume, but likely not as much if he were familiar with the concept.  The plot that involves Carnard Pars is interesting because he's such a driven character.  However, writer Tomohiro Chiba (Studio Orphee) is not the star of this story (so far), it's Manga-ka Kouichi Tokita.  From space battles featuring clashing mecha to multi-player character scenes, Tokita does everything with ease.

Tokita is not necessarily a pretty-boy artist, but he can draw just about anything. His attention to detail is worth noticing.  There's a small panel late in this volume in which he presents a shot of small village in such detail, almost as if it's an afterthought.  His style is clean and looks like Anime, but Tokita uses lush brushwork to give his black and white art texture the way color does for animation.  Any cheers this particular volume gets are for him.

5/10

 


Last Updated: May 15, 2017 - 12:13

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