LBX (Little Battlers eXperience) is a miniaturized robot made of a new super-strong industrial cardboard. These battle-robots are the hottest toys in the year 2050. Van Yamano is a rising LBX player, but he doesn't just play for fun. In order to save his father, Professor Yamano, he has to keep the LBX, named “Achilles,” out of the hands of evil at all costs.
As LBX, Vol. 2 (Chapters 5 to 8, entitled Artemis Begins) opens, well... Artemis begins. This is the tournament that decides who is the best LBX player in the world, and the winner receives the “Metanoia GX.” Van has to win. The terrorist organization, New Dawn Raisers, holds Van's father hostage, and its secret leader, Cillian Kaido, told Van that if he obtains the Metanoia GX, he will free the professor.
Van has trained well, but he is still a newbie to the world of competitive LBX. Van and Achilles' first opponent is the notorious Dak Sendo and his murderous LBX, “Harlequin.” Even if Van makes it through the tournament, he still has to face an opponent who already defeated him, Justin Kaido, with his seemingly unbeatable LBX, “The Emperor.”
THE LOWDOWN: The LBX manga, which is created by Hideaki Fujii, is based on the LBX role-playing action video games originally created by Level-5 for the PSP. VIZ Media is publishing the manga as a bi-monthly graphic novel series, and is publishing the first two volumes of the LBX graphic novels simultaneously, through its Perfect Square imprint. Perfect Square focuses on “all ages” books, which can be read by anyone, but especially by elementary-age children who want to read comic books and manga.
LBX is not at all a manga aimed at me. Still, I like LBX Volume 2, about as much as, if not more than, I did Vol. 1. It's a fun, light read (at least for me), and yes, I have invested in Van's quest. I think young graphic novel readers will, also.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Young comic book readers who are ready for graphic novels will want their own LBX the manga and maybe even an LBX toy.