By Leroy Douresseaux
June 26, 2007 - 14:52
The manga series O-Parts (known as “666 Satan” in Japan) by Seishi Kishimoto is like a game manga built around treasure hunting. Drawing from Judeo-Christian angelic and demonic traditions, Japanese folklore, and Kabbalah, it is shonen manga for older teens. O-Parts also has a striking similarity to Naruto because O-Parts’ manga-ka (creator) Seishi Kishimoto is the twin brother of Naruto’s creator Masashi Kishimoto.
“O-Parts” are artifacts containing mystical powers. They are all that are left of an unknown ancient civilization and come in the form of everyday objects like rings and amulets to the more unusual such as aircraft and masks. An O.P.T. or O-Parts Tactician has the ability to release and use the power within an O-Part. The “Spirit” is the special energy force inside an O.P.T. that allows him to release the power or “effect” of an O-Part. If an O-Part can create water, then, water is that O-Part’s effect.
O-Parts, Vol. 3 finds Jio Freed and Ruby Crescent separated in Entotsu City. Jio and his newfound partner, Ball, a fellow teen and member of the city’s underground resistance movement against Governor Jaga, fight for their lives in Jaga’s throne room against (extra cool character) Wise Yury, a powerful O.P.T. knows as “The Crimson Magician.” Meanwhile, Ruby languishes in the dungeon, but discovers that fellow cellmate, Amidaba, knew her father. The old woman has another surprise about the pendant Ruby wears around her neck. Later, Jio and Ball take on three dangerous tasks in order to pierce the sanctum of a mysterious O-Parts appraiser named Kirin.
THE LOWDOWN: This volume has less of the esoteric mythology that drives O-Parts, which is no small matter as this series is heavy with myth, folklore, and symbols. Vol. 3 is more of a fight comic. Kishimoto emphasizes wide open battles with lots of action lines and a dash of wuxia. Other action sequences are elaborate, stunt filled ordeals that are right out of a Hollywood adventure flick like National Treasure or an Indiana Jones movie. The central conflict and mystery continues to cook at a nice simmer.
FOR READERS OF: I’m partial to manga built around obtaining objects of power or winning some points formula, such as in Dragon Drive or Yu-Gi-Oh!, but O-Parts has the added sass and edge of something like Naruto. All in all, this is a nice improvement over the previous volume.
Thanks to barnesandnoble.com for the images. The Comic Shop Locator phone number is 1-888-COMIC BOOK.