By Leroy Douresseaux
March 21, 2007 - 22:58
Translation: Alexis Kirsch
English Adaptation: Christine Boylan
From Kazuya Minekura, the creator of the Manga, Saiyuki, comes the urban action/crime drama, Wild Adapter. Although the series promises to delve into Wild Adapter and the mysteries of the people lead character Makoto Kubota meets through his investigation of the drug, Vol. 1 is strictly an introduction to Kubota and focuses on how he navigates the shark infested waters that are his criminal stomping grounds.
The characters are depraved, but interesting. Everyone feels as if they've stepped out of Film-Noir, gangster movies, urban dramas, or A Clockwork Orange (book and film). The story is definitely hardboiled, and if there is an American crime film equivalent, I'd say it was Wayne Kramer's Running Scared, at least in terms of the criminal cast.
The art leans towards illustrative figure drawing with an emphasis on hair and clothes. Although Minekura can draw detailed sets, his best backgrounds are the shadowy, noir-ish backdrops in which he forces the reader to focus on body language and to study faces for clues. In fact, Minekura's work here is technically skilled, but Vol. 1 is slow and mannered because this is mostly setup and introductions. This somewhat relatively mild opening is hopefully a prelude to this series' true hardboiled, jagged edge.
Rating: 7 /10