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Manga review Edytuj

by Orin Starchaser

Those of us who are fans of some of the things FASA puts out here in the US may be surprised that FASA gets a good portion of its revenue from abroad. Now, while most of this is in Europe, there is a small and growing following in Japan as well. Not only that, but FASA has Saiki Kazuma doing a SHADOWRUN manga as well. The series started up about this time last year, and the first compilation came out on 1 July, 1996. With middling artwork, decent storytelling abilty, and a strong link to the RPG, this manga shows Shadowrunning in Tokyo circa 2050 and is a decent buy for fans of either SHADOWRUN or manga.
What's it like? Well, it's the first issue and there is a considerable amount of character-building, but it is well-balanced by the action sequences. Characters include Face (street sam), Mitia (cat shaman), Sharon (decker), Grey (company man), Hikaru (physical adept), and Hashizou (mage). The series begins with Grey geeking a company hitman at a bar, then Face and Hashizou meeting in an abandoned building. Later, the team has to find its way around a corporate doublecross, and protect a woman from another corporation.

Saiki Kazuma's artistic style is unique. For the most part, it's well-done and of good quality. Still, there are times when it gets a bit awkward. For example, in the action scenes motion lines are occasionally left out, which makes things a bit confusing and leaves the image lacking. Also, Mr. Saiki's eyes take a lot of getting used to. Although some might term his style as overly angular and too severe, it's a far cry from Mita Ryousuke (the former writer of Dragon Half, now working on Darkhair Captured) -- who seems to draw without the use of arcs ever.
Some might say that the characters are too archetypical (pre-generated character types), and they seem to be a bit static because of this. Bear in mind, though, that this is just the introduction volume, so establishing the characters has to come first before they can really change.

Still, there are some problems running about that might put SR fans on edge. The two that I see are that Saiki seems to go a touch overboard in cyberware, and the anime-style occasionally creeps in to lighten the mood that many fans want Shadowrun stories to have. If these things would bother the reader, then buying this manga may not exactly be a priority. Still, for anime fans and SR fans, I would suggest taking a quick look through it before buying it, just in case -- especially considering that this manga has a very focused readership, and just may not be one's cup of tea.

  • SHADOWRUN
  • DRAGON COMICS
  • 166 PAGES (5 CHAPTERS AND SR ENCYCLOPEDIA)
  • ¥980

"Shadowrun" all five volumes ( Kazuma Saiki , Fujimi Dragon Comics)

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Hurrah! Finally, I got around to scanning some of the "Dragon Comics" Shadowrun Manga covers. Since I'm lazy and don't want to make a page with thumbnails, heres some direct links to the images. Unfortunately, I can only do the dustsleaves, since I'd damage the binding if I tried to do interior artwork. Some of it is pretty good, but very little of it is Shadowrun specefic. None of the main characters are metahumans, and the tech items seem mostly from the artists imigination. There are a few drawings that attempt to portray rigging, decking, or astral projection, though.

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