Tag Archives: c.t. smith

ZombiePowder (Volume 2) Manga | My Reviews 01 APR 2010

Can’t Kiss the Ring (of the Dead): A knife-thrower. A sharp-shooter. A martial artist with a metal hand. And now… a journalist?! Meet the newest member of Gamma Akutabi’s gang, the amazing Wolfina, as deadly with a camera as her friends are with a gun. Their goal is to find the Rings of the Dead… but only Wolfina knows the Rings’ true twisted nature firsthand, having seen them turn her brother into a mindless husk. Does the secret of eternal life now dwell in her brother’s body? And what kind of human vultures would pry the secrets from his remains?

Tite Kubo’s ZombiePower, the same mangaka that went on to create the hugely successful and popular title Bleach, continues its story about the seemingly invulnerable rogue and s-class villain with the metal hand, Gamma Akutabi and his quest to find the legendary Rings of the Dead with this volume 2 release. The story follows on directly from the first volume and sees the trio of unlikely partners in the process of stealing their first Ring of the Dead from a heavily guarded building, though taking the ring may actually prove to be more deadly than getting to it was in the first place!

Also, we get introduced to a new major cast member in the form of the spunky, vivacious young reporter Wolfina, who turns out to be harboring some pretty deep secrets, the least of which seems to be the actual location of another Ring of the Dead!

As with the last volume, the story is heavily action-orientated and Tite sets up some great action-packed encounters that features a lot of explosions and a fantastic mix of his ever over the top characters, both as villains and as protagonists. Gamma Akutabi’s character gets nicely expanded upon and in the process has a whole lot of new abilities briefly shown to us, tantalizing us just that little bit extra. As always, the heavy melodrama and motivations for character actions are present and similarly, the quirky and sometimes quite unexpected humorous moments litter the pages left, right and center, making for a smooth and quite enjoyable Shonen read.

Artistically Tite continues to throw his lanky posed characters at us and as we’ve come to expect from the master, his depiction of action sequences and ultimately “coolness”, are absolutely spot on. Of course, this does mean he still harbors that intense dislike for drawing backgrounds and so once again don’t expect too much in terms of background details. However, when it comes to characters his sharp and often untidy pencils capture emotion and tone perfectly and his clever use of sometimes dropping certain facial features or forcing in exaggerated elements works like an absolute charm.

As we’ve come to expect, character design remains a plus and we’re treated to some great larger than life characters, including the maniacal magician Balmunk who seems the perfect foil for Tite to cut loose against! It’s not polished, its not very detailed and there isn’t a great deal of background information to soak in, but it flows surprisingly smoothly and you’ll find yourself turning the one page after another as the book sucks you in and forces you to advance at its breakneck pace.

(And in case you still aren’t satisfied with the main storyline, the guys have seen fit to toss in a short from Tite, the very first one he drew in fact, entitled Ultra Unholy Hearted Machine, which goes a long way in showing just how Tite has since improved upon his craft).

ZombiePower is a fast-paced, action-packed read with some good laughs to be had, a fair bit of graphic violence to glance through and more importantly delivers a great little story that certainly seems to be building up a good head of steam. Of course, we all know that he never finished this particular series (after all, why would you want to go back if your next title made it as big as what it has), but it is still well worth picking up and paging through, even if it is just to get more of this manga master’s work!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZOMBIEPOWDER

ZombiePowder (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 11 MAY 2008

Zombie Powder Volume 1Somewhere in the desert lies the world’s greatest treasure: the 12 Rings of the Dead, the only source of the mysterious substance “Zombie Powder,” which can raise the dead and give the living eternal life…

The Man with the Black Hand: Elwood was a knife-thrower caught in a life of crime until he met Gamma Akutabi, class “S” criminal, a man with a 6-foot chainsaw and a metal hand. Soon, Elwood is caught up in Gamma’s quest for the most precious objects in the world, the Rings that might give new life to Elwood’s sister… or make Gamma even harder to kill than he is already. But to get eternal life, they’ll have to put their own lives on the line… and look down the barrel of the gun of the only man who is Gamma’s equal…

ZombiePowder was the first manga title to spring from the hands of Tite Kubo, the man responsible for the worldwide smash hit phenomena known as Bleach. As mentioned above, the story revolves around the Rings of the Dead, 12 rings that supposedly have the power to grant eternal life to the living and raise the dead back to life. The main hero of the story is Gamma Akutabi, one of those bad-ass, long hair in a long coat with a bad attitude brawlers that happens to have black armour grafted to his left arm and also swings around a six foot long chainsaw sword!

This first volume introduces us to Gamma and his quest to find the rings and basically puts him in a whole lot of danger and propels us through an almost endless number of action-packed fight scenes. Along the way we get introduced to a kid that ends up following Gamma as well as his equally hard to kill partner, C.T. Smith.

As I mentioned this volume is pretty much one long action sequence with a few story plot scenes forced in just to let you know where we are and what is going on. There’s a little sprinkle of drama in the sequences around Elwood’s sister, but apart from that it is fight, fight, fight. If you are familiar with Bleach then you will recognize Kubo’s writing style instantly, the non-stop action, impossible cool lead characters and the silly little bits of humour that get dropped in every now and then. His writing is like that of a Hong Kong action flick and is as enjoyable, even if it isn’t going to leave you scratching your head and pondering the mysteries of love and the universe.

Artistically speaking, Tite Kubo is not the most polished of manga artists out there and a lot of his shots look rushed and feel incomplete. He doesn’t seem too fond of drawing backgrounds or even drawing two eyes on his characters at times! Still, his linework does convey a sense of great energy and his action sequences are fast-paced and flow very nicely, making it an absolute breeze to follow what is going on in the sequence. His character designs are all sharp, stylish and ultra cool and his artwork works well for this kind of genre. Of course he does make use of a lot of humour in his writing and his art mirrors this, often going for extremely humorously deformed facial expressions and caricatures.

ZombiePowder is not going to win any awards for writing or art, but it is an action-packed rollercoaster that is a fun read, will make you laugh and gives you a great look at the early Tite Kubo as he was just starting out in a career of manga. A word of warning though – don’t get too stuck into ZombiePowder because unfortunately it is one of those unfinished titles that just gets dropped by its creator – which perhaps isn’t all that bad a thing if you consider the piece he moved on to is none other than the legendary Bleach!

Just a note, there is a bit of violence in ZombiePowder and the occasional severed head or finger does tend to fly by every now and then.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZOMBIEPOWDER