Manga Village

B.Ichi Volumes 3-4

October 30, 2009

While Yohei is trapped, Shotaro and Tool battle the Fear Robot. And NoFix is unable to finish off Shotaro and Tool, who happen upon a lucky break — and decisive action.

Originally reviewed by Dan Polley
B.ichi 3By Atsushi Ohkubo
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Action, Comedy
Price: $10.99

And after the battle, the two seem to think that the best action is to infiltrate the Fear Factory headquarters to help Yohei. But surprises await them, perhaps the biggest just as they are about to enter: Mana comes flying out of the sewer tunnel. After a few cheap laughs at her expense, the three head back in to the Fear Factory lair.

Of course, the first thing they do when they get in is yell for Yohei, which certainly doesn’t help their cause but does provide some entertainment. Despite Tool’s best efforts, the natural curiosity from Mana and Shotaro bring about some more comedic situations — and, of course, a fight.

Meanwhile, Yohei is being held captive and he starts to dream about his past and about NoFix. All the while, Shotaro, Tool and Mana are encoutering trouble in the headquarters. Eventually, they make it to Yohei, who finally understands himself, despite protestations from his rescuers.

B.ichi 4The Fear Factory vice president is filled with rage over this turn of events, and he Dr. Agei to go and thwart out the foursome before any more damage is inflicted. And a trap is laid that splits the group into two, and the two groups now must fight their way out of the facility not at full strength.

Dr. Agei takes on Tool and Nama pretty successfully, forcing the two to think through their options.

And when Rodigy kills one of his employees, Shotaro and Yohei feel rage building up. As Yohei is about to engage in battle, he starts to believe in his teammates and leaves Shotaro to take on Rodigy. The battle heats up, and Shotaro is left on the bad end of it a lot.

Later the battles intensify when Yohei encounters NoFix. Will Yohei be able to overcome the power of spin?

Each team member is engage in a battle that forces them to grow, understand and come to grips with the reality of the situation. And Shotaro has yet to display his full strength yet, but he then learns about Emine and his henchmen and the plans they have in store for Shotaro.

The humor intertwines quite well into the plot and provides some good instances of slapstick comedy, but also sometimes falls flat. And sometimes the humor is so subtle that a quick re-reading is needed.

The art has a certain surrealist underpinnings that brings a nice flavor to the book. And the exaggerated art style during comedic times is when it is at its best. But when the action sequences heat up, the art falters a bit, but not enough.

Review copy provided by publisher.

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