Grotesque Anatomy
Monday, December 22, 2003
  Worst. Manga. Ever.
So they finally did it, those crazy bastards.  Gutsoon actually went through with their plans to collect the atrocious series Bomber Girl into trade paperback.  Damn them! Damn them all to hell!   Shawn Fumo links to a negative review over on the AnimeOnDVD forums, but that review is much too generous.  Although the reviewer gives Bomber Girl a D (still too generous), he slips from time to time and writes things like "it's pretty funny to see the characters Niwano thinks up" and "if you are into cheesy corny violence this might be entertaining."

This is incorrect.  There is absolutely nothing redeeming about Bomber Girl in any way, shape, or form.  As Paul O'Brien once said, "I can prove it with graphs."  But since making graphs would take time, I'll take the easy way out and excerpt some old reviews of mine.  Here are my thoughts on the first four installments of Bomber Girl as serialized in Raijin Comics:
BOMBER GIRL: The weakest of the four stories, both in terms of story and art. Storywise, it's little more than a flimsy vehicle for the gratuitous depictions of sex (or at least T&A) and violence. In a sense, then, the creator can be complimented for utilizing his story and art to serve each other so seamlessly.

BOMBER GIRL: I wouldn't have though it was possible, but this installment was even worse than last issue's chapter. The art is even cruder and more amateurish than before. Look at the perspective (or lack thereof) on the car in panel 51: It looks like a drawing a grade-schooler with no formal art training would make in the margins of his math notebook while bored. I'm sure Niwano Makoto, the creator of BOMBER GIRL, is earnest in his affection for this series, but I don't want to pay for material of such unprofessional quality. According to the letter column in the first issue, the ongoing line-up of RAIJIN COMICS will be determined by reader votes, with unpopular titles dropped from the magazine. There's a questionnaire on the last page that directs readers to the Raijin Comics website to register their opinions, but so far the survey is still directed at the preview zero issue. I'll keep checking back to cast my vote against BOMBER GIRL.

BOMBER GIRL: I was going to go through and count all the panty shots once again, but even that seemed unamusing and unappealing at this point. Instead, I decided to pick out some of my favorite bad lines from this chapter. "How do you spell 'sex'?"; "But feel free to show us your panties!"; "My customized tonfa, 'Yashamaru.' are invincible, cuz all I need to do is beat the crap out of people with them." Yes, Emi, but I still doubt that even your customized tonfa could inflict as much pain as your series does.

BOMBER GIRL: Dear God this is bad. This issue Niwano attempts to engage in a bit of self-parody, introducing a character who makes fun of Emi's "big boobs" and breaks the fourth wall by asking things like, "Is the main character allowed to say that?" Self-aware meta-humor is tricky to pull off, and it's doomed to fail when your satirical character is just as objectionable as the character she's supposed to poke fun at. And on a completely nitpicky note: It's annoying when the "secret weapon" Emi was supposedly carrying all along was *clearly* not visible throughout the story. What a cheat, not to mention it was yet another excuse for a gratuitous shot of Emi's breasts. The plot device offends on so many levels...
Bomber Girl was so bad it affected my overall enjoyment of the Raijin anthology, as evident in the closing of my review for issue #4:
Overall: Strong chapters of MOUFLON, SLAM DUNK, and BAKI get this issue off to a good start, but it's all marred in the end by an especially bad chapter of BOMBER GIRL. Like a bad dessert that ruins your memory of a good meal, BOMBER GIRL once again leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Setting that series aside, I'd still recommend this book, but I can't wait until BOMBER GIRL is replaced by something else that matches the quality of the other serials in this anthology.
Normally I'd feel guilty for reusing old material to fill up a blog entry, but recycling feels appropriate for trash like Bomber Girl.  And if my warnings prevent even one person from purchasing this waste of paper, then it will have been worth it.  Please, please, please avoid this manga, unless you're purposely looking for something bad, like for a manga drinking game or something.  If so, make sure to buy lots of alcohol:  You'll need it blot out the pain once you start reading.
 
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Iron Fist

by John Jakala

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