Posted by: coolerbecky | November 1, 2001

Maico 2010 Vol.1

Video Killed the Radio Star

Video Killed the Radio Star

I was invited by ComicsOne (http://www.comicsone.com) to choose any one of their e-book titles to review. While surfing their webpage, an image of Maico floated across my screen, and I was immediately hooked. Although the e-book took ages to download – almost an hour (on a cable modem!!), it was well worth my time reading. In fact, I have to admit that I really enjoyed it and was not disappointed in the least.

Maico 2010, although a futuristic manga, is set in a totally believable universe. Although I enjoy many futuristic manga, I find that a lot of things in these manga go unexplained. However, Maico 2010 takes care of that problem quite nicely. It not only explains why the radio corporation needs a DJ like Maico, it even explains what factors have made the cooperation so desperate. The book explains a lot of things in an understandable manner. By that, I mean that there are no confusing acronyms that sound cool but make absolutely no sense (like “The B.A.N.O.R. system” or “The A.K.E.N. chip”). Even with this explanation, the book still keeps some mysteries mysterious and the storyline intact. While on the subject of intact storylines, I liked Maico 2010 because it at least makes the effort to have some continuity. Most of the stories are linked to each other and there aren’t any odd gaps.

I could identify with most of the characters. All the characters had well-rounded personalities. They had proper relationships and didn’t have exaggerated personality problems. They have understandable goals and human responses to situations. From the cold, aloof Madamasu to the spoiled and jealous Miss Akai to the confused but lovestruck Matsuo, all of the characters have their own little charm and their own niche in their world. They have their own strengths and weaknesses and their own share of dark secrets.

The artwork, although nowhere near CLAMP’s beauty, is adequate to get the ideas across. Backgrounds are drawn so that items are recognizable. I found that there was a lack of screentone usage, which in my personal opinion reflects well on the author’s artistic ability.

Unfortunately, I had to take off points for many things. Although I enjoyed the story, I did think that there was a little too much fanservice in the manga. Although the manga is nowhere near ecchi or hentai in its use of the female body, I thought that the number of females in… ummmm… very incredibly revealing clothing could have been reduced. Also, I took points off for download time. E-books do have an advantage of getting to you faster, but one hour of downloading is a really long time to wait. It also takes up a lot of space on the computer. Although the e-book method is a rather interesting new way of distributing manga, I’d settle for the ol’ print book any day.

Despite all that, Maico 2010 is a really good read. A combination of relatively good artwork, a wonderful plotline and many intriguing characters make Maico 2010 an absolute must-read. E-books are cheap, and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

This review is taken from Animefringe and is a part of Cooler Becky’s published portfolio. The original review can be accessed at http://www.animefringe.com/magazine/01.11/reviews/5/index.php3.

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