Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: DC Comics
Author: Fred Gallagher
Genre: Graphic Novel (Comedy/Fantasy)
MSRP: $10.99 US
Release Date: Available Now
Welcome to Mega Tokyo, city of zombies, shoplifting magical girls and an otaku army.
Having been fully aware of the MEGATOKYO manga series since it was first available online, I couldn’t quite convince myself to check it out for the idiotic reason that the series would be more an insult to Japanese comics than a homage to them. Still, having heard many a positive word and enthusiastic thumbs up from many manga-loving friends of mine, I decided to check out the series and kick myself (hard) for not having done so from the beginning. In its sixth volume, MEGATOKYO gets stranger and a whole lot more interesting from previous volumes and two American otaku – Piro and Largo – living in Japan.
As a division of highly organized zombie troopers are staging their invasion of Tokyo, the city’s otaku masses are more concerned over online rumors that Kimiko Nanasawa – a current favorite idol – is backing away from a game project. On top of that, Nanasawa wakes up next to Piro after the pair fell asleep on the couch and Nanasawa’s dedicated fans quickly learn about this and post rumors of a possible romance between them. Meanwhile, Largo is upset that things between him and former idol Erika have gotten awkward.
Still, with more pressing matters at hand, Piro gets a message from a girl who had broken his heart and who saves Nanasawa from a group of undesirables. She is Tohya Miho who makes it very clear to Nanasawa that she and Piro had once been “lovers” … a statement that baffles Piro who knows the truth about the nature of his relationship with Miho. The worst part is that the legion of otaku are searching for Nanasawa as well to get the truth about the rumors. In order to make things right with her fans and the game designers behind the project, Nanasawa makes it to her store appearance.
The best part of the chapter is Piro – concerned over Nanasawa – braving the zombie and otaku mass in order to help the girl he currently likes. He not only gets help from the otaku themselves but from Largo who acquires the help of the magical girl named Sonada who is trying to make sense of her power and the fact that her fashion sense leads her away from the typical Magical Girl attire. Plus, she wonders why her power is that of stealing. She uses her questionable shoplifting power to get them pork rinds and a living Godzilla-like creature from the Rent-A-Zilla place.
Unfortunately, during the zombie extermination, Miho steps into a trap the shadowy figure whose team took care of all the zombies and her fate becomes unclear to those she knows. Just about the only one really worried about what happened to her is fantasy girl Ping and Sonada who is now the proud owner of a tiny version of the Zilla she stole that has been infected with the zombie virus. Did she die or is it like Piro – who thinks the girl is doing her little disappearance act just for the extra attention – says? Ping and Sonada don’t care because they genuinely think something bad happened to Miho and start their search for the girl.
Meanwhile, Nanasawa wonders why Piro isn’t the bit least concerned over Miho’s disappearance as well as what type of relationship the two had. Piro opens up about Miho and the back story is actually interesting. It’s the recounting of their relationship that leads to Piro helping Ping and Sonada in their search for the girl as they turn to the otaku masses again for help in locating the girl This leads them to head to a creepy nightclub that might be Miho’s stomping grounds and Largo and his girl show up to face off against the very same mystery man behind her disappearance. Yes, somebody will definitely get pwned!
MEGATOKYO just doesn’t cease to amaze me. No matter how strange the story or how wacky the situation (zombie zillas turned into house pets?) story gets it never loses its sharp comedic wit or characters that don’t fail to grab your attention. I like that Piro is the voice of reason in the madness that goes on in the series and Largo is the one that keeps things insane. I like that the characters have emotional attachments to other characters even if some of those characters aren’t real people. There are even side stories that pay homage to other series such as Full Metal Panic! among other series.
Volume 6 of MEGATOKYO is bursting with a number of events that continue to make Piro and Largo’s story a most interesting one as Fred Gallagher not only spins an amusing and different kind of manga yarn. There’s some funny and insane moments in the volume alone and that should make this a volume you should definitely buy if you’ve been following this series. If you’re new to it, though, MEGATOKYO is definitely Required Reading for anyone interested in something different.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
As the zombie horde is preparing to make a tactical undead attack, the Internet is afire with rumors that Kimiko Nanasawa spent the night with Piro and that she is no longer working on a highly-anticipated game. Later, Largo decides to help Piro reach Nanasawa before the hordes of otaku get to Nanasawa and later help a magical girl find a friend who goes missing after the zombies were wiped out. Oh, and there’s an undead Godzilla.
Fred Gallagher’s art is actually very interesting and the fact that it looks like it was taken directly from his sketch book is intriguing enough to make this series look delightfully unique.
A lot happens in Volume 6 of MEGATOKYO as old feeling resurface for some characters and new ones develop during the course of the zombie invasion and the wake of an idol’s decision. With Piro and Largo in the middle of all the otaku and zombie madness, things are certainly get very strange and interesting in this volume. MEGATOKYO is still one of interesting and unique manga series out there and for good reason.
Review copy provided by DC Comics