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In the "Author's Notes" for "Game X Rush," Kusanagi Mizuho (NG Life) says that while she loves drawing manga, she really hates having to come up with a story. Sadly, I have to agree with her. The artwork here is fantastic, but the plot and storytelling is an absolute mess.
This is the sort of comic that starts off with a premise rather than a story. You have two guys, Shin Yuuki and Fujieda Memori, who are Japan's greatest assassin (Yuuki) and greatest bodyguard (Memori). The assassin Yuuki is stalking Memori, playing a game of cat-and-mouse in order to test their respective skills against each other. At least that's how things start out.
What seems like a recipe for a tense action-oriented manga soon just falls apart into an unfocused collection of scenes. Although the author tells of their respective skills as bodyguard and assassin, the two spend more time hanging out at school together or just palling around than in any sort of tense game. A thirteen-year old girl, who is the head of "G-ING," Japan's top bodyguard agency (why there is such a need for bodyguards in Japan is never really explained, although every client seems to be a young, vulnerable girl who also happens to be wealthy) attempts to recruit Yuuki and Memori to work for her company, and brings them in to train her men. Lots of little bits and pieces but no true story.
Kusanagi was clearly struggling to turn her premise into a story, even though she had little interest in the premise itself. What interests her is the tension between Yuuki and Memori, at times almost bordering on yaoi but never going there. What is Yuuki's obsession with Memori?Read more ›
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Teenager Memori Fujieda is the top bodyguard in Japan. Not only is he skilled, but he's handsome as well. This makes him the perfect face for his brother's small bodyguard agency. As much as Memori enjoys his work, he is tired of doing it alone; but where will he ever find a partner as skilled as he?
As luck would have it, Memori happens to cross paths with a boy named Yuuki. Yuuki dreams of becoming a bodyguard and hopes that Memori will take him under his wing. While they talk, Memori spots a girl about to jump off a bridge. He manages to catch her, but he would have fallen to his death had Yuuki not been there to pull him up.
When the girl claims to have no memory of jumping, she admits that she believes someone is trying to kill her. Memori takes the girl under his protection and offers Yuuki the chance to work with him if he can pass the tests. Yuuki seems to have what it takes to be a bodyguard: strength, good reflexes, and a sharp wit...maybe too sharp. Much to Memori's horror, he learns that Yuuki isn't a bodyguard at all. He's Japan's top assassin.
The situation doesn't turn into a thrilling cat-and-mouse game though. Yuuki won't kill unless paid to do so. Without any clients to hunt, he spends his time hanging out with Memori. Though Memori thinks that Yuuki's work is deplorable, he just can't help but like the guy. When a potential new employer looks to steal Memori from the family business, Yuuki ends up taking the job instead. Will these two end up as bitter rivals, or will Yuuki always be the deadly assassin he was trained to be?
Game X Rush is one of those manga that has a great concept but could be so much better. Kusanagi attempts to cross action with lighthearted comedy, and it just doesn't work in this case.Read more ›
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