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Junk Force Novel Volume 1 (v. 1) Paperback – May 15, 2005

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Paperback, May 15, 2005
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dr. Master Productions Inc. (May 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588993124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588993120
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,806,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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As a big fan of the Junk Force manga, I was looking forward to tackling the novels. Unfortunately, the translators at Comics One either didn't know what they were doing or just flat didn't care, as they proceeded to translate the text so literally that what should have been a fun romp through post-apocalyptic Earth instead became a read so tedious I struggled to get through each chapter. It didn't help that a handful of grammatical and other typographical errors slipped through (pronoun confusion was a particular distraction), and author Hideki Kakinuma's unfortunate decision to switch narrators time and again (Liza would narrate one chapter, then Louis the next) made the novel feel even more disjointed.

If Comics One or its successor, Dr. Master, had bothered to take the time to proofread the translated text properly and give it more character and nuance, it would have been a fantastic book. After all, it has a good cast of characters, fun story ideas, detailed explanations of the era's technology and some well-drawn illustrations. If it had had the technical and creative textual polish to match, I would have rated it much higher. It's only because of the positive things I mentioned (plus admittedly being a fan of Junk Force) that I even rated it as high as I did. Mill has been reduced to a cardboard cutout in Comics One's shoddy translation; she's supposed to be shy and reserved, but she's still supposed to have far more of a personality than what we're seeing here. Liza and Wooty (and, to a lesser extent, Louis) fare only slightly better, but still lack some of the charm that was readily apparent in the manga. The novel could have done them justice in the right hands. Alas, the right hands were nowhere to be found.
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