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on December 30, 2006
(To lazy to sign-in, kid's review)

This first volume of Kuro Gane is great, I'm looking forward to the next one! Anyway, the art style turned me off a bit at first, but actually it's quite interesting (the art) and the story (I think) is almost brilliant and subtly emotional. I really liked it! Oh! And it is completely orginal to anything I've read in manga before!

Worth the read!
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on August 11, 2006
Recent years have found booksellers beefing up their manga section. Dodging past kids sitting around in front of every shelf, dying to find out if Naruto dies or whatever, you don't really have much of a chance to dig through the manga selection. Quick glances and brief synopses are all I can usually grab. Jintetsu's face stared at me from the spine of this manga, and the cover looked so rad. I love judging books by their cover!

I leafed through the first few pages, and read that it was a samurai-era comic with the main character a DEAD DUDE who becomes a ROBOT.

And it was decent, I guess, but I couldn't shrug the similarities in art style to Hiroaki Samura's Blade of the Immortal. The modernized depictions of the characters makes me wonder if Samura's work was influential here (it predates Kuro Gane by two years). There are even impressive two-page spreads for the depiction of the death of important characters. Hm.

The plot idea sounded amazing, but it doesn't particularly go anywhere. Jintetsu kind of wanders around doing stuff without much aim. The one plot point you'd expect the whole series to be about is resolved halfway through this volume. I would, however, like to see where the series goes, so I suppose I will pick up future volumes!

It features translator notes towards the end, which is something uncommon in manga, and particularly helpful for those unfamiliar with some tidbits of Japanese culture. Kind of like a commentary track on a DVD. Cool stuff.

Again, I'd recommend Blade of the Immortal over this, but judging the series simply by an introductory volume is hardly fair.
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