Monday, October 13, 2014

Manga Review: Time Killers (Kazue Kato)

Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection
Title: Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection
Author: Kazue Kato
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Genre: Short Story Collection
Rated: Older Teen (violence, fighting, demons)
Find It OnGoodreads


Explore fantastic realms of imagination in this stunning collection of short stories by Kazue Kato, creator of the smash hit manga series, Blue Exorcist! With Kato's amazing and distinctive art leaping from the page, Time Killers includes her first work, Boku to Usagi (Rabbit and I) and features the stories and character designs that would become her breakthrough series, Blue Exorcist. Take off on a flight of fantasy with Time Killers!

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Why I Read It: I really like the author's current series, Blue Exorcist, and this collection promised a precursor short story to the series. My curiosity couldn't pass it up!

Art: There were several different styles as the author tried her hand at a few mediums, but the main style was playful but occasionally grotesque with great settings and some cute characters. Most of the pieces were black and white, with a few of the shorter stories and title pages in color.

Story: Eleven short pieces of different lengths and mediums on a wide variety of subjects. Most were interesting but there were several standouts for me, namely the last two in the book: Astronerd and The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident.
  • The Rabbit and Me: Teenage assassin and aspiring doctor become friends. Very violent but an interesting premise.
  • Tomato: Fantastical world of humans and human-like rabbits. Rabbit and human guard team take a job to protect a rabbit woman's tomato patch from a greedy human. Violence and a life lesson ensue. The art and characters were a little too odd for me, and the story a little confusing.
  • A Warrior Born of the Red Earth: Color, five pages. Native American warrior story. Tragic.
  • Usaboy!!!: Color, five pages. Superhero bunny family. Comical but odd.
  • A Guide to Princess Clothes: Color, one page. Comical.
  • Highway of Life, Stray Star: Seven pages. Violent punk dad takes care of his little girl. Sweet.
  • Nirai: Eight pages. Based on the mermaid legend? Not sure. Confusing but interesting.
  • Master and I: Magical wish-granting rice bowl. Comical but serious story about how getting everything you want may not be a good thing. 
  • A Maiden's Prayer: Eight pages. Dystopic fantasy about a lonely girl finding a home.
  • Astronerd: My favorite! Boy tries to hide his love of astronomy at his new school but falls for a girl who loves it as well. Then aliens come to destroy the Earth! Can he save the girl? Fun and funny with great characters (including the aliens!) and an excellent story.
  • The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident: A precursor to Blue Exorcist, but the familiar characters play different roles. Same world and setup though, and a great story.
Extras: There is a fold-out color poster in the front, and an Author's Note at the back where she talks a bit about her inspiration for each story and where they were first published.

Conclusion: While not quite as good as I was hoping, I did read all of the stories and enjoyed most of them. Overall an interesting collection.

Read It Again?: Maybe the last two stories.

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