Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Old Boy Vol. 1 by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi

An interesting phenomenon when it comes to Japanese media is that adaptations tend to overshadow the original work, at least internationally: Battle Royale is perhaps best known for the movie rather than the novel, Rashomon as one of Akira Kurosawa's great films instead of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short story In A Grove. Old Boy follows that tradition, better known for the Korean film rather than the Japanese manga it was based on. The story begins with an interesting premise: our main character is imprisoned for a seemingly-unknown reason. But the prison is unconventional: it lies in a building floor where he is fed food and his only companion is a TV set. The first chapter ends with our main character being released and facing freedom. The other character in the story is his nemesis who had him imprisoned in the first place and it seems that the plot revolves around main character's attempt to avenge himself. The first volume seems to be the set-up piece and our character does find various leads to his enigmatic opponent. It's not as compelling or as fast-paced as say, Death Note, but it's certainly an interesting read that's set my curiosity afire. The art complements the story's serious tone quite well and I'm interested how far Tsuchiya and Minegishi can take this drama/crime title.

Rating: 4/5.

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