Saturday, June 26, 2004

[Remote Vol. 1 cover]
Remote Vol. 1

Story by Seimaru Amagi
Art by Tetsuya Koshiba
TokyoPop June 1, 2004
$9.95 192 Pages
Preview Pages

Described as ultra-violent in the vein of other manga like Battle Royale, I must admit to being drawn in by the very attractive female character on the cover instead and didn't find the violence that "ultra".

Kurumi Ayaki is a young meter maid who plans to take early retirement in order to marry her long time fiancee. When it turns out that he didn't get the promotion they both thought was a given, she instead has to beg her sleaze of a boss for her job back.

He cruelly assigns her instead to work under a young genius in the Unsolved Crimes unit, who never leaves his room and expects her to be at his beck and call. Who quickly has her involved in a case about a series of murders apparently being perpetuated by a circus clown.

I shouldn't really like this book, there are a lot of scenes such as Kurumi coming out of her shower naked, and the panel focus on her panties while she bends over to investigate a dead body. That serves no purpose but "fan service" to titillate the young male audience.

Yet for some reason I could get past that, and I found myself really liking Kurumi. She's a bit of a ditz in places, but she's smarter than those around her expect her to be.

She actually has realistic reactions to the situations she finds herself in, by not being the "tough guy" when coming upon these rather gruesome murders. Yet instead wears her emotions and fears on her sleeve, so that it is more impressive when she overcomes them.

This book is a real page turner when it concentrates on the murder case, and has a tension level that should leave just about any reader on the edge of their seat anxious to see what happens next.

So if you can accept some immaturity in places, give this book a try, perhaps you'll be as surprised at finding yourself liking it as I was.

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