Not your parents’ comic book

By Andrew Duff

The new Raijin comics, featuring popular manga like City Hunter, Baki the Grappler, Guardian Angel and Fist of the Blue Sky arrived in comic book stores Wednesday.

Single-issue rates are $4.95 for an issue of Raijin and just 99 cents for Fuijin Magazine, a small magazine focused on video games and collectables from Japan. It is the accompanying magazine with Raijin.

Subscription rates run from $10 a month for four issues of both magazines, to the massive 48 issues, one-year subscription for $189.60.

The Fuijin magazine itself is set in the “traditional” style of manga comics in Japan, which are read right to left, so the spine of Raijin Comics is on the right side. This can make the mangas a bit hard to follow, but luckily Raijin has numbered all the panels so readers can keep track of the action.

The mangas included are pretty standard of Japanese manga and anime, though Raijin promises a few more being included when the regular Raijin Comics are released.

Guardian Angel has the rather bizarre setting of a 14-year-old boy named Shichiri Tasuke, who lives alone while his father is away traveling the world. Shichiri’s father sends him a mysterious charm that he promises will protect Shichiri. The charm summons a girl named Shao Lin to guard Shichiri and watch over him, with embarrassing results.

Fist of the Blue Sky is a mildly humorous comic, mainly focused on fighting and Japanese jokes, like when a teacher alludes that women sweat and is back-handed for thinking such a thing. The main hero is Yan Wang, a martial arts expert who starts off by sticking his finger through a man’s skull. Taking place in Japan in the 1930s, Fist of the Blue Star is interesting, to say the least.

City Hunter is a dramatic comic focused on the life of Saeba Ryo, a professional bounty hunter and lecherous girl chaser, who spends his time helping pretty women with their problems.

Baki the Grappler is another fighting manga, as well as the youngest and strangest fighter in a secret underground tournament. Covered in scars, Baki searches for his father, whom he wants to challenge to a match.

The Fuijin Magazine was much more refreshing. Even though it’s tiny, only 18 pages, the magazine contains information on one of the most popular RPG series that never was brought to the United States, Sakura Wars, and also interesting information on the Tokyo Toy Show. Definitely worth 99 cents.

Only time will tell if these two magazines make it in the American market.

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