Studio - TOKYOPOP
By Koge Donbo
Translator - Nan Rymer
English Adaptation - Adam Arnold
Retouch & Lettering - Jennifer Nunn
Editor - Paul Morissey
Graphic Novel 1
It's not easy being Kotarou. Not by a long shot.
His mother passed away recently. Don't worry. That will be explained a bit in this Graphic Novel.
His father? He's always working and away on business, so he's no good for him... thus he spends a great deal of time alone and that's made him quite lonely -- which is a thing he hates.
Now he could make good use of this time to work hard on his middle school exams, and buckle down to study hard. Yeah. Right. That's also no good.
What he needs is a companion. And that has seemingly come from above.
A companion who may, in fact, be an angel. Name? Misha. Occupation - professional stalker.
Uh. Right. Apparently she got the heave ho from heaven because her "grades" were a bit low.
Couldn't possibly be the fact she has the mentality of a stalker, and could even make the big guns in heaven a bit nervous. Oh. And it seems she has very little grasp of life on Earth.
She has some grasp of things, but not everything. Her first night with Kotarou helping to make curry turns into a bloodbath -- Walter Koenig (Star Trek-Shattered Universe) was right, death can come in 1000 cuts.
Weird flavoring also comes from 1000 cuts as she proves after mangling potatoes, and her own hands, with the use of a knife. People? Don't be like Misha. Cut responsibly.
Oh, and her first idea on making sure Kotarou is no longer lonely? Be his new mommy.
(blinks) -- I don't think so -- (blinks)
It doesn't get any better as she settles into her life as Kotarou's next door neighbor.
- Her first day at school in Middle School along side Kotarou in Elementary (nearby) as she stalks him (again), and protects him from a wild runaway soccer ball shot... only her timing stinks and she uses her head to deflect about a dozen harmless shots before the ACTUAL harmful shot comes along.
They told her to use her head, but NOT LIKE THAT... or maybe they did tell her to do it like that...
- Misha's finally ready to celebrate her moving in next door to Kotarou and she's inviting Kotarou to the party! This time there'll be no cutting, but lots of free wheeling sake to go about! Yeah! Sake for everyone... which means Kotarou and he's not old enough... oh, what the heck! PARTY!!
- The Courage Competition is coming up at Halloween, but for Kotarou it's not going to be a good thing.
His friend (and would be girlfriend whose staked her "claim" on Kotarou) is hyped about it, but he's not.
Apparently witnessing his mom die kinda put a damper on his comfort level with the things that happen during that Halloween holiday. And, wouldn't you know it, it's even worse when it just so happens he also has that annoying Haley Joel Osment ability to... psst! Can I tell you a secret? Promise not to tell?
(clears throat) ...he sees DEAD peo... well, DEAD FLOATING LITTLE SPIRIT BALLS... not dead like in Sixth Sense dead so that's ok. Oh, and speaking of things that aren't all alive? A new girl makes her first appearance here so seems to be more than she appears. She seems to also cause Misha and Kotarou pain by being near them. Why, and who is she? You'll find out more about the mysterious staff-wielding girl before this Graphic Novel is over. Oh, and it's during this chapter that Kotarou reveals how his mother died.
- Another confrontation with the mysterious staff wielding girl sends Misha to the nurse's office. There the two bond a bit.
- A trip to a Hot Spring may finally reveal the last pieces of the puzzle concerning that mysterious girl, and also we'll see Misha and her "rival" (Koboshi-chan, the one I mentioned above during the Halloween chapter) bonding. Mind you, Koboshi-chan is the only one threatened by Misha's "closeness" to Kotarou. Maybe this two parter will change her thoughts on Misha. Maybe.
Ok. Breakdown time.
Pitaten Breakdown the 1st
What's Hot? It's a good read. If you know Koge-Donbo's work from, say, Di Gi Charat then you know how good Koge-Donbo. But then again even if you're not a fan of Di Gi Charat then this is still a good book to pick up. Great read, and I'm looking forward to seeing Graphic Novel 2.
What's Not? Nothing. It's all good.
Moments to Remember? Misha's interactions with Kotarou, and later with Koboshi, is highly memorable.
What to Ignore? Too bad you can't ignore it. Look for 101 or so "cameos" by Digiko, and note how Misha seems to have a Rabi en Rose rabbit theme while Koboshi seems to sport "cat ears" the way she's drawn.
I don't know but somehow it seems a little bit of Di Gi Charat followed Koge-Donbo to this title.
Probably not. Ignore my ranting.
Overall? It's a good read. I know I said that a few times but it's true. Check it out! Writing, artwork, story, it's all good and solid. Definitely worth your time to check out.
Es may not leap out right away to much of us who are not total complete 110% Otaku as a familiar title, but maybe this is the title you should check out for the start of 2007.Kai Kudou is part of ...
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