After reviewing Volume 1 of this series, I was a little surprised what happened in the second volume. At first I wondered if this was the same series . . . well, not literally, but it did seem to take quite a change of pace.
We go from a seemingly fantasy world and wind up in a modernized “Hip Hop” town. I think the English translation is part of the problem as it overuses words like “Dawg”, “Ain’t”, “Goin”, and “Snap”. In other words, it tries way too hard to be “Hip Hop,” but only ends up being cliched and silly.
Still, that aside, I think it’s worth a look.
We left off in the last volume with Haru and Plue (the strange dog-like creature), sailing away from Garage Island on their way to find a legendary blacksmith named Musica, who can hopefully repair Haru’s broken sword.
They wind up landing on the shores of a huge city called “Hip Hop Town.” Haru and Plue get separated in the crowded streets, but thankfully, he quickly finds the creature being fed candy from a kind stranger. Only, he finds out this stranger isn’t so kind after all as he kidnaps Plue and sells him to a dog race.
The race, and the city, just so happens to be controlled by Demon Card, and in order to leave one must pay them an enormous fee. Haru meets up with a girl at the races named Elie, who ironically bet all her money on Plue to win so that she can earn enough money to leave the city. Haru frees Plue, defeats the gaseous ring master, and with the help of Elie he finds Musica, who ends up being a washed-up old man. But when Elie gets captured, Musica learns Haru has to face the man who killed his own family, and so he decides to repair the sword. In the mean time, another man named Musica goes to help Elie and tries to hold off the Demon Card until Haru can get there.
It may be a bit on the cheesy side, the artistry is not quite topnotch, and the characters a bit strange, but in the end, all that aside, it’s a fun story and I enjoyed reading it. I’ll continue to give this series a look to see if it improves or only gets worse. I just wish it would stop showing absurd scenes with Plue’s pointy nose stabbing people in the head, only to have them completely unharmed. Another thing that bothered me was how fast the sword was re-forged, that was just way too unrealistic.
Things to consider:
Teenage boys; this seems to be targeted to them more than anyone, but is easily appropriate for younger ages, since this is fairly clean. There’s one scene where Haru ends up hiding under a table and getting a glance at Elie’s undergarments, but it was done in more of an innocent and awkward manner than one of perversion.
Opportunities for discussion:
Use this time to talk to your kids about how people can work together to help each other. This is an important teaching in Christianity: serve others. If everyone servers each other, then we all end up being served, and this story does a good job at showing this biblical truth. Also, you can talk to them about people who give up on life, and how many of them consume extreme amounts of alcohol as a means of escape. Share with your kids that searching for things to dull their emotional pain usually ends up making situations even worse. Tell them that a better alternative is to bring the problem out in the open, seek for help, and open their hearts to receive God’s peace that surpasses all understanding.