Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'Arm of Kannon' by Masakazu Yamaguchi


ISBN: 1591828104
Format: Paperback, 200pp
Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Pub. Date: May 2004
Price: $9.99

While browsing my husband's manga collection I came across Arm of Kannon. Curious, I asked him a little about it but he only shrugged. So I sat down to read it and find out for myself.

Mao has just turned 16 and is about to start high school. He and his sister Maya live with their mom, their dad having mysteriously disappeared three years ago and they have not seen or heard anything since then. They’ve learned to live without him and the two siblings are very close. When the father shows up claiming to have found the mysterious Arm of Kannon, a religious object of mystical power, Mao is worried. As he should be.

There are a lot of people after this Arm of Kannon. An undercover organization that is breeding men with lizards wants it for the genetic mutations it inflicts on the wearer, among other as of yet non-specified reasons. And a secret temple has sent an expert and legendary swordsman to protect the siblings from the monster that their father has become under the Kannon’s influence.

Isurugi, the swordsman, doesn’t get there in time to save Moa. Instead Moa’s father gets to pass on the Arm of Kannon in a very uncomfortable way. Unsure whether or not he has been truly infected the undercover agency captures him and sticks him in a lab where they test him in some unconventional ways.

The rest of the story is pretty much a gore fest. The characters don’t really grab me and I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of horror anyway. But I have a pretty good feeling that if you decide not to read this one you won’t be missing out on much.

The art isn’t bad, not the best I’ve come across, but you get the point pretty well. Not to mention the monsters that punctuate the story are very well done indeed, I would even go so far as to say extra creepy. Yamaguchi handles the horror aspect of the illustrations in a way that dialogue is unimportant, he goes for the big gasp or at least the little grimace. Panty shots also frequently show up just in case you get tired of all the gore.

Arm of Kannon is not for the faint of heart, rated mature for a reason you will encounter everything from swear words and rape to bodies cut up and stuck in a fridge. Even though we already own the next three volumes I don’t think I will continue to read them, I’m not that desperate for something to read yet.

4 comments:

T.C. said...

Your husband has a manga collection? That's really cool.

Nothingman said...

:P allright, this sounds like my kind of book :) I Love reading your blog K!

you write freaking awesome!

Cheers!

N

Kimberly Swan said...

Sounds a bit on the dark side. I'm still amazed there are so many to choose from! :)

Skeeter said...

Oh my. With a lead in like that, I thought they were going to go for something more ... mystical. Still sounds kind of interesting. Thanks for the review.