Sunday, November 11, 2001

Rumic Theatre Vol. II: One or Double Manga

Genre: Comedy
Parental Guidance Recommended
1998 Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan, Inc. Viz Communications.

Rumic Theater Manga, Anime and Merchandise
Thundersenshi's Description:
Rumic Theatre Volume 2 is a compilation of nine short comics written by none other than Rumiko Takahashi herself. Join the wildly hilarious fray comprised of a diet-eager schoolgirl, a ghostly cheerleader, a real live Buddhist god, a young boxer-slash-canine, a con-couple, and a Takarazuka freak among many other insane characters!

Chapter One: The Diet Goddess
Chapter Two:
Excuse Me for Being a Dog!
Chapter Three:
To Grandmother's House We Go
Chapter Four: Shake Your Buddha
Chapter Five: The Grandfather of All Baseball Games
Chapter Six: Reserved Seat
Chapter Seven: One or Double
Chapter Eight: Happy Talk
Chapter Nine: Winged Victory

A compilation of short, happy reads >>> by thundersenshi
Rumic Theatre: One or Double is a fun reading material that can be enjoyed during those lazy, afternoons for basking and lounging under the warm sunshine. Short, sweet and witty, Takahashi delivers these stories purely for enjoyment. Of course, they're not as great, nor as legendary as her more popular and much longer works (Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, Inuyasha), but that is already expected! Also, the art seems to be a little outdated. To be honest, though, artwork has never been Takahashi's strongest point--but with her style that is neither spectacular nor ugly, she still gets her message across. And I guess that's what really counts, ne?

The stories are all pretty okay, though most are so-so. Only a few of them stand out, actually. First served is The Diet Goddess, my personal favorite among the nine stories. I wish it could've been longer, though. It is the sweetest of them all, it's characters utterly delightful and charming. Another one is Excuse Me for Being a Dog, which is so reminiscent of Ranma 1/2! The character sketches are identical--you'll see an Akane, a Ranma, a Genma and even a Kuno! Even the situations are smiliar. Then there's One or Double and Winged Victory that tickles the funny bone with its usual cast of eccentric characters.

Many of them seem to focus on sports (or what goes on behind them, that is). This can be seen with One or Double (kendo), Winged Victory (rugby), Excuse Me for Being a Dog! (boxing) and The Grandfather of All Baseball Games. Others like The Diet Goddess, To Grandmother's House We Go and Happy Talk deal with a more simplistic and realistic approach. The rest, being Reserved Seat, and Shake Your Buddha, are just...downright zany!

As I've already emphasized, Rumic Thatre: One or Double is merely a short, fun read. It's nothing to fuss over, and it can't possibly be as great as Takahashi's more popular works, but it will be a nice addition to your manga collection if you're a huge fan of Rumiko Takahashi.

Individual Rating: Art 7; Story 7; Characters 8

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