Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Shadow Lady

Genre: Adventure
Parental Guidance Recommended (Some nudity)
1995 Masakazu Katsura

Shadow Lady Books
Amazon.com Editorial Description:
In Gray City, a glorious but crumbling metropolis, a different world exists between night and day. Here we find Aimi Komori, a shy girl with a secret--her magic eyeshadow transforms her into Shadow Lady, an infamous thief who sees Gray City as her own personal playground. Along with her pint-sized, bat-winged sidekick, De-Mo, Shadow Lady turns the menacing metropolis absolutely upside-down!

(3 Tankubon)

Weird, fun romance about a boy and his right-hand girlfriend >>> by MarkPoa
Shadow Lady is Masakazu Katsura's attempt at a kaitou or magical thief manga. With the aid of her magic eye shadow, sweet shy Aimi is transformed into the bouncy and acrobatic Shadow Lady. Her life gets complicated (as if it weren't before) as a love struck policeman, a jealous super heroine, demons, arch demons, and the police try to capture and expose (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) our titular main character.

Art-wise, Shadow Lady hasn't really improved on its predecessors. If you're familiar with Katsura's other works, such as DNA2 or I”s, you'll know what to expect: beautiful female forms, spiky-haired bishounen male protagonists, sexy cleavage and butt shots... err, ahem. They're beautiful to look at, yes, but nothing really new or exciting. This is particularly noticeable in the character designs, where you might notice that Aimi and Bright look like Ami and Junta from DNA2.

Story-wise, Shadow Lady is conveniently separated into 4 story arcs for her Dark Horse release. Each arc can be read entirely on its own, though they segue into one another. The final battle is Dragonball Z-like in its execution: faced with insurmountable odds, Shadow Lady finds the will (and energy) to win.

However, I couldn't shake the feeling that the story seemed lacking somehow. Unlike DNA2 where the ending seemed tacked on... here, the ending seemed rushed.

As a Masakazu Katsura fan, I had high hopes for this series and had to really take the time to find the issues. However, when I eventually got to read it, it wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped.

Individual Rating: Art 7; Story 5; Characters 6

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