Title: Buso Renkin Vol 2
Author: Nobuhiro Watsuki
May Contain Spoilers
Time is running out as Tokiko and Kazuki race to find Papillon Mask and the antidote that will save Tokiko from turning into a monstrous homunculus. When they finally learn his identity, they’re surprised to discover that he’s a terminally ill student at Kazuki’s school. Unwilling to give up the antidote, he instead orders Washio, the hawk homunculus, to kill them, while he takes the antidote and the “Humanoid Homunculus” and escapes. Will Kazuki and Tokiko be able to capture him before he uses the “Humanoid Homunculus” on himself, and before Tokiko turns into a monster forever?
I had a hard time digesting this one. First, the vile villain is known as Papillon Mask, and he wears a stylin’ butterfly on his face. Second, after the super bad-guy transformation, he prances out in a – get this – Speedo! WTF! It’s just really tough to be afraid of a guy in a Speedo. I was shaking with disbelief, not dread, after Kazuki fails to stop Koushaku from attaining his metamorphosis. There’s just something ridiculous about a guy in a Speedo, especially when he pulls another shiny butterfly mask from the front of the suit. And just where were those wings nestled??
When all is said and done, this is just a run of the mill shounen action story. There’s nothing in it that makes it unique, or grabs your attention and compels you to want to read the next volume. It’s kind of drab and its stubborn insistence on following the same tried and true formula makes it rather boring. Kazuki was stamped from a cookie cutter – he’s a never say die kinda guy, and he’ll give up his life to protect his friends. Again, and again, again. He’s at the verge of death so often that his eminent demise loses whatever dramatic effect it should have had.
Because I enjoyed Kenshin so much, I really want to like this series. The first two volumes left me disappointed. I suppose I could work up some enthusiasm for the title if I was stuck at the dentist office and there was nothing else to read to take my mind off of the terrifying whine of the drill. Yup, I think that’s about the only time.
Rated for Older Teen