Review: Omega Kokino #1

I’ve already had quite the year with anthropomorphic animals so when I saw the cover of Omega Kokino I had a chill run down my spine. I’m not in the business of judging a book by the cover though so I dove in and gave this issue an honest chance to be something more than just animals doing people things, which is what a lot of anthropomorphic stories are about. The story starts off with two kids that are messing around after dark. They’re playing detectives in a way as they find what’s apparently an enemy tent and end up hearing some things that they probably shouldn’t have. They go to leave to tell the mayor what they heard when one of them trips a booby trap. Now they know they’re there and the two kids run. One of them gets caught though and one escapes, but badly injured.

We flash forward to the present and we find the little girl is all grown up, but still having nightmares about that night. Her name is Colette and she’s starting some new job that’s she’s excited about and may lead her to saving her childhood friend.

Omega-Kokino-#1-1A quick read of the back of the issue tells me that she’s joining a military organization, but the actual issue never tells us that. The story itself isn’t bad, but it does distract you with action and drama to prevent you from asking important questions. Such as, why two kids were able to sneak into a military camp, why is there a military camp within walking distance of their town? What’s going on in this world in general that has two groups fighting? Why did they only care that they got the one kid and not the other that they saw two? There’s a lot of what I feel are obvious questions completely ignore by the story.

I get the reasoning though. This is a prologue issue which really makes it a zero issue which is strange enough because I don’t think this issue will be needed once we dive into the story. If anything, these pages could have been sprinkled throughout the first couple of issues. The reason I say that is it feels as if we’re destined to hear Colette’s tell about her friend again and possibly again. It’s her character motivation and she’s new to the job… it’s going to be asked of her and that makes everything here kind of pointless. Granted, I don’t know that for sure, but based on the formulaic writing of the issue it’s the most obvious guess.

The dialogue isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. The friend is kind of annoying and they really never come across as kids. More like cartoon kids, meaning they serve the purpose of the plot more than they serve our interest in the story. The pacing wasn’t too bad, but there were a lot of extra scenes that didn’t help the story or the character development. I don’t need to see anyone, anthropomorphic or otherwise, getting ready for work because it’s just filler.

The art is okay. I couldn’t really tell what most of the animals were. I know that Colette is a rat or mouse, but I couldn’t tell what the friend was. I also assume the one bad guy we’re shown head on is a Hyena. It’s not bad, it’s just a common problem with anthropomorphic animals. They’re not always obvious which begs the question of whether it’s actually important to the story? Here, I don’t think it is. The art is okay otherwise. There’s not a lot of detail and the line work is very thick, but it has a style to it.

I wasn’t as put off by the story as I initially thought I would be. As I said, I’ve been struggling with anthropomorphic stories as of late because a lot of it seems unnecessary. This story wasn’t too bad and it at least distracted from its flaws, but the next issue needs to focus on building the world. The problem I have is that I think it actually needs the animal characters to distract you for an otherwise straightforward “grow up and rescue my friend” story, which is sure to show the friend as an adult with the “bad guys.” Without the anthropomorphic aspect I don’t know if it has enough originality going for it when it comes to the story, but then the anthropomorphic element isn’t strong either.

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Omega Kokino #1 Creator: Henry Ahtom Self-Published Price: £5.00 Format: Ongoing; Print Website