By Dustin Cabeal
Ultraman has become one of those series that you either enjoy or simply aren’t reading yet. The downside to becoming that way also means that there merely isn’t a lot to say about it from review to review. The story is steady, not slow, but steady. With all the development, battles and conversations it can easily be mistaken as being “shonen slow,” but it’s not. The level of detail that goes into the plotting and art is unlike the vast majority of manga out there.
This volume brings everyone to New York City/Manhattan because if you’re not fighting in Tokyo, you better be in New York. The terrorists have broadcast Alien’s existence to the world and judge humans as being unworthy. They set a trap for them saying they’ve released a gas that will take away all the inhibitions and return them to baser instincts. The city, of course, goes nuts, but the terrorists reveal that they never actually gassed anyone and that they did it on their own. Oh, and then there’s a lot of fighting, and there are way more good guys than bad guys… which is interesting because it seems like there’s a reason for that, but tune in next volume to find out.
The writing is solid. There is a lot of characters to keep track of lately, but at least they’re easy to remember. Hopefully, the battle will be a good one because it feels like we need to see these guys cut loose and fight all out or they’re going to lose their minds. There isn’t a lot of character development in this issue, but the plot is well-developed.
The art is the real star of the show. I do wish they’d cut back on the talking at times but with so many characters its inevitable. The action and fighting are fantastic to look at still. It’s fluid and easy to follow on the page. I hope that in the future there will be a colorized version of the manga released because it’s the only thing that could make this manga better looking. I’m sure it’ll get the anime treatment sooner or later when there’s enough material to use, but I would still love to see Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s art colored all the way through like it is in the beginning pages of each volume.
There’s a lot more I could say about this volume, I don’t want you to think that it’s a handful of scenes drawn out over the entire manga. It’s just that there are so many minor things happening feeding into the larger plot that recapping one would cause a snowball effect making me cover them all. Frankly, they’re better off reading on your own with the fantastic art, than in this review. Again, you’re either reading Ultraman and enjoying it, or you haven’t started reading it yet. Be the latter, not the former.
Ultraman vol. 10