Sep 19, 2008
Manga Review of Rave Master Volume 2 by Hiro Mashima. Translated by Amy Forsyth. Adapted by James Lucas Jones. Originally published by Kodansha in Japan. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Y for Youth Ages 10+.
Haru, along with Plue, has sailed to the main continent of Song after spending most of his young life living a carefree existence. Now he is the Rave Master, the only person that can defeat the evil Demon Card organization with its Dark Bring users. But before he can start an offensive against them, Haru must repair the 10 Powers Sword after breaking it in battle last volume. The only craftsman capable of fixing it is the legendary blacksmith named Musica. Their main problem is that they have no idea where to find him. The first city they reach is Hip Hop Town, which is controlled by Demon Card. It's easy to get into the city but you can't leave unless you pay Demon Card a high fine. In other words, the city is like a prison, and you have to bribe your way out of it. It doesn't take long for Haru to get into a jam when Plue is kidnapped and entered into a dog race run by Georco, the main rep of Demon Card in Hip Hop Town. While trying to rescue Plue, Haru makes a new friend, a girl named Elie, who bets all of her money on the most unlikely candidate to win a dog race....Plue!
The main thing that stuck out about this second volume of Rave Master was the wickedly awful job James Lucas Jones did with the English adaptation. There was just too much ghetto eubonic rapper language spread throughout this book. Haru's favorite phrase seems to be "Aw, Snap!". "Dawg" gets used way too much, "Ain't no thang" makes an appearance, and "You goin down" and other phrases bring "down" the language even worse. Of course, I've listed only a few phrases. Oddly enough, a 1950s "Daddy-o" even slips in. Even the backstory and preview page are written in horribly rhymed rap lyrics capped off by a "Word to your mother!". Oh my Lord, the attempt at appealing to street culture comes off as so pathetically bad. This language was cliched and goofy even back in 2003 when this book was first printed. It's even goofier now. The funny thing about Rave Master is that it uses musical terminology heavily without being in the least about music. None of the characters introduced so far play an instrument or sing. So I'm wondering why there is so much emphasis on musical words without music being an important part of the story. In fact, it's non existent. If you can get past the bad English, Volume 2 is a bit more entertaining that the first volume, and also a bit funnier. Elie seems like she's going to be an interesting character. In fact, the oveall characterization seems a bit better than such a book deserves. I checked out the first two volumes of this series from my local library. I can read these books but Rave Master isn't good enough to spend money on...at least so far.
My Grade: C