Sunday, January 26, 2014

Triage X Volume 5 Review

So I just got my copy of Triage X Volume 5 from Amazon, and I figured I'd give anyone still keeping up with this site a review. By the way, if you want to read new chapters of Triage X you should buy this volume; I don't think there will ever be a scanlation now.

First off, I'd like to talk about the Yen Press edition itself. This is the first Yen Press item I've purchased since HOTD Volume 3, and I have to say I'm impressed by the amount of improvement here. One thing I really like is that the color page is a pullout just like the Japanese version.

The quality is still cheaper than Japanese manga (most noticeable in the rough paper and lack of a dust jacket), but it's vastly better than the first HOTD volume. I also think the black and white levels can improve a little. As you can see below, the greys are pretty well intact, but I think a little bit of detail is still being lost (again, though, not nearly as bad as early HOTD volumes).

Overall I'm very happy with the work Yen press is doing. The translations were great, and I love the way they do SFX. This was a pleasurable reading experience.

Now onto Volume 5 itself.

I (like many of my readers) spoiled the story for myself a bit by looking at the raws when they originally came out in Japan. Maybe that was why I didn't feel like a lot happened in this volume. Then again I do remember the NEO TV crisis dragging out for quite a while.

These chapters are largely centered around setting up the new arc and introducing a new adversary for the Black Label group. The Hunting Party is an organization bent on exposing humans for the animals they are--namely those in the Black Label--and are led by Wild Hunt.

Even if it is all exposition, this chapter has everything you love in this series: action, comedy, and plenty of fanservice. And of course it has that certain grittiness Shouji Sato is so keen to weave into his series. Innocent people die and gloom hangs over each panel. One characteristic of Sato-sensei's work that is notably absent is nudity. There's only one nipple in the entire book.

Unfortunately, this lonely milk missile leads into a painfully absurd and somewhat contrived scene where all of the captive females fight over who gets to become the personal love toy of the bad guy. It's ridiculous in terms of the story, but I guess it's great if you're a big H fan.

Other than that little hitch in the story's flow, this was a decent volume. It's definitely far from my favorite, but I do look forward to what it sets up.

I noticed this otaku who looks suspiciously like Kohta from HOTD from behind. If you look closely, you'll notice that the figure on the left of his desk seems to be Saya.