Review

by Allen Divers, May 17th 2002

Maico 2010

Volume 1

Synopsis:
Maico 2010 GN 1
In the competitive world of Japanese radio there's really only one way to get ahead: hire the sexiest DJ you can find! (Though in fact she's also an Android) And the listeners will just flock to your station! Japan Radio does just that when they hire Maico. Now Maico must understand office politics, romance, crazed fans and not to mention the assassins!
Review:
Maico 2010 vol 1 is the first volume of 4 in this futuristic sci-fi love story. Originally written by Toshimitsu Shimizu, Maico 2010 is translated and distributed by ComicsOne. This mature title tells the story of a young android named Maico suddenly thrust into the limelight as the lead DJ for Japan Radio. Maico 2010 covers the gambit of comedy, action and romance as the tale moves quickly through the first volume.

In reprinting Maico 2010 for an English speaking audience, ComicsOne made the decision to flip to the standard left to right of English comics. Flipping the artwork can sometimes show inconsistencies in the artwork, but none appear in Maico. All text and sound effects are translated into English, fitting well with the original artwork. ComicsOne did an excellent job fitting the text as needed into the existing bubbles. If the original effects were done in Japanese, the replacement with English text was done very professionally with no signs of forcing changes to the existing artwork.

The translation shows a lot of care, fitting smoothly with the action of the characters. Scripting between the characters remains light, bordering around the comedic and romantic tones of the story. The actual script fits well with normal English, not feeling forced in anyway. The text stays away from using Japanese terms, but does have a few Japanese sounding phrases. Overall, a good job.

The artwork is pretty standard for a Manga release, staying within the confines of typical black and white art with tones used for shading. The backgrounds are well done, with a lot of attention to detail. Mechanical designs also show a lot of the same attention to detail. Of course, being focused around comedy and romance, the focus tends to be around the characters. The majority of the character designs are typical for this genre. Lot's of well-built cute girls and the guys are pretty much dime-a-dozen generic types. Good effort is made in showing the differences between the girls through their various design characteristics and outfits. Maico spends a lot of time wearing a two-piece bikini thing (reminiscent of Lum's Bikini, stripes and all) or for even more kawaii vibes a typical sailor's outfit.

The story of Maico 2010 falls into a familiar pattern of comedy, romance, action and mystery. Comedy comes in the form of sexual innuendo and tension between Maico, Matsuo (the bumbling male lead) and Masudamasu (Maico's creator). The romance angle follows the romantic triangle as the lead characters are all in love with one another, but no one really matching up as they chase the wrong people. The action and mystery comes in with the people chasing after Maico or trying to destroy her in some way. The only one who seems to know what's going on is Masudamasu, but she's not talking yet. The story moves quickly through its pages, but aside from setting up the locale and the basics of the characters, no real mysteries are revealed in this first volume.

Overall, Maico 2010 is a nice little romantic comedy with a bit of action and back-story through in to create a potential richer storyline. How intriguing this back-story will prove to be is unclear, as the few hints given don't feel important to the rest of the action at this time. Aside from that, Maico 2010 is well drawn accompanied by smooth writing, leading to an easily understandable and entertaining story.
Grade:
Production Info:
Overall (sub) : B
Story : B
Art : B

+ Smooth writing and excellent artwork
Slow revealing back-story

Story & Art:Toshimitsu Shimizu

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Maico 2010 (manga)

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