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RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Rivers of Babylon




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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4136
Location: Ottawa, Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 11:54 am Reply with quote
I didn't realize Tokyo Babylon's license had been picked up. I have the original Tokyopop edition and remember really enjoying it, definitely at higher than a C+ level. It has been awhile though and I plan to re-read it at some point but sadly its currently in a box somewhere Sad
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Lady Multi



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 637
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:06 pm Reply with quote
Tokyo Babylon's story is not to be understood in just one or two volumes. Why Seishirou acts that way is explained.

Hokuto is just quirky and her existence in the story has a purpose.

The story, btw, is just an expanded Doujinshi story.

As for its style, if you read into CLAMP's own reasoning for its style, Tokyo Babylon is really just a product of its time. Considering its 20 yeas old now; reviewing it 20 years ago would garner a much different view on its style. It's designed to look that way so saying it is a bad thing is unfair.

Saying that the story bits have been done to death. Well, 20 years old; I think that needs to be taken into consideration.

Knowing its entire story and accepting it all as it is, considering its age (cause comparing it to something that is churned out these days is unfair), I'd give it an honest B+ rating.
...and that's discounting my CLAMP fangirl-side who'd want to give it a AAAA+++++ rating because of just how much I love Seishirou's entire character.

As for the true plot, it's a dark one, that I'd warn people of it not truly being resolved until CLAMP's unfinished X finished it off...
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 952
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:07 pm Reply with quote
Knights of Sidonia has to be the worst case of one-face syndrome I've ever come across. At least other artists with this problem know to give characters stylized hair, but here you have to look at the bangs in detail to figure it out.
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roseversailles



Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 236
Location: Washington, U.S.
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:09 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
And what is Hokuto even doing—is she in this story just to wear ridiculous cosplay outfits and make snarky comments?


Oh man, you're going to have fun with the ending. That's all I'm going to say Anime smile

Still, the rating is fairly reasonable, as the series doesn't really flash its cards till the latter half, when we get to learn more about Seishiro. All the revelations make rereading the series a harsher experience! I second Lady Multi's warning that the ending never truly arrives, though X/1999 does skate pretty close in terms of Subaru's story. I will admit I like Tokyo Babylon's ending the most, because of how perfectly it's executed. This is easily my favorite of CLAMP's manga; it's a shame we never got a quality anime adaptation (yes, I'm aware of the OVAs).

Maybe it's just me, but I think the art looks really good even now, especially in comparison to the moe style that is more predominant now. The story also doesn't seem to be a common one, though that may be due to CLAMP's unique execution (I know there are other stories about Subaru's profession, but I can't recall any that turn out the same way...).

So glad to see this get a reprint. I will definitely be savings up for it~
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:41 pm Reply with quote
I actually liked Yoki Koto Kiku. It's an amusing read, especially when the frequency of spoiler[Yokiko, Kotosuke and Kikuno attacking each other with their signature weapons] picks up toward the end. A shame about Broccoli Books ending its operations in 2008.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8553
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 3:56 pm Reply with quote
For anyone who has the Tokyo Pop version, the new Dark Horse edition is far superior in quality. It is larger which shows the art work better. It has the color pages and the print and paper quality are worlds better than anything Tokyo Pop ever put out.

If you like this manga, and can afford it, a double dip is well worth it.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1113
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 4:57 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
When we talk about the Great Shutdown Era of North American manga publishing, it's usually only the "big names" that are brought up—so it takes a pretty seasoned fan to remember that Broccoli was once also part of the industry.

What makes me remember Broccoli is their release of the Galaxy Angel manga series, which I still own. As much as I love the anime, it was a nice change in pace to get into a version where we follow the same characters in an actual developing story, rather than just random ten-minute-long sketches.
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sainta



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 989
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 7:06 pm Reply with quote
The twist in Tokyo Babylon reminds me to the song that goes "I've just met you. This is crazy.spoiler[but I'm gonna love you even though I have to kill you kid.]" Well, I changed it a bit. I would have liked Tokyo Babylon be longer rather than be lost in the hiatus of X/1999.
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2580
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:52 pm Reply with quote
Ah, I remember reading Yoki Koto Kiku in Borders one day. It was an intriguing concept, but I agree that in execution it fell rather short.

That said, I have at least one wonderful series on my shelves today thanks to Broccoli books: Aquarion Age: Juvenile Orion, and for that I will be forever grateful.
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4136
Location: Ottawa, Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:58 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
For anyone who has the Tokyo Pop version, the new Dark Horse edition is far superior in quality. It is larger which shows the art work better. It has the color pages and the print and paper quality are worlds better than anything Tokyo Pop ever put out.

If you like this manga, and can afford it, a double dip is well worth it.


Are there more colour pages than just the pullouts for the covers? I actually thought the TokyoPop release was pretty good for having those.

Not that I'm going to double dip anyway since being larger is a negative for me and I have better things to spend my money on.
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4780
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:13 pm Reply with quote
Ditto. I have all of Tokyopop's CLAMP releases, and artbooks/CLAMP Kiseki books. It'd take a phenomenal hardcover release to make me double dip, not a omnibus with more art pages than the original. The CLAMP section on my bookshelf is already taking over as is, and I thought they did a really nice job on Tokyo Babylon anyway.

Now if they release RG Veda with the anniversary edition artwork/changes (Tokyopop didn't have the new anniversary release) that I'll double dip on.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8553
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:44 am Reply with quote
There are six color pages in the front, seven at the beginning of the second volume and an eight page color gallery at the back.

My Tokyo Pop version are packed away in storage so it would be difficult to compare. This has been out for a bit now, you may be able to see the Dark Horse version in Barnes & Noble.
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Keichitsu0305



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 1546
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:38 am Reply with quote
My only nitpick about the Dark Horse edition is the SPX.
In the TP editions, they left the characters in and had a list of Special Effects in the back. They also included a list of pop-culture references and/or explaining the occult in Japan. Dark Horse has the English translations underneath or next to the characters (same with Card Captor Sakura). I'm not against it, I'm just used to reading the translations in the back.

Also, in the chapter where Subaru had to investigate the Tokyo Tower, the text bubble forspoiler[ the ghost starts to fade out.] It's kinda neat in a way; very different from the TokyoPop version.

If it weren't for the fact that two of my Tokyo Babylon volumes (vol.2 and 4) had been seriously damaged, I might have skipped double dipping.
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