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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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02/14/2005 Archived Entry: "Manga review: IWGP - Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Issue 1"

IWGP - Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Issue 1
Writer: Ira Ishida
Artist: Sena Aritou
Published by Digital Manga Publishing

Review by Chris Husmann

Issue one starts off with Makoto Majima, a spunky, punk-like Japanese teenager living in Ikebukuro, wandering the streets with his buddy, "Masa." In search for a date for the New Years Countdown he has a little run in with a girl, Hikaru Shibusawa, who's being pursued by three typical perverted thugs. Upon helping her make a quick getaway he's introduced to one of Hikaru's friends: Rika Nakamura; whom he ends up dating.

After the New Years Countdown reports of a "Serial Strangler" (who drugs, strangles and rapes teenage girls) begin to spread through Ikebukuro, marking the beginning of Makoto's troubles. Soon after Makoto and Rika form a more "intimate" relationship she becomes another victim to the "Strangler" and is killed. Makoto, now pissed, summons the help of Ikebukuro's most notorious street gang, who he has well ties with, the G Boys to initiate a full-out twenty-four hour patrol around Ikebukuro to catch the "Strangler."

IWGP (adapted for manga by Ira Ishida), though originally a novel, is based on a popular live action TV series. Though the characters are all quite cool and have some funny interactions from time to time, which kept me a little more interested, I felt that the story thus far was a bit stodgy. There are a few nude, obscene, and violent parts but they aren't really that graphic; save for one part where a certain character gets his eyelids lacerated with a scalpel. The artwork, drawn by Sena Aritou, is very well done. Not choppy or boring at all, Sena certainly has a nice style and I personally found it appealing throughout the whole read.

Not much for me to say about IWGP. Nice artwork, cool characters, bit of a slow start on the story end but I liked it. Overall I'll give it a 6.5/10. Maybe issue two can spark up the score. We shall see.

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