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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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02/19/2005 Archived Entry: "Manga review: IWGP - Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Issue 2"

IWGP -- Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Issue 2
Writer: Ira Ishida
Artist: Sena Aritou
Published by Digital Manga Publishing

Review by Chris Husmann

Issue Two starts off immediately after Issue One. Here's a short recap of Issue 1: (mind you, I'm trying to keep the spoilers down to a minimum) near the end of issue one Makoto learns that the "Stranger" wasn't the one who murdered his saucy girlfriend Rika. Soon after he learns that bit of info Hikaru is kidnapped by a returning face to IWGP: Yamai (He returns from Issue 1. Though you don't see him much at all.)

Okay, back to Issue 2: Makoto shows up to where Yamai is hiding out with Hikaru and learns a lot more than he bargained for; truths are told, hearts are broken and ways are parted, which leaves our detective-like hero, Makoto, on a completely new adventure. Makoto's immature mother, Izumi, decides to take off on a "business trip" way far south in the sunny and tropical regions of Japan.

Don't think she's leaving Makoto empty handed. Oh no she leaves him with the responsibility of taking care of the family business as well as a near impossible mission of earning 600,000 yen in sales within TWO weeks! The next day or so a familiar face pays a visit to Makoto: his old friend Chiaki. She confronts Makoto with 30,000 Yen as well as a problem: "Please, help me! Someone's life depends on it." She asks him to stop by the "Store" for more details.

Turns out that certain "someone" is Chiaki's Iranian immigrant boyfriend Kashif. Seems that ol' Kashif "inconvenienced" the Yakuza and now they're after his head. The Yakuza are offering 5,000,000 to anyone who can manage to nab Kashif and bring him to them. Makoto must now team up with an unlikely team of experts to help get Kashif out of trouble and somehow manage not to get caught by the Yakuza.

First thing I'll say is the story definitely improved itself in this issue. Many interesting events happen and, as before, a few funny parts. Kashif's random outbursts really had me laughing out loud in a few scenes as well as a certain characters cross-dressing.

The only thing that bothered me was that there were a few scattered unnecessary sex scenes involving Chiaki. The store she works at is a whorehouse. So you'd be reading about Makoto and then the next page they'd switch it to Chiaki doing one of her "jobs." If you ask me it got rather annoying. Though the first one, I suppose, was a necessary part of the storyline.

I'd say Issue 2 definitely improved IWGP. It brought many more fun and comedic scenes as well as better character development and a deeper story. All in all I'll up my last score for IWGP to a 7.5/10.

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