Big O, Vol. 6 ★★☆☆☆

bigo6 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Big O, Vol. 6
Series: Big O #6
Author: Hitoshi Ariga
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 208
Words: 7K

Synopsis:

These 4 chapters deal with Dorothy’s memory disk being stolen by Angel. It is revealed that Angel is part of a group that lives outside of Paradigm City. Roger attempts to get back Dorothy’s memories and fails.

The book ends with Roger and Dorothy both accepting that lost memories aren’t as important as the possible future.

My Thoughts:

This was a really sad letdown to the end of this manga. By sad, I do not mean emotionally sad, as in “My grandmother died, I’m sad”, but as in “Dude, your pink, heartshaped skateboard is just sad”.

I have to admit I raced through this as fast as possible just to get to the end. Overall, I found this manga to be poorly done. There were little to no actual story arcs, but proto-stories without any kind of resolution.

As much as I enjoyed the anime, the manga version of Big O has been nothing but a big disappointment from start to finish for a variety of reasons. I won’t be sad to get rid of these. Just not sure if I should simply trash these or not. After the Book (un)Haul post next month I’ll make a decision about whether to throw these away or if there are any other options.

Don’t read this manga. That is my Official Verdict and Judgement.

★★☆☆☆

[Manga Monday] Big O, Vol. 5 ★★☆☆½

bigo5 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Big O, Vol. 5
Series: Big O #5
Author: Hitoshi Ariga
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 216
Words: 7K

Synopsis:

We get a chapter about Norman where he shows he’s so familiar with firearms that he can fire a machine gun around a whole group of punks and not hit them once. They were in the act of trying to pull a coup but with Norman’s “demonstration” on how to use a machine gun, they’re to afraid to try. Dorothy also helps out by doing cleaning chores around the house while Norman fixes Big O.

Beck ends up making a HUGE score and becomes so rich that he buys an entire Dome. Of course, he does it through proxies so the Military Police can’t touch him. He finds a gigadeus (the equivalent of what a megadeus is to humans) that somehow gives him a LOT of memories. Big O destroys the gigadeus but it is unclear whether Beck is caught or not.

The final chapter of this volume deals with a little girl who apparently can tell people their true pasts. Crowds of people end up driving her into an icy river, where Major Dastun attempts to rescue her. He tells the crowd they killed her and then Big O shows up and takes the girl and Dastun away. The girl is alive and Dastun moralizes on looking to the future and not the past.

My Thoughts:

My goodness, someone put this manga out of its misery, please! I feel like I’m reading this out of duty more than anything. And it is true. If I had just picked up this series without knowing about the anime, I’d have abandoned it after the 2nd volume for sure!

There is nothing of coherence here. Even the art and the battles leave me feeling baffled about what I’m supposed to be seeing or trying to get. The stories are just as bad.

One more volume and then I can ditch this. I might do a Book (un)Haul post on these, as the covers are really good looking.

★★☆☆½

[Manga Monday] Big O, Vol. 4 ★★★☆☆

bigo4 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Big O, Vol. 4
Series: Big O #4 
Author: Hitoshi Ariga
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 176
Words: 7K

Synopsis:

Roger Smith is hired to find an old bar. What he doesn’t know is that the old bar has an enormous safe with a vast amount of memories in it. What the client doesn’t know is that those memories are all old letters between his father and and old lover. Roger keeps having flashbacks to a woman who he claims he’ll never forget, but he’s never seen her before. The chapter ends with Dorothy telling Roger that since she’s an android, she’ll never forget him.

2 mad scientists find a machine for extracting forgotten memories and end up kidnapping Roger. His memories overwhelm the machine and then he and Big O destroy the machine.

The final chapter deals with the return of Schwarzvald and his megadeus, Big Duo. Looking like Big O, but red and with the ability to fly, Schwarzvald claims that the power of the Bigs is for destruction only and sets out to destroy Paradigm City. Roger and Big O stop him but their battle has brought them to the attention of Alex Rosewater, the CEO of Paradigm Co and the de facto ruler of Paradigm City.

My Thoughts:

No scantily clad or uncovered women this time. Hence the high water mark of 3 stars.

Other than that, mediocre. Nothing is revealed, nothing interesting happens, the characters barely appear. Flat and lifeless is what this seems to be going for. Almost like it was a project that the manga-ka didn’t care about but had to do anyway.

Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I am going to finish this series since I own it, but my goodness, it is like eating stale crackers while sipping on tepid tap water.

★★★☆☆

Big O, Vol. 3 ★★☆☆½

bigo3 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Big O, Vol. 3
Series: Big O #3
Author: Hitoshi Ariga
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 200
Words: 7K

Synopsis:

Beck is broken out of prison by Angel and given his own megadeus, the Super Beck. He disguises it as another Big O and goes on a rampage. He’s determined to reveal that Roger Smith is the operator of Big O. Roger, with help from his butler Norman and Dorothy, take down the Super Beck without revealing Roger’s secret.

Dorothy has an encounter with an artist, who falls in love with her. He is leaving in a condemned building however and almost dies when it is destroyed. Dorothy saves him and the artist ends up in a hospital, where he becomes infatuated with a nurse. Dorothy learns a valuable lesson about male artists.

Some bio-weapon beast that eats metal is released in the city and only the Big O can stop it. It does.

Roger, Beck and Angel all separately come upon an older geezer living outside the dome who has access to genuine alcohal and tobacco and a huge stash of memories. Angel brings in troops from the Paradigm Company, Beck shoots his way out and Roger drunk drives the Big O and ends up burning the whole place down.

My Thoughts:

Once again there was ONE scene where Beck is bathing and it shows a woman with him and it is an R rated picture, so I dinged a half star. It made me mad, because now I know I can’t give this manga to any young person. What a way to waste an entire volume. Way to go, manga-ka.

The stories are pretty boring, Beck is still a 2bit loser villain and yet he still is the main badguy. Roger pretty much just punches him in the face with Big O every encounter and wins. That really isn’t good story telling. My memories of this being mediocre at best are definitely being justified.

Which has led me to adding the “Mediocre” tag to this review and the rest of the series most likely.

★★☆☆½

[Manga Monday] Big O, Vol. 2 ★★☆☆½

bigo2 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Big O, Vol. 2
Series: Big O #2
Author: Hitoshi Ariga
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 216
Words: 7K

Synopsis:

We get the wrapup of the Dorothy storyline and how Dorothy comes to be part of the Smith household.

The next chapter introduces us to Angel and has Big O and Roger fighting a fleet of ghost ships, which turn out to be mostly fakes. One is a real ship and that is the one Angel has targeted so she can recover memories from it.

The 3rd chapter deals with a cyborg killer who has just regained his memories and begins to kill again on 40 year old instructions. This introduces us to Instro, a robot pianist. He is the prime suspect and when Roger clears him, promises to teach Dorothy to play the piano.

The final chapter deals with the origins of Schwarzwald, the crazy reporter who burns up in a fire and everyone thinks is dead.

My Thoughts:

Except for the Ghost ship story, the stories follow the same path as the anime. But rather lifelessly in my opinion. Without the BAS style artwork, this mecha just doesn’t have much oomph behind it.

It also appears that people can randomly/recently lose their memories or regain them. And yet memories are also stored somehow, somewhere. It is something that you can’t think too hard about before it becomes obvious that the creators didn’t give it much thought either.

Between chapters there are various character sketches or a full page of a character looking all action’y, etc. One of those was of Angel with her diving suit unzipped. While it didn’t go beyond cheesecake territory, it just wasn’t appropriate with the rest of the volume. It was grossly obvious fan service. I’m not a fan of that, so I dinged half a star.

Overall, while this isn’t necessarily a bad manga, like I stated in the beginning, the life just isn’t there. This is making even Season 2 of the anime seem pretty good, so once I’m done with these 6 volumes, I’ll be getting rid of them in one way or another.

★★☆☆½

[Manga Monday] Big O, Vol. 1 ★★★☆☆

bigo1 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Big O, Vol. 1
Series: Big O #1
Author: Hitoshi Ariga
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 216
Words: 7K

Synopsis:

We are introduced to Roger Smith, Big O, Beck and Paradigm City.

Roger has several encounters with Beck, where Beck tries to blackmail the city for 5 billion dollars so he won’t destroy some memories, another where he uses an electricity eating bug to try to destroy Big O in revenge for the previous escapade and finally where he kidnaps R Dorothy and uses the Dorothy I megadeus to try to rob a bank. Every single one is foiled by Big O and Roger Smith and Beck seems to have it in for Big O.

My Thoughts:

I took a quick look at wikipedia and the Big O manga was started several months before the anime, probably to try to drum up excitement for the anime. With that in mind, I wasn’t surprised when this was a real hash of old and new material. The first story about holding memories hostage was all new, the electricity bug story had overtones of the electric eel monster and the R Dorothy story was pure re-tread.

The art was different. Very similar, but not the iconic Batman: The Animated Series like the anime. It was too bad, because that art worked so well. The Big O too was not shown to the best and besides being big and having some big fisty arms, didn’t have much presence. The biggest difference was Beck playing such a major villain. In the anime he’s a 2bit loser who occasionally annoys Roger. Here, he’s still an annoying 2bit villain, but he’s the main villain and he doesn’t even try to be corny/funny like in the anime. The perennial loser villain.

The biggest issue is the 40 year memory loss. In one page, Roger relates how people still show up without their memories, and the main event happened 40 years ago. But, most of the people trying to get their memories back aren’t even close to 40, so they shouldn’t have had any to lose. Or regain. If the time frame had been changed to 5, maybe even 10 years, then I could accept things better. It really feels like the 40 should have been 4 and something was seriously lost in translation.

Not an auspicious start for this manga series I’m afraid.

★★★☆☆