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Wild Adapter Volume 1 (Wild Adapter) de…

Wild Adapter Volume 1 (Wild Adapter) (edição: 2007)

de Kazuya Minekura

Séries: Wild Adapter (1)

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1915108,461 (4.33)16
- Lead TOKYOPOP manga Title: National consumer print advertising campaign and internet advertising targeting more than 2 million impressions - By the creator of Saiyuki (vol 1 ISBN: 1-59182-651-9) and Saiyuki Reload (vol 1 ISBN: 1-59816-025-7), hugely popular BookScan bestsellers - Includes hot undercurrents of boys' love that appeal to the core demographic… (mais)
Título:Wild Adapter Volume 1 (Wild Adapter)
Autores:Kazuya Minekura
Informação:TokyoPop (2007), Paperback, 168 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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Wild Adapter, Volume 1 de Kazuya Minekura


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Exibindo 5 de 5
I initially came across Kazuya Minekura's manga series Wild Adapter while looking for manga with references to mahjong. Later on I learned that the series has some pretty heavy shōnen-ai overtones to it as well, which I was just fine with. So I picked up Wild Adapter, read it, and fell in love with the series. That was also when I belatedly realized that Minekura was also the creator of the popular Saiyuki and Saiyuki Reload manga. I was pretty happy when the Wild Adapter series was selected for the June 2011 Manga Moveable Feast. Wild Adapter is currently six volumes long, all of which have been published in English by Tokyopop, plus a few chapters that have been serialized in Japan for the seventh book. However, due to Minekura's rather serious health concerns, Wild Adapter and many of her other ongoing series are currently on hiatus. The first volume of Wild Adapter was released in Japan in 2001 while the English edition was published in 2007.

Seventeen-year-old Makoto Kubota is a highly skilled mahjong player and a natural leader, catching the eye of the Izumo syndicate who recruit him to head their youths. The Tojou organization, a rival yakuza group, encroach even more than they have been on Izumo's territory, trying to take advantage of the newcomer's inexperience. But Kubota proves to be a dangerous and deadly adversary. When a mysterious new drug known as W.A. hits the streets, both the Izumo and Tojou groups are interested in gaining control of it and its distribution. The police, too, are investigating since a string of bizarre corpses seems to be connected to the drug. For Kubota, the search for W.A. and for more information about it becomes a personal vendetta when he is forced to confront the risks involved head on.

There are several interesting things about Minekura's artwork in Wild Adapter. Although occasionally seen, very little tone and shading is used, instead black and white starkly contrast with each other. The pages themselves are also black instead of the usual white. This aesthetic decision lends itself to the darker aspects of the story and also emphasises the loneliness and disconnectedness of the characters as the panels are visually separated as well. Minekura is not afraid of silence, either. The technique is used to capture the passage of time but also helps to focus the reader on important dialogue and distinct moments in the individual panels. Minekura's balance and pacing between dialogue and artwork is excellent. Her character designs, while similar to those in some of her other series, are easily distinguished from one another in Wild Adapter. Close attention is paid to accurate body structures. Although realistic, occasionally the figure work can be vaguely disconcerting.

The first volume of Wild Adapter serves as a prologue to the series as a whole. Tokito, one of the main characters, only makes a brief appearance. Instead, the first volume focuses on and introduces Kubota, the other protagonist, primarily as seen through the eyes of his second-in-command in the Izumo Youths, Komiya. Komiya doesn't even like Kubota to begin with and is reluctant to serve under a rookie outsider but he comes to admire and even fear Kubota, developing a tremendous sense of devotion. This intimate camaraderie is extremely important to Kubota who keeps everyone at a distance. Even though the first volume of Wild Adapter focuses on Kubota, he still remains much of an enigma. Extraordinarily difficult to read, he is a mess of contradictions; at times he is almost innocent, sweet, and kind but in a moment he can become cruel, brutal, and vicious. As one character describes him, "He's an odd boy, but an absolute pleasure." Love him or hate him, Kubota's intensity and charisma are critical to Wild Adapter.

Experiments in Manga ( )
  PhoenixTerran | Jun 24, 2011 |
After catching the eye of the head of the Izumo yakuza group, a young man named Makoto Kubota accepts a position as the Izumo youth division leader. Kubota is aloof, almost lethargically casual, lacking in much drive or interest in anything, accepting the position seemingly just because the opportunity presented itself. Opposed to Kubota's appointment is Komiya, the youth group's second in command. Yet as the two work more together, Komiya observes the calm, fearless efficiency with which Kubota performs his job, as well as other intricacies of his personality which begin to change his mind. However, a mysterious new drug is emerging on the streets, leaving animal-like corpses from those that dare to try it, and the yakuza are interested in pinning it down...

I came into Wild Adapter knowing it to be of the frequently and intentionally homoerotic sort of manga, and going off what I knew about most manga of this variety, I expected over-the-top dedication and mushiness to emerge, the plot to be disposable and merely an excuse to get the guys working together, and the main attraction to be the fact that (unlike what you get reading yaoi) it least had a non-romance-centered plot, even if paltry, a story that lasted more than a volume or two, and the guys to be a little manlier than some in real BL.

Thus it was with great surprise that I read through the first volume of Wild Adapter to find things like setup to a plot that (despite not having a ton of it revealed yet) seemed like it could hold up an action/drama series decently fine on its own sans the near-romance, effective action sequences, perfect measured pacing, and dialogue more clever and nuanced than anything I'm used to seeing in most manga of any type.

But what sold me entirely—and what sets it apart from a lot of adeptly done crime series of its type—was its completely character driven nature. Here it focuses on its main character, Kubota, and his likability is questionable. He doesn't particularly like people, kills without remorse, doesn't seem to have strong emotions or care about anything. Yet he's not without a sense of humor, and has a childish innocence to him sometimes that makes one wonder, even if he is not to all a likable person as he is now, if there are the startings of something more human and likable in him that just need to be brought out, or that we've yet to see.

So while the nicely handled setting and plot and character introductions come through, the focus of each scene still feels entirely on figuring out Kubota. How he reacts to various things, what little possibly telling personality quirks might be revealed through each scene, be it about beating up rival groups, talking with his crooked cop of an uncle, or using a stick to dig a grave for a cat in the park.

And, to make it to the homoerotic aspect and whole reason I was initially drawn to the series in the first place, the observation is done almost entirely through the eyes of Kubota's second in command, Komiya. To my absolute delight, the homoeroticism wasn't the usual difficult-to-swallow mushy-touchey-feeley between two guys, but in Komiya's fascination with Kubota, his desire to understand him more, his lessening hostility towards him growing into a surprisingly subtly portrayed friendship. While Komiya's turn around and eventual level of dedication did feel a shade too much too soon, this slight blemish is still overwhelmed by the good. There are still moments overtly homoerotic enough that they'd likely grate on those who don't like that sort of thing, but even these don't come off as awkwardly inserted “fanservice moments” to titillate fangirls as they often do in manga like this, and read as natural parts of dialogue and interactions (even if titillate is exactly what they do nonetheless ^_~).

As I got to the end of the volume I started getting the feeling (and then the confirmation in the author's note at the end) that the entire first volume was actually a prologue to the main story. Still, this prologue is not just a throw-away volume to dump some introductions and information on what will turn out to be the back story of WA's true plot starting from volume two, but tells a satisfying and in some ways complete story all its own. It seems Kubota is in some ways considerably changed by the time volume two starts, and a new, as yet barley-introduced character will be his actual costar through the series. The idea was initially a bit jarring and even slightly off-putting, as I'd already started investing and finding things interesting as they were. But taking this volume as a promise of the quality and subtlety we will see in the characterization and building of the relationship between the two mains in the future, I'm sure re-investing after the time jump will not be a problem. ( )
1 vote narwhaltortellini | Dec 9, 2010 |
Kubota-San is a mahjong prodigy with more luck than ambition. When he is tapped by one of the reigning drug lords to head their youth operations he takes the position with something less than enthusiasm although he is clearly not opposed to killing for his job. Despite his lackadaisical personality Kubota has a knack for making people interested in him and although he seems to care for nothing he is curious about everything. His most recent interest is the new drug on the street known as W.A. with side effects as deadly as Kubota himself and even to his own surprise the results of this discovery may even serve to spark something more than curiosity.

This first volume of Wild Adapter is, as indicated by the manga-ka, is more of a prologue and introduction to the rest of the series as a whole. Rated as mature for everything from extreme violence to topless women this would probably qualify as the most racy manga I've read yet, and this is the just the beginning. I can't say as I really like Kubota at this time although I have a feeling that if he changes the way I think he might, I will most likely grow to like him more as a character. The story line was interesting and easy to follow. The artwork isn't what I would consider to be the most appealing but it fits the subject matter, very gritty and very vivid. Overall I found this to be an interesting start and will be reserving further judgment on how much I like it for once I've read a few more volumes. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Jan 2, 2009 |
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- Lead TOKYOPOP manga Title: National consumer print advertising campaign and internet advertising targeting more than 2 million impressions - By the creator of Saiyuki (vol 1 ISBN: 1-59182-651-9) and Saiyuki Reload (vol 1 ISBN: 1-59816-025-7), hugely popular BookScan bestsellers - Includes hot undercurrents of boys' love that appeal to the core demographic

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