Saturday, November 8, 2014

Review: LBX Volume 1


CARTOONIST: Hideaki Fujii
TRANSLATION: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
LETTERS: Annaliese Christman
EDITOR: Joel Enos
ISBN: 978-1-4215-7695-4; paperback (November 2014); Rated “A” for “All Ages”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

The video game, LBX (Little Battlers eXperience), is a series of role-playing action games created by Level-5 for the Sony PSP.  Hideaki Fujii created an “all ages” manga based on LBX, which VIZ Media is publishing in English as a bi-monthly graphic novel series.

LBX, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 4, entitled New Dawn Raisers) introduces Van Yamano, a boy who really loves LBX!  These miniaturized battle-robots are the hottest toys in the year 2050.  The problem is that Van's mother does not want him to play with LBX because she blames them for the death of her husband and Van's father, Professor Yamano.

Little does she know that the professor left a very special LBX just for Van.  However, the C.I.O. and the New Dawn Raisers know about the special LBX and are interested in Van.

[This volume includes the original LBX story from Coro Coro Comics magazine.]

VIZ Media publishes the LBX manga through its Perfect Square imprint, which offers “all ages” books.   These are comic books for elementary age children, and if they have the patience and can read at their grade level, then, young readers can grasp the uncomplicated LBX.

I must admit that I find LBX Volume 1 to be surprisingly intense with a relatively believable sense of impending death directed at the heroes.  This isn't the kind of guaranteed death that comics like Kick-Ass or Preacher presented.  Still, the duels between LBX players seem painful, but I also have to admit that I would read this again.  LBX may be genuine kids' comics, but it offers up some interesting questions to which I want to know the answers.  Young comic book readers who are ready for graphic novels will want their own LBX.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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