Review – Akaneiro #3

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Akaneiro #3 opens and ends with nonstop action. Basically this issue was nothing but one big battle between the Red hunters and yokai, In the beginning we see Kani, who in the last issue unlocked her full power, fighting against the Ghost Werewolf Clan. With her new found powers kani is surprisingly holding her own against the Wolf demons, The moment shifts when a higher level Wolf demon appears and subdues her, the demon then tells Kani that the Red hunters hunt them down because the produce karma crystals to which they use for profit and personally gain, Kani denies the claim the wolf demon has told her, she then powers up and breaks free of the demons hold and quickly slays him.

Red hunters Mitsuo and Fumiyo make an appearance and help Kani get rid of the other demons. Things once again turn for the worst when the Demon King himself appears, his size alone is frightening, and he towers over Kani and the others, when he attacks you can see the huge power difference between he and the Red hunters and he quickly gets the upper hand with brute strength alone.

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Shu Yan Cover

And for second it looks like the end is near for them but out of nowhere the entire clan of Red hunters including Kani’s father show up and joins the fray, At this point we see some pretty cool new characters who display some there abilities, one those characters is the head leader of the Red hunters, this guy fights the Demon King by himself and actually holds his own to point where he knocks the Demon King down to ground so Kani can give him a final attack.

Victory wouldn’t have been possible if the Demon fox that lead Kani into the trap in the 1st issue didn’t betray the Demon King and sided with the Red hunters, the only reason the fox betrayed the Demon king was because he said that the Demon King didn’t respect him. With the Demon king dead it looks as if peace on the horizon for the two clans, so to insure that peace Kani and the Red Hunter leader convinces the Fox Demon to stay and protect the home village, the Fox agrees saying “I have enjoyed being a god so far, if a whole village would like to do so, That sounds fine to me.”

The issue ends with Kani, who after a few months is now a Red hunter and is seen hunting down Yokai with Mitsuo and Fumiyo, Mitsuo comments on how Kani is enjoying herself to which Kani admits she does really love hunting down Yokai and that balance most be maintain no matter what.

Final thoughts: As a final issue Akaneiro #3 was firstrate, it was filled with action form the first page to the last. But it does leave some things to question like, how much of a impact did Kani’s actions effect the world? Instead of elaborating on that Justin Aclin skips that and acts as if nothing or no one was affected by them, which I found kind of a letdown. But besides that it was a nice adaption one worth of praise.

Links: Preview |BuyNow
Release Date: July 31, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Akaneiro #2

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Shu yan Cover

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The brave young warrior Kani battles a gauntlet of fantastic mythical beasts inspired by Japanese folklore. However, things are not what they seem, and danger lurks where Kani least expects it!

After being tricked by Yokai disguse as a human, Kani is sent to village that has been taking over by two Yokai who place her in a dream like trance, in this dreamlike state she is training to become a Red Hunter and meets up with two unknown Red Hunters who accompany her, At the same time in the real world red hunters Mitsuo and Fumiyo are looking for her since she hasn’t arrive at the village, as they track her they also encounter the yokai fox who mocks them.

Back in Kani Dream state, Kani and the two other red hunters come across a few Yokai who get the best of Kani, Meanwhile Mitsuo and Fumiyo return to Kani Village in hopes of finding her there. They meet up with her father and ask him if he’s seen her, thinking the worst Kani’s father starts to panic. And begins to question the red hunters of Kani whereabouts as well.

The fox appears again starts to mock Mistsuo and Fumiyo again, under the assumption the Yokai has taken her they capture him and ask him where he has hidden Kani. He tells them Kani is in a place that none of them can find her, he then asks if they have heard of the Demon king in Frostrock Mountain and the Ghost Werewolf Clan.

Next we see a member of the Ghost clan Tanaka taking to the Demon king, he says that Kani will and heart is strong and that it will be difficult to complete the task he has given them. The Demon king tells him that killing Kani who hurt the Yokai’s plan of taking over, but if they were to corrupt her by taking something form her maybe then they could succeed.

The issue ends with Kani waking up and confronting her captors, who turn out to be werewolves of the ghost clan, as they attack the unarmed Kani she is pushed to use a new ability that taps into the karma crystals.

Links: Preview |BuyNow
Release Date: June 24, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

 

Review – Akaneiro #1

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Shu Yan Cover

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

From the brilliant imagination of video game auteur American McGee comes a dazzling reenvisioning of Red Riding Hood set in the wondrous world of Japanese folklore! Justin Aclin and Vasilis Lolos take Kani a young woman torn between two cultures on an epic adventure battling devious Yokai for the fate of her world! 

Akanerio was first introduce to us through a action role-playing game that was developed by American McGee’s Spicy Horse company, the game was base heavily on the Little Red Riding Hood tale but in feudal Japan also add a mixture of manga and Japanese folklore.

Issue #1 is basically a origins issue, the main character Kani whose tribe the Ainiu’s live on the island of Yomi, they are a religious tribe that believe in spiritual guidance or direction so it seems, writer Aclin doesn’t really get into detail about them,Then there’s another tribe called the Akane’s they are a warrior tribe that defend the island form “Yokai” demons that also in habit Yomi island. The Akane’s have a elite group of specially trained warriors called the Red Hunters, who are the ones that defend the island.

The two tribes have a history and are both trying to gain the upper hand on one another, The main character Kani whose mother was killed by a Yokai believes the Red Hunters are necessary and that the ways of her people are slow. During a spiritual ceremony a Yokai eludes one the Red hunters and attacks the Ainiu village, Kani who witness the death of her mother begins to attack the demon along with the Red hunter it escaped form. After the demon is killed the elder of the Ainiu’s blames the attack on the Akane’s and the Red Hunters, he declares war against them. But before things can get out of hand Kani suggest that maybe war could be eluded if she was to join the Red Hunters, the other elders agree that just maybe things could be better between the two if she would join the clan, but only if she can pass the test all Akane’s must take before becoming a red hunter.

During her journey to the village of Akane Kani endures the harsh snowy mountains a group demon infected hares that attack her now injury and tired she comes as cross a man standing by two rhodes. After getting directions form the man she continues her journey little did she know is that the man was actually a Yokai disguise as a man and he just sent her in the wrong direction.

Final Thoughts: Akanerio #1 has very solid writing theirs a good amount of exposition throughout the issue, Justin Aclin blends both American and Japanese folklore together quite well the flow and pacing reminds me of a manga one that comes to mind is Inuyasha, if not for the artwork it could maybe pass off as a manga. Now when I say “if not for the artwork” I’m not saying its bad. Artist Vasilis Lolos does a beautiful job on the monster designs each have there own distinct features which is  must when creating beasts who are mutated by demons. While the character designs are good the lack of backgrounds in some panels is unacceptable, Shu yan cover art is amazing if may say.All in all Akaneiro #1 is a good issue and worth following I’m for sure going to keep an eye out for it.

Links: Preview Pre-Order
Release Date: May 22, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Dark Horse & American McGee’s Spicy Horse Studios to launch “The ARPG Akaneiro” to Comics

 

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DARK HORSE TEAMS WITH

AMERICAN MCGEE’S SPICY HORSE STUDIOS TO BRING THE ARPG AKANEIRO TO COMICS!

Following up on last week’s Kickstarter launch of Spicy Horse’s upcoming ARPG, Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, Spicy Horse Studios and Dark Horse Comics announce that this soon-to-be-released game will be expanding into comics!

From the brilliant minds behind video game auteur American McGee’s Spicy Horse Studios, Akaneiro mixes a foundation of Japanese folklore with an original mythology inspired by Red Riding Hood, yielding a fantastic and exciting setting for players to explore and perfectly setting the stage for the visual storytelling of comics. Written by Justin Aclin (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and illustrated by Vasilis Lolos (Conan the Barbarian), the comics follow Kani¾a young woman torn between two cultures¾on an epic adventure hunting devious Yokai and pursuing a destiny far greater than even she can perceive as a member of the fabled Order of Akane.

Known for his bold artistic vision and high-concept reimaginations of well-known characters, American McGee builds on the success of American McGee’s Alice, its sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, and the episodic game American McGee’s Grimm. This reinterpretation of Red Riding Hood as a monster hunter in a mythological Japan is sure to excite fans and game critics alike.

“Though I hate being categorized as some sort of auteur, I’m thrilled to be working again with the rocket-scientist sex machines at Dark Horse,” said Spicy Horse Studio head American McGee. “Our previous collaborations with Dark Horse have produced stunning results, like the art book for Alice: Madness Returns. It’s a perfect marriage of art and execution.”

An original story expanding the universe of Akaneiro, featuring covers by the Spicy Horse artists creating the game, this three-issue comics series debuts on May 22!

Review – Conan The Barbarian #8 – Border Fury Part 2

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

At home in Cimmeria, Conan feels a confidence he hasn’t experienced in some time. However, Bêlit is unsure of herself among Conan’s family and clan in this strange, frozen land, a dangerous variable as the two face not only the impostor Conan, but also his vicious army!

Massimo Carnevale Cover

Conan and Belit are still tracking the imposter throughout the harsh lands of Cimmeria, writer Brian Wood continues telling this adventure in story in narrative form with internal/interior monologues. In the beginning of this Issue its apparent that Belit is struggling keeping up with Conan, the land of Cimmeria is slowly over whiling the Queen of the Black Coast. After a brief encounter with a warrior who was sent to confront Conan, later that night they have a conversation that concludes with both agreeing Conan should continue tracking the mystery man alone. Now on her own in the cold mountains of cimmeria, Belit  faces the dangers of the land and its occupants and must use her love for Conan as strength to it out alive.

Meanwhile Conan tracks the imposter and his crew of savages to what looks like a giant glacier , with sword in hand the Cimmerian angrily shouts for them to face him. In the end Border Fury had the potential to turn into a good story for the Conan series but sadly it looks like that’s not going to happened sometimes when comics have multiple story arcs a lot of things get disregard like character development or in this case a quick story conclusion’s, Border Fury would be a lot better if it had at least 6 issues just enough for writer Brian Wood to time to elaborate on how much damage the unknown warrior has caused in Cimmeria with that said I think the story was a little too fast for me to enjoy.

Artist Vasilis Lolos takes over for Becky Cloonan and will admit that I don’t particularly care for it, his style is unique and I don’t mean that in a good way. At times I couldn’t tell the difference between Conan and Belit due to them being drawing so similar, Lolos art is a little to grungy for me.

Final ThoughtsIn the end Border Fury Part 2 is maybe the worst issue so far in the Conan the Barbarian Arc

Links: Preview Pre-Order
Release Date: September 12, 2012

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆