This week I continue with the Silent Mobius Reviews with the manga’s second volume.
Note: While the Silent Mobius manga has been reprinted by Udon Entertainment, their volumes end at different places than Viz’s OOP volumes, though this doesn’t particularly change the story in any way.
Title: Silent Mobius Vol. 2
Written & Illustrated by Kia Asamiya
Translated by James D. Hudnall & Matt Thorn
Touch-Up & Lettering by Wayne Truman
Originally Serialized in Comic Dragon
Base Price: $16.95
A Lucifer Hawk in the guise of a clown attacks Katsumi & AMP, forcing Katsumi to seek out her father’s magic, living sword, Grospoliner, to help her defeat it. For Yuki, she faces a specter from her past in the form of another girl from the program who gave Yuki her powers, who wants to kill Yuki to amplify her own abilities. Finally, Lebia Maverick, AMP’s “Visionaire” (Uber-Hacker/Gadgeteer), must stop a computer virus that threatens to destroy all the data in Tokyo.
A lot of time is spent on the other members of team, not only on their back-stories, but also their personal lives. I know I brought this up my review of the last volume, but it bears repeating. Considering lots of other team-based action manga tend to push their supporting cast into the background, the fact that all of AMP is staying in the spotlight is very, very impressive.
First, in the first story in the volume, the AMP building is completely destroyed, and several new villains are introduced, and nothing is mentioned of it in the next story.
Second, while I appreciate that the manga has far less Heroic BSODs by Katsumi than the anime did, the fact that she basically shrugs off a significant revelation about her heritage (which, in turn, has significant implications to the setting) hurts the emotional response.
Nudity & Violence
This volume is considerably more violent than the last volume. While there’s no gore, there is a great deal of blood from Yuki’s psychic battle, as well as the rampage by the Lucifer Hawk in the first story. There is also considerably more fan-service, between a shot on the very first page of two of the members of AMP in their lingerie, and two major pictures of characters nude – one pre-coital shot of Katsumi with Robert, and a two-page spread of Lebia, asleep in bed nude, with strategically placed shadows keeping the picture from becoming Playboy centerfold material.
Originality: The stories in this volume keep with the concept, and still feel interesting and original. 5 out of 6.
Artwork: The artwork is still excellent, though the level of detail on the fan-service, particularly the characters’ lingerie, is just a little bit silly. It feels like Asamiya was trying to write off gravure magazines (magazines of models in lingerie & swim-wear) as research expenses. 5 out of 6.
Story: The story in this volume is still very good, aside from the spoiler-guarded Low Point. 4 out of 6.
Characterization: We learn a lot more about Yuki and Katsumi’s back-stories (as well as giving both characters a power-up), plus also fleshing out the characters personal lives some (Lebia’s 3 AIs are named after Donald Duck’s nephews, and she designed Louie’s interface like TMA-1). 5 out of 6.
Emotional Response: The loss of Katsumi’s Heroic BSOD is probably one of the first cases where I’ve missed having a Heroic BSOD in this series. On the other hand, Yuki’s attempt to cope with the attempt on her life really makes up for it, so we’re about even. 4 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: I’m really liking the manga more than the anime. 6 out of 6.
In Total, Silent Mobius Vol. 2 gets 36 out of 42.