After another break, I’m continuing with the reviews of Outlanders with the series 3rd installment. I’m going to try to have these manga reviews be a regular Monday thing. Manga Mondays, if you will.
Title: Outlanders Vol. 3
Written and Illustrated by Johji Manabe
Translated by Dana Lewis and Toren Smith
Lettering and Touch-Up by Wayne Truman
Originally Serialized by Hakushensha’s ComiComi Magazine.
Currently out-of-print, but originally published in the US by Dark Horse Comics.
After rescuing Kahm’s servants from a fate of certain death at the hands of an angry mob, Kahm and Tetsuya set out for the homeworld of the Santovasku Empire, with the hope of ending the war and saving humanity by getting married.
This series has become a considerably more epic version of the beginning of Urusei Yatsura, with more like-able characters. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially considering that in this volume they come out and say that Kahm’s people are the root of descriptions of Oni in legend. While in the last volume this gave me (as I mentioned in the previous review) tonal whiplash, much of the apocalyptic tone that was in prior installments of the series is absent, which keeps the humor from knocking the reader out of the story.
The story seems to take a back seat in this volume to seeing Kahm’s homeworld. While the last 2 volumes gave us a lot of information about the setting and it’s backstory, the most world-building that gets done is establishing that Kahm’s people are impressively powerful, something that was already established very well early on.
A little bit of blood is shed. There is some rear female nudity, with two characters (not Kahm & Tetsuya) lying in bed post-coitus. Aside from some suggestive dialog in that scene, there’s some additional suggestive dialog between Kahm and Tetsuya.
Originality: While this volume continues to take some cues from Urusei Yatsura (and one small one from Macross), it has become a radically different take on the concept. 5 out of 6.
Artwork: The artwork is even better here, including a few spectacular two-page spreads. 6 out of 6.
Story: While there is a little forward progress, we get no new answers for our existing questions, nor do we get any new questions. 3 out of 6.
Characterization: We get a lot of character development and growth for the supporting cast and, to a certain degree, Kahm, though she still feels a little stagnant. Tetsuya gets some significant character growth here as well. 4 out of 6.
Emotional Response: Kahm’s servants get a major Big Damn Hero moment in here, which I’d also describe as a Crowning Moment of Awesome. 4 out of 6.
Flow: 6 out of 6.
Overall: The series plateaus a bit here, but considering how well it’s been doing, that’s not a major mark against it. 4 out of 6.
In Total, Outlanders Vol. 3 gets 32 out of 42.