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Japanator Review: Yozakura Quartet vol. 1

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What do you get when you mix a superpowered teen-aged girl town mayor, a cute, cat-eared telepathic demon girl, a busty bespectacled matter conjurer, and a.... normal guy? Yeah, I don't know either. But it sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it?

Give me a superhero story and I'll give you a chance. I was happy to give that chance to Yozakura Quartet. Its concept and cast present the perfect setting for some crazy superhero-filled, town-defending action. The quartet has the power to beat you down, read your mind, and summon your wildest desires out of thin air. But do they have the power to win you over?

Hit the jump to find out in our review.

 

Yozakura Quartet Volume 1
Manga by Suzuhito Yasuda
Published by Del Ray, February 26, 2008


The quartet, all parentless teens, work out of the Hizumi Life Counseling Office. This location seems to double as both a mayoral office and a superhero headquarters. They use their powers to "save the day" when things go wrong in Sakurashin, the town that 16-year-old Mayor Hime Yarizakura watches over. She counts on the mind reading Ao for the heads-up on bad guys, and Kotoha can summon just about anything they need out of thin air. Together with the normal (right...) Akina, they set out to do their superhero duties like fending off crazed gunmen and beating down demon possessed dogs. All in a day's work.

Speaking of work, Yozakura Quartet reminds me of starting a new job that you don't know anything about. The job sounded interesting at first, but when you finally start, you don't know anyone, or why they do what they do. You're left to figure things out yourself, always unsure of what is really going on. The story just seems to drop you into the thick of things, with very little explanation on details like why Hime is a 16-year-old mayor. Or why these teens work together. Or why any of them have these special powers. Or anything else, for that matter. It must be said that the characters are all quite interesting, and rich pasts are hinted at. I expect that details will be uncovered over time. But for the first volume of Yozakura Quartet, you'll be somewhat lost through the very end. I'm hoping volume two will fix that.

What doesn't need fixing is the art of Yozakura Quartet. Yasuda's artwork is clean and pleasing to the eye, and his female characters are very nicely designed. The guy, Akina, is sort of generic. That probably was the idea, though. Each of the three supergirls are visually individual, but together make for a great-looking cast. The ladies' faces are all expressive, ranging from cute to serious, and each are clothed perfectly for their personality. All of this is wrapped in a simple, yet pretty cover featuring the mayor herself. All in all, Yozakura Quartet is easy on the eyes.

For now, I can't tell if the story is going to be weak or just slow paced. But I'll remain hopeful for the future. So far, I love what I see, and I think there's a lot of potential for deep, fleshed out characters.  Hime's unwavering devotion to her town, Ao's lurking demon brother, and Kotoha's love of vintage German weaponry all point at something more than volume one offers. Superhero stories are a dime a dozen these days, but I think Yozakura Quartet has the potential to be something great.

Score: 8.0
Verdict: Pick this up.


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reviewed by Dale North

 

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Dale North
Dale NorthAssociate Editor   gamer profile

I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more + disclosures


 



Filed under... #del rey #manga #reviews

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