Kei Kikuno, 20, is a young student like the others. With her cute figure, alluring appearance and slightly wavy pink hair, she exudes something very cool that can undoubtedly please a group of her buddies. And that of course doesn’t stop her from being too serious about her studies in accounting, between the reviews she hooks up once she has a little spare time, and the little job she does to fund his student life. But on this last point, the job the young woman performs is, to say the least, a bit private and uncommon among her family, because she is a contract killer, no more and no less. Not only is she a legend in the industry, being considered No. 1 thanks to her superior agility, speed and composure, but she also strives, under the auspices of her boss “Momut” to whom he has entrusted his duties, to assassinate only the real villains, those who have committed so many misdeeds that they are drawn to them Certain desires for revenge …
A bit of a twisted action manga, without too much headache but with real efficiency, it hasn’t necessarily been on the streets of France lately. But the release of Pika, in May, seems to have decided to change things up a bit by introducing into our language a pure representative of the literary genre: Violence Action, whose name alone says it all!
In this beginning of the series, we follow a heroine as we love her since behind her pretty face and status as a student, it turns out that she is in fact a killer badass who always executes her contracts to perfection, and we would be much more than happy to see a little deception and clever use of certain tools (to force open a well-secured door, on example), handling all kinds of weapons easily (knives, guns…), and above all jumping quickly and agility in all directions, and generally exploiting the terrain to reach its prey. Many things like designer Renji Asai, a mangaka who here puts in the pictures an original story of Shin Sawada which we already know in France for the manga version of Mamoru Hosoda’s Boy and the Beast, draws very well: if his drawing is generally kept very simple and his cut remains standard in general, he enjoys All very vividly to dissect the most exciting moments of events, particularly Kei’s graceful movements. As for the violent side, if present because the dead are there, it has the advantage of playing much less on a martial skill than on the sudden side of kills, generally under the impetus of a relentless heroine. Finally, still on a visual level, there will be something to appreciate the character designs that are always very different, each with their own appearance or even “mouth”.
With regard to construction, the authors are content here above all with the first independent missions and the rather classic bill, which does not prevent them from managing them well with significant reinforcement, among other things, some small reversals of the situation where the first targets Kei can sometimes become allies In the end. But if nothing was surprising in these early decades, the recipe is still fantastic, especially thanks to two sides.
First of all, the contradiction that inevitably exists between the position of a very serious student and that of a stubborn killer of Kei, a contradiction that is felt in depth even in the assassination missions themselves since the young woman, and even his targets are sometimes deliciously surprising. Behavior and sense of priorities. For example, we should not be surprised to see our heroine doing certain tasks such as trifles, thinking elsewhere, not missing an opportunity to review even in the middle of danger, including by doing one of his primary goals. Current teacher!
Then, the background that, little by little, does not fail to expand. The authors, first of all, do not forget to introduce a few key companions to Kei in his quests, here we are especially considering the few appearances of “Moumoute” whose poetry seems to hide more than one secret. But the moments of student life themselves are not neglected in the context of certain short sequences, which makes it possible to gently but surely install some characters with certain capabilities, starting with Watanabe, a classmate who is a bit shy and weak but admiration for our heroine, who is likely to gain Significance in light of the last pages of the volume. Finally, the background also draws her attention from Kei herself, of course: Even if Asai and Sawada aren’t doing much at the moment, there’s necessarily something to wonder how a young student, a serious accountant like her, managed to become the overtrained No. 1 killer in the middle.
If the recipe contains something that can easily be seduced by its graphic efficiency, offbeat aspects and explosions of raw work that a filmmaker like Tarantino probably wouldn’t deny, then the question could tickle informed readers, and it relates to the pace of Japanese publishing: it was launched in Japan at the end of 2016 In the electronic journal Yawaraka Spirits of Shôgakukan editions, the work currently has only 6 volumes in her country. And if the tempo is somewhat sustained at first, resulting in a fairly regular publication of the first volumes, the truth is that afterwards it goes on further, to the point that volume 6, the newest to date, was published in July 2020. two years. However, the series doesn’t seem to have been abandoned or forgotten since a live-action adaptation was released in Japan this summer.
Despite these details, let’s not indulge our happiness in front of this smoothly conducted entertainment! As for the French edition, it’s generally elegant with a fairly straightforward translation by Ilan Brunelli, very clean work by the BLACK Studio team (Catherine Bouvier and Céline Olive for graphic editing, Tom “spAde” Bertrand for the cover), and creditable print quality On paper that is slightly creamy but completely opaque and flexible.