Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” Vol. 6 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou

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With the frequent losses the Northern Jackalopes face, Captain Kukuri launches a full-on hunt of the massive spider they have named Lord.

Spoilers but I like how Kukuri and Youkou go to gather data on Lord and have no idea exactly how to get it or what the data means. We see these types of “gather intel” scenes all the time and the characters magically know how all the tech works and what part of what they find is important. It was nice to see that trope played with.

This volume is paced better than previous ones with a fair balance of action and backstory. It’s dark, touching on the implications of gear technology and the advances and consequences of playing with such things. Got some twisted stuff in here, too, so if that’s not your thing, I’d avoid it if I were you. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” Vol. 5 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou

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This volume puts friend against friend and brother against sister as the Amenotori launches their attacks against The Jackalopes. We also get introduced to The Jackalope’s Northern Division with an enemy our main characters have never seen before.

There are still pacing problems in this volume. Not that I need or want long stretches of exposition but this volume pulled the age-old mistake of giving a character a TON of backstory just to set up killing them off. Despite the high stakes and otherwise interesting story, that’s lazy. 3 out of 5

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Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” Vol. 4 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou

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Midari has been captured by a kid she once saved and Youkou is determined to flush out the Spiders to save his sister.

This volume, once the fight is over, is about getting the appropriate pieces into play. And it does it well! There’s just a LOT happening all at once, switching from one story to another then another, so it’s paced strangely. It’s good but it felt scattershot. There’s all this drama and gory mess surrounding Midari and of course the angst with Youkou and his sister… Finding a way to summarize it all without spoiling some twists (because YIKES, there’s some twisted shit in this volume) has made my summary pretty gosh darn short. I like this series and the fights are drawn amazingly well but this volume, like I said, feels confused. 3.7 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” vol 3 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou

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Unbeknowest to the Jackalopes, the Shikagura have been watching every move they make. So when the Jackalopes play to strike when they believe the Shikagura are undergoing maintenance, they fall into a trap.

Shiba-san is my new sempai. As I am now the ripe old age of 37, I resolve to be like him and age with style.

The art in this series continues to empress; especially when it comes to creature design. I had to flip through the volume a few times to really take in and enjoy all the details. It still takes a lot for my suspension of disbelief to take that giant boobed drama queen Amenotori seriously but I’m starting to think that much blatant fanservice is the point. You’re too busy staring at her chest to notice that she’s chopped you to bits.

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Lenni Reviews: “Smokin Parade” vol 2 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou

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A group of spiders calling themselves the Shikagura directly target the Jackalopes; leaving them battered and inured in body and mind. The only remaining three who are able to combat these spiders are Youkou and his rival Kotoharu and the cook, Shiba; who is secretly a total badass.

Of course there are connections between the members of the Jackalopes and the members of the Shikagura; and this is aside for Youkou and his sister. It will be intriguing to see how this plays out considering the wild personalities of the other Jackalopes. You can tell Youkou will go though an arc where he will try to save his sister but end up having to kill her. That’s fairly predictable. I’ll give this series a ton of credit if it does something different. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” vol 1 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou

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Youkou lives in a world where if a person gets cybernetic limb transplants, they run a risk of turning into a mindless killer called a Spider as a possible side effect. He has spent most of his time caring for his sister, who lost both her legs, and he learns the hard way how bad such a transformation can be. When his sister goes insane, a group calling themselves the Jackalopes come to save him.

I learned after reading this that Kataoka is the creator of Deadman Wonderland, which explains the creepy-cute and gory style. Our main villain, Kurama, seems over the top for me right now. GIANT breasts, bathing in human viscera… She might as well have “I’m Evil” tattooed on her massive chest. If goreĀ isn’t your thing, you will not like this manga but so far I do like the characters and I want to know more about how the limbs are making people insane. 3.7 out of 5.

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