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Domo The Manga

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Domo The Manga

Domo The Manga

© NHK-TYO 1998 - 2009 © Domo Production Committee

The Bottom Line

After years of cult fame as the mascot of a Japanese TV network, Domo has set his sights on conquering America. T-shirts, toys, TV ads and viral videos have laid the groundwork for Domo's quest to win hearts; but can this original manga collection seal the deal for this raging brown fuzzblock? Alas, no.

In one-minute video clips, Domo's high-jinks are absurdly amusing. In 12-page manga stories, Domo proves to be a clueless klutz who creates more chaos than comedy. The color illustrations are nicely done -- but ultimately Domo: The Manga is disposable entertainment that doesn't warrant more than a single reading.

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Pros

  • Simple, kid-friendly short stories filled with slapstick humor
  • Nicely-done full color illustrations make Domo's world look like a fun place to be
  • Includes some wry jokes about cell phones and video games

Cons

  • Domo is essentially a one-dimensional, one-joke character, which makes for repetitive stories
  • Domo is so clumsy, clueless and destructive, it's a wonder that he has any friends left
  • By cracking fun at today's technology, Domo is not exactly a timeless book for the ages

Description

  • Created by: Tsuneo Goda
    Author: Clint Bickham
    Artists: Rem, Sonia Leong, Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges
  • Publishers: TokyoPop (US)
  • ISBN: 978-1427815972
  • Cover Price: $9.99 US / $12.99 CANADA / £ 6.99 UK
  • Age Rating: E – Everyone / A – All Ages for slapstick humor and comical mayhem
    More about content ratings.
  • Manga Genres:
  • US Publication Date: September 2009
  • Book Description: 96 pages, full-color illustrations
  • More Manga by rem:
    • Vampire Kisses
    • Soulless
    More Manga by Lindsay Cibos and Jared Hodges:
    • Peach Fuzz

Guide Review - Domo The Manga

Domo gained fame amongst the otaku set based on his stop-motion animated vignettes that aired on a Japanese TV network. After roaring into the hearts of Japanese fans, Domo started appearing on t-shirts and toys. Next came TV spots for Target. The next logical step is manga, right? Well, maybe not.

The TokyoPop editors have adapted TV shows, movies and video games into graphic novels before, so when they decided to create Domo: The Manga, they recruited several veteran artists to illustrate a full-color collection of original comic stories based on Domo's world.

While TokyoPop got creators who could do the job, the artists had to work within Domo's visual style and characters, so there was not much leeway for these artists to show their unique artistic and storytelling styles. Only differences in shading, coloring techniques and linework give the reader any indication that several artists had a hand in creating this book.

While they're nicely illustrated, these stories shine a glaring light on Domo's weakness as a comics character: He's not very likeable. He's childlike and well-meaning, but as these stories illustrate, Domo is clumsy, destructive and dumb as a brick. As he destroys his friends' homes, breaks their video games and often leaves them injured and angry, it's a wonder Domo isn't chased out of town by his much-too-patient animal friends.

Domo hasn't got much of a personality or back-story, so Bickham had to resort to writing stories around generic jokes about video games and cell phones. By relying on today's technology trends, Bickham created Domo stories that will seem out of date in a year or two, tops. But perhaps that's appropriate for this mildly amusing but largely disposable collection of stories.

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