(ADV Manga, 2004)
™ and © 2003 Michihiro Yoshida

On one of those contemporary–seeming, technologically developed manga worlds that might as well be ours (the major benefit being that the creator doesn’t need to do research), readers meet tough, girl–obsessed Soma, who’s a “Vaizard.” It’s an invented word for someone working in a fabricated profession—treasure protector—who meets the pretty, but oblivious, archaeologist Asuka and then has a magical weapon stolen. Naturally, this gimcrack has the power to dominate the world and has fallen into the hands of a bunch of mediocre villains who want to do just that—and the heroes race to get it back.

This Tomb Raider rehash has uninteresting characters, a tedious story that’s only sporadically broken up by bits of indifferently staged action, and sketchy art that uses Zip-a-Tone and speed lines to make up for a lack of background detail. In a market in which there are hundreds of different manga titles from which to choose, there’s no reason to buy one that’s as insubstantial and indifferent as this.

— S.A. Bennett

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Graphic novel; Reads right to left; B&WMichihiro YoshidaMichihiro Yoshida