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September 24, 2012

Bento Bako Weekly: Tenjo Tenge Full Contact Edition 7

Tenjo Tenge, Full Contact Edition 2-IN-1, volume 7
Publisher: Viz Media (Signature Line)
Story and Art: Oh! Great

Viz’s Signature Line has released Tenjo Tenge Full Contact Edition 2-IN-1 volume 7, collecting volumes 13 and 14 of the original collected run, in which we get the further hard hitting drama of Oh! Great’s cult martial art manga, filled with blood, over the top violence, naked women, and other things from the list of guilty pleasures for men’s manga.

This collection is pretty fast paced compared to previous volumes, and author Oh! Great seems to have sped up the story while not skimping on the philosophy he’s begun mixing-in in heavy doses. The volume opens up with our heroes still healing up from last volume’s fights, but very quickly the story shifts back to Soichiro, who is being kept locked up in some underground room and forced to have his inner dragon-demon unleashed on martial artists, brought to him as pretty much sacrifices. He wishes he didn’t have to do it, but he is literally forced by a woman named Inue, whose dragon has the power to force and control other warrior’s dragons and inner-powers like that, controlling their bodies. A young female fighter named Shizuru is brought in as a sacrifice, but instead she breaks free and tries to kill Sohaku Kago, the brains behind “F,” for revenge. She is stopped and brutally forced to knee herself in the face repeatedly due to Inue’s power, however, when the villains exit and leave her behind to die, Soichiro is able to control his body again and save the girl. Elsewhere, Aya deals with the loss of her love Soichiro, as well as trying to handle using her dragon eyes. Mitsuomi and Maya decide to make a truce and set their club rivalries aside, so they can start to move in on freeing Soichiro and taking down “F.” Back with Soichiro, he has gone on the move through the building to get out, teaming up with Shizuru, who has regained her energy and bandaged her face up. The two come across Ishiyumi, who has recovered from his defeat to Soichiro a while back and is pissed as hell, leading to more problems. As this is taking place, Mitsuomi and Maya crash the building coming right across the fighters, much to the relief of Soichiro who is overjoyed to see Maya again! However, the break is not long and causes an endless barrage of kick-ass, blood filed fights that fill the rest of the pages, as our heroes make way towards Kago, aiming to kill him and stop “F,” and when they finally reach him….

This volume presents everything readers have come to enjoy from this title, as Oh! Great’s art is at an awesome stride by this point in the series. Although his fight scenes can depict some incredibly cruel/brutal stuff from time to time, he has some of the best drawn fight scenes in manga from the early-otts in these pages. Also in typical fashion, he gets pretty brutal with his supporting female characters, here specifically with the amount of terrible pain inflicted on Shizuru and Maya. The guys don’t make it out any lessĀ unscathedĀ in this volume, but it may still bother some readers unfamiliar with the style of Oh! Great’s work. It is also a return in this volume to much nudity and a little eroticism thrown in there for good measure. As mentioned, story wise it speeds by, every so often getting 2-3 page stretches drenched knee-deep in philosophy with scattered imagery.

To sum it up, if you like Oh! Great’s Tenjo Tenge, this volume is 100% for you and a no brainer to buy. If you don’t, you’re still not going to like it here. Fans of fighting and martial arts manga who haven’t read the title yet should check out what they’re missing, for the things lacking in the story are by far made up in the fights drawn by Oh! Great. Available now in print from Viz.

Drew McCabe

Review copy provided by Viz Media.



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