story by Youzaburou Kanari; art by Kuroko Yabuguchi; adapted by Lance Caselman
published by Viz; $9.99 US
Checking back in with the series about a gifted special effects makeup artist, I found it still entertaining, plus this volume shows the reader more of Kohei’s background.
I admit, I do miss the shorter stories, because they’re easier to keep track of. This book starts with two chapters that finish a story from the last book, about a girl avenging her father’s death. Mone is quite a talented painter, and since she hangs around after this story ends, I’m hoping she’s now a permanent member of the cast. She helps break up the sausage factory in her responses to Kohei’s transformation into a slobbering dog around attractive women. (An attitude one assumes is shared by the target audience, given the couple of pointless shots of naked girls.)
Also introduced is an antagonist, someone with abilities equal to Kohei’s. Instead of wielding a “sacred silver spatula” (the tool used to apply makeup), this mysterious villain has a black one. Both, though, apparently worked for the same mentor, a notable Hollywood special effects genius. A flashback shows both Kohei’s talent and recklessness in the way he got started in the business.
After that, another long story begins — but doesn’t end in this volume. It’s about a beautiful young lady being threatened to give up her inheritance. Everyone winds up on a cruise ship, trapped with a possible murderer. Unfortunately, several of the other characters are just two-dimensional caricatures, but that provides humor and the desire to see them get their comeuppance.
Many of Kohei’s effects serve no purpose in the bigger story beyond entertaining the reader. And as usual, Kohei is near-omniscient in predicting and preparing for those he’s battling, with double- and triple-crosses, but this isn’t a series you think too hard about. Instead, it’s an enjoyable action romp with an unusual slant.
The book also has a two-part stand-alone story about an early client of Kohei’s, some short 4-panel strips, and information about the authors visiting with Rick Baker, real-life effects expert.