Few things have inspired me to write reviews lately. This, though I felt compelled to write about. This being the webcomic Megatokyo
. Story and art by Fred Gallagher along with co-creator Rodney Caston make an interesting duo.
Basically the story revolves around Piro and Largo. Piro who is a basic fanboy otaku (someone who is obsessed with anime and anime related subjects to the point of learning the language and mixing reality with fantasy [in Piro's case]. In the U.S., this word is more often taken as a compliment. In Japan though it more often used as a derogative term). Largo, on the otherhand is obsessed with shoot 'em up rpg games (Quake, Halo etc), Bioware games, beer (definately beer) and something called l33t (does anyone know what this is? Can you explain it to me?). On a whim, Piro flies off to Japan with Largo. When they finally sate their thirst in the gaming stores and figure it's time to come home they discover that they're credit cards are maxed out. Now they have no money and no place to stay in the wilds of Tokyo (luckily, Piro being the Otaku that he is, can speak and read Japanese). What little money they are able to beg (or black mail) from their friends is quickly spent on more distractions. After landing a job, a series of misunderstandings occur between Piro and the local girls while Largo is busy slaying the hordes of undead that are overwhelming the city (mixing fantasy and reality here?). Anyway these are a couple of characters that everyone knows someone who acts like one or both of them (myself included, lol).
The story also involves some delightful and inventive supporting characters. Seraphim - Piro's good-side conscience and kicking ass doing it. Dom and Ed - friends to the rescue from the States, playing on the Japanese stereotype that all Americans carry guns and are not afraid to use them. Nanasawa-san - an aspiring seiyu (voice actor/actress) starts to have a crush on Piro. Yuki-chan - a high school student who also has a seeming crush on Piro. Though Piro and Largo are the main characters, the supporting characters are developed at a good rate so they aren't faceless stick figures in the background.
Now the characters are drawn in an anime fashion with the typical big eyes and small nose and mouth. In the beginning the panels were cleaner looking because Mr. Gallagher would sketch out the panels then trace and ink them. This though took time, time he doesn't really have to spare, so in an effort to meet the deadline and appease the online readers he stopped the trace and ink portion. His artwork has improved to the point where it was unnecessary for the comic. I, personally, like the sketchy look. Now this all started as and still is a webcomic. Luckily due to it's popularity, Dark Horse comics had it compiled into three (so far) "low bandwith" editions. It's fun because when Mr. Gallagher has writer's block or is sick or is caught up with real life work, Dom takes over the show with stick figures and amusing accounts of recent events such as their visits to Cons (anime conventions, Otakon and Katsucon were mentioned) and comparing different points of view among the characters (quite amusing). Though Piro often threatens viewers with Dom's trackball stickfigures, Dom's rants and musings are entertaining.
The comic is still ongoing on their site: www.megatokyo.com
there are links included to see past episodes, Mr. Gallagher's artwork and other webcomics in the works. Overall, I am enjoying Megatokyo. The characters are relatable and the artwork is good. I also feel it's an inspiration to people who have the talent and imagination to see what they can do to breakthrough into the industry.
Boma at 10:57 PM