Mr. Empty: Day One - The Addiction Began

Okay, I feel like I'm showing my age here, but I just got into it real young, okay? I was hooked. I was hooked. Don't judge me.

The first manga, for me, was the ludicrously expensive Aqua Knight by Yukito Kashiro.
Look at this design. It's actually pretty amazing.
The loop with the characters, the lines from the title. 

As I recall, I made my parents shell out close to $30 for the first volume of this series. Considering how much I spend on manga now....maybe they should have established some boundaries with me at this point?

In any event, I got my little hands on a copy of it, and the rest is history. This is an amazing short-run manga, with an incredible amount of detail and story jammed into three short volumes. Kishiro said he was going to go back to it when he got done with Battle Angel Alita, but then, Tite Kubo said he was going back to ZombiePowder. :/

Just to give a quick rundown, the basic concept is that there are submersible armor suits, pet orca whales, and also giant sea dragon things. Ruliya is a female Aqua Knight, who a young Mr. Empty may have had a slight crush on, and she ends up on a deserted island where she meets and kind of befriends some random boy. She also talks to Death, who comes out of the water and ends every line with "bone". There's a number of villains, including a bipolar mad scientist, the aforementioned sea dragons, and other Aqua Knights. All of it rendered in this sort of classic, late-90s manga style that was somewhere between anatomical drawings and cartoon styling. Also, Kishiro has absolutely no problem throwing apart a storyline and introducing a completely new set of antagonists. He's a hell of writer, and I think his sales show that, you just get a concentrated blast of that in this series. He's also a hell of an artist, there are some pages that just blow you away, he doesn't respect any format or boxes of any kind. He plays with the pages, jumping from side to side, freestyling his own boxes and running everything around his drawings. 
Ahhh, Ruliya. There will always be a soft spot.

Okay, I maybe don't remember this series exactly. Maybe it's a bit of nostalgia. But it was the epitome of Japanese culture, the pinnacle of badass characters, and it didn't blow my mind, it hit my skull with a shaped charge and left my brain on the side of the room. A whole new world of creative thinking and a world where the characters weren't demigods, just fucked up people like us, like me. Who could not get addicted???


William Shakespeare said...

Do you still have you original run of this?

Mr. Empty said...

Indeed I do, it's tucked away somewhere around. I keep all of my manga. ^__^