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Asian Beat    by Hakase Mizuki order for
Asian Beat
by Hakase Mizuki
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Asian Beat is a collection of four stories by Hakase Mizuki. Though three of the stories are related, the first one, The Town Where Snow Falls, is not.

TThe Town Where Snow Falls is a poetic story told mainly through Mizuki's stark and realistic artwork. Two lonely teens meet, and while their paths cross again, they are never truly able to help each other. There is not a happy ending for this story, just an ending, like the rest of the tales in Asian Beat.

The other three stories, Asian Beat, The Grey Town, and The Scar are about a group of friends and the problems they face at home, which make their school life hard, too. Once again, Mizuki's stark panels get the feel of each story across, but there is more dialogue to move the story than in The Town Where Snow Falls.

Mizuki's artwork is gritty, painting a realistic picture of some problems that teens do face. However, these are serious problems that many teens will never have to face. Because of this, it is hard to relate to the tales. Also, the very downbeat nature of the stories can make it hard to read, too.

Asian Beat is listed as a fantasy, but it is not. It is hard-core drama, and readers should be aware of that before picking it up. Hakase Mizuki does an excellent job of telling a story through picture, but it is not always a pleasant tale.

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