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Speed Grapher: Volume 1    by Tomozo & Gonzo Amazon.com order for
Speed Grapher
by Tomozo
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Speed Grapher is TOMOZO's manga adaptation of GONZO's anime of the same name. It is a dark, harsh action tale about the hidden dangers that haunt Tokyo's underworld.

After returning from the war, photojournalist Saiga is still looking for action shots but this time his subject is the elite Roppongi Club. Though he knows there is a story, nothing could prepare Saiga for what he actually finds. The Roppongi Club worships a schoolgirl goddess whom Saiga becomes determined to save. The fight, of course, is not an easy one - he must battle Rubberman and Diamond Lady in the first volume, but his desire for the perfect shot gives him superpowers too. Using his camera as a weapon, Saiga becomes Speed Grapher, a man with the ability to explode any subject by just taking a picture.

The dark, harsh lines that TOMOZO uses in bringing GONZO's story to the page represent the bleakness of the Tokyo in which Saiga lives. TOMOZO's bold strokes clearly convey the action that abounds in Speed Grapher and help give Saiga life. The well-laid-out storyline also helps the action move at a good pace while keeping the reader's interest. Also, Saiga is the perfect protagonist for this type of tale.

Although Speed Grapher is not the type of manga that I would normally pick up, I found myself really enjoying it. Yes, the story is rather violent and not at all a happy one, and the artwork focuses more on action than characters and place, but it is a solid manga.

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