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Shin Megami Tensei (KAHN): Volume 1    by Kazuaki Yanagishawa Amazon.com order for
Shin Megami Tensei (KAHN)
by Kazuaki Yanagishawa
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2008 (2008)
Paperback
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The world of Shin Megami Tensei has a few incarnations in Japan and a Play Station game or two that has made it overseas, but Kazuaki Yanagisawa's Shin Megami Tensei (KAHN) seems to be the first manga in the Shin Megami Tensei world to make it West. This tale of a boy and his friends, who survived the Underworld, is not for the faint of heart.

Nobu's old high school was sucked into the Underworld, where almost everyone perished. Nobu was able to survive and return to the Surface World by destroying the Demon Lord. Now the demons have followed Nobu to the Surface World to exact their revenge. After they kill Nobu's mother, he finds himself on the lam because the police think he is responsible for his mother's death. The demons have also captured Nobu's neutral demon partner Pixie. To complicate matters even more, demons are after Yumi, the only other student to make it back to the Surface World, and have attached themselves to her roommate. By the end of Volume 1, Nobu has multiple people he needs to save, including himself.

Even though Shin Megami Tensei (KAHN) is the only Shin Megami Tensei title to be translated, enough exposition is given that readers will understand what is happening. What might confuse readers, however, are the graphics that tell the story. All of the characters - especially Nobu - look different in every panel. Yanagisawa's very uneven artwork makes the story hard to follow and gratuitous female nudity does not help. Shin Megami Tensei (KAHN) is full of ugly, angry demons and the humans they are after. While this type of story may appeal to some, Kazuaki Yanagishawa's seemingly rushed drawings detract enough to discourage the casual fan.

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