I don’t consider myself much of an otaku. I don’t really read manga at all (though there are a few I’ve been meaning to get into), and unless an anime is either really fucking good or has a giant robot in it, I usually don’t give a shit. However, I still couldn’t help but feel insulted when I read this:
Manga Punisher, or whatever the hell it’s called, is part of the Marvel Mangaverse. It’s a piss-poor attempt by Marvel to gain the ground they had lost to manga sales back in the days of yore when comics weren’t the “in” thing. It includes such great ideas as a female Tony Stark (they’re really big on the genderswaps) who is actually regular Tony’s brother (who has been reduced to a head in a jar), and this half-assed shit. And Jesus, do I mean half-assed.
I was going to try to do this like the other article, where I basically recounted and summarized the story and told jokes, and everyone had a grand old time. But that’s basically impossible to do with this comic, since NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS. The damn thing is only 17 pages long, and the story is practically nonexistent. Here, let me run through it for you.
Geisha Punisher is busy torturing some asshole businessman. His asshole businessman friends try to save him. They fail. The Punisher doesn’t kill anyone (so much for Anime Waifu Frank Castle). Switch location to a school. The headmistress (WHO TOTALLY ISN’T THE PUNISHER GUIZE, I SWEAR) is berating her sister because she’s your standard Yusuke Urameshi type who’s been kicked out of 14,000 schools. Her sister tries to touch the antique skull on the bookshelf, the headmistress flips out (because there’s totally not a Dexter’s Lab door behind there), and leaves the room. Cut to Skang Kee Ho (I wish I was fucking kidding), leader of the Skang Kee crime family (who are Korean. At least they got the Japanese xenophobia right.) talking shit about the Hulk and consorting with TEH ONI. Back to the school, sister comes back to the empty office and fucks with the skull. Opening the door and revealing that her sister IS THE PUNISHER OH NOES! She takes a sword and gets into her uniform with a mask (looking like a female Robin expy), and shows up at Skang Kee Ho’s place just in time to kill TEH ONI and save her sister. They ride off into the moonset. The end. This isn’t even really a summary, either. I’m sure if I compressed all the dialogue, it would take up just as much space.
This comic is shit, and the bad part about it is that unlike A Man Named Frank, it isn’t even so bad it’s good. Sure, the art is crap, but it’s the same type mediocre attempt at an anime style that one can see all over Deviantart. It at least is serviceable, and gets the job done way the hell better than the nonexistent storyline. But I haven’t delved into the biggest issue I have with this piece of garbage: The fact that it’s insulting to its own “fanbase”.
This book is cliche. Massively fucking cliche. The characters are so stock it hurts. Seriously, the Punisher is every buckled-down older sister type in every manga ever, and her sister is your standard delinquent. Skang Kee Ho is your standard “walk around half-naked and try to be sensually evil” type ripped right out of Sailor Moon, and TEH ONI is a cross between a poorly motivated Aku and Shrek.
I assume the dialogue is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it’s so bad that I can’t fucking tell. Add these elements to the already-explained shitty plot, and you’re left with The Punisher as viewed through the eyes of a 12 year old Naruto fan. I have no idea how this thing sold, but I’m pretty sure they’re still making Marvel Mangaverse books, and from what I’ve seen they’re all like this. Is this what most manga fans want? To have to slog through a pile of bland shit? Is this seen as good? I know that anime fandom has kind of bottomed-out, what with people thinking shit like Bleach and InuYasha are “high art”. Maybe I’m just not in the target demographic for this thing. Maybe that demographic doesn’t include people with taste.
Eh, doesn’t matter. This book just doesn’t hold up. It fails as a manga, it fails as a Punisher book (no killing? Seriously?), and most importantly it fails as a good comic. All this book has managed to do is reinforce my lack of faith in the anime fandom, and humanity at large. Which is totally what I needed. What’s next on the docket, huh, Mr. Castle? What else do you have to throw at me? Let’s at least make it something vaguely competent, this time.
Huh, that actually looks interesting. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.