ROD (Read Or Die) vol.1
As if comics aficionados, or readers in general, don't have enough trouble being stereotyped as obsessive nerds, this manga's heroine is the poster child for incurable geekiness. Bespectacled Yomiko Readman loves books more than anything else, literally. She reads a book with her eyes, she smells it, she presses it against her skin, and "sometimes she uses her mouth." Yomiko is an agent for "the Library of England," which appears to be a cross between the British Library and a Bondian spy agency. She is also a "paper master" with the superpower to turn paper into weapons. Yomiko is determined to get an autograph from her favorite author, teenage girl Nenene Sumiregawa. Nemene might think Yomiko is the most annoying fan she had ever met were it not for the story's villain, an even more obsessed man intent on capturing and raping her. Despite the story's silliness and some confusing storytelling, amusing in-jokes, as when Yomiko dresses as various manga heroines like Sailor Moon or like references to Stephen King's Misery, are worth the wait. Based on a popular anime, this book should please otaku while remaining tough going for the casual reader.
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January 28, 2011 / 10:01pm
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