Thursday, June 05, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #155: Triage X, Vol. 6 by Shouji Sato

If crime is a disease, who better to deal with it than a bunch of heavily-armed vigilante nurses? Admittedly, that might not entirely make sense, but then neither do most violence-heavy shonen manga series.

I covered the first five books of Shouji Sato's nurses-versus-gangsters series as Day 29, and now I have Triage X, Vol. 6 in front of me. The danger level ramps up in this one: in the first few volumes, the two "ampoules" of hospital-based paramilitary vigilantes were unstoppable, overpowering the various low-level criminals and their few flamboyant bosses. But now, as this volume begins, the attack on a high-rise TV studio that began last time out is even more dangerous, and the youngest member of the Black Label crime-eradication team (who is also, of course, secretly a nationally-famous idol singer in her civilian identity) is herself in danger without her usual array of explosive devices.

There's also what may be the evil version of Black Label lurking out there, with operatives that have nearly (or actually?) supernatural abilities and Fiendish Plots to destroy Black Label or take over the city or maybe just hijack a cargo of a new designer drug. (The problem with plots about shadowy people dropping hints and talking entirely in circumlocutions is that you're never sure what it's actually all really about.) There's a lot of what I call the adventure-comics version of Talking About the Relationship: everyone has deep secret links, which are Shocking, and must be declaimed about at great length either during a pause in the Big Fight or while actually pounding on each other. But they're all secret links, so those declamations are allusive rather than specific -- the Taunting Villain thing, mostly.

It's still stylish and violent and zippy, and there's much less nudity this time out than in some of the earlier volumes. (That may be a plus or a minus, according to your personal taste: I just report.) I can't take it seriously, so the danger to the main characters doesn't bother me, but Sato is definitely making an effort to raise the danger level this time out: I wouldn't be surprised if he kills a sympathetic character within the next 3-5 volumes, just to show it can happen. If you like violence and boobies, you should probably check out Triage X.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

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