Kaijumax Season One Review by Eugene Alejandro

Zander Cannon’s Oni Press series Kaijumax is an awesome and ambitious blend of giant monsters, tokusatsu, and prison drama that will satisfy fans of all those genres.

The story in Kaijumax Season One is about a kaiju named Electrogop who is sent to a prison island where kaijus are taken to called Kaijumax that is controlled by space superheros (characters inspired and influenced by Ultraman) where he tries his best to survive in it, and find a way to escape the island and look for his children. While that is the main story, there are multiple subplots that go along with it, but I won’t say what they are because I want you read this graphic novel and be surprised to know what they are (if you haven’t read it already that is). The ending is also a good set-up for Kaijumax Season Two.

The reason why Kaijumax works very well as prison drama with giant monsters in it that contains more than one plot is because Zander Cannon did an excellent job at executing the concept without it all feeling convoluted and hard to follow because his writing is very good. Each character in Kaijumax Season One also has great development to them (which shows that Zander Cannon is skilled at creating and writing characters). Kaijumax is also a series that proves Zander Cannon’s love for the kaiju and tokusatsu genres as every character is either a kaiju or someone that can transform into a giant humanoid being in order to combat the kaiju (just like in the Ultraman franchise).

Zander Cannon’s artwork in Kaijumax has a typical cartoon-looking style to it, but it surprisingly works well even with the parts of the story that are very dark, intense, and gruesome. The characters and everything else are also illustrated perfectly.

If you are a huge fan of kaiju, tokusatsu, or both, and want to read a comic that brilliantly combines those two genres into a prison drama, Kaijumax Season One by Zander Cannon is the story for you.

I give Kaijumax Season One 4/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs Up.

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Ultraman The Manga Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

If you’re a fan of the long running Ultraman franchise that was created long ago by Eiji Tsuburaya (the special effects director that used to work for Toho before founding Tsuburaya Productions), then you will love the current manga series from Shogakukan and published in English by Viz Media that’s written by Eiichi Shimizu, and illustrated by Tomohiro Shimoguchi.

This Ultraman manga series is a direct sequel to the original Ultraman television show back in 1966 in which the main character from that show Shin Hayata, is more grown up, and has a son named Shinjiro Hayata. While him and his son are at a memorial museum, Shinjiro ends up accidentally falling down from a ledge, but somehow survives without any severe injuries. 12 years later, and while in his teen years, Shinjiro starts to become aware of his unnatural abilities and tries to live the best life he can with him. One night, a mysterious being wearing armor that calls itself Bemular (named after the very first Kaiju Ultraman fought in the show), attacks Shinjiro. Shin shows up revealing that he is Ultraman to his son for the very first time, has him sent to someplace safe, and starts fighting Bemular. The place that Shin had Shinjiro taken to be safe happens to be a facility that gives him a Ultraman-like armor, and it’s also revealed that the reason why he has abilities and most regular people don’t have is because he has what’s called the “Ultraman Factor”. Shinjiro decides to wear the armor, and continue the Ultraman legacy that began with his father.

I will not say how this volume ends because it would be a spoiler, and I don’t want to spoil the ending to this at all.

Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s Ultraman manga serves as a really good addition to the franchise for it is well-written, and well-drawn. It does however (like I said earlier) take place after the 1966 TV series. Meaning that you really need to watch the show before reading this in order to understand it.

While this Ultraman story does take away the idea of a giant alien being fighting Kaiju, the new concept that it has is a very unique take on Ultraman, and also works very well has a hybrid of Bio-Booster Armor Guyver, and Power Rangers.

The English translation by Joe Yamazaki and lettering by Evan Waldinger for this volume is very well-done and easy to read.

Ultraman The Manga by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi is a manga that I strongly recommend that Ultraman fans read, and the first volume is a very good start.

I give Ultraman The Manga Volume 1 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs Up.