Thursday, July 2, 2009
Dogs ~ Hardcore Twins
Hardcore Twins is a one shot that takes place in Miwa Shiro’s Dogs universe. It tells the tale of out of luck and ex mafia head Domino as he attempts to exact revenge on the person responsible for his fall from power. He encounter a strange pair of twins, Luki and Noki, and hilarity ensues as his luck keeps getting worse.
In a nut shell
What’s nice about Hardcore Twins as a one shot is that there aren’t a lot of inside references. This is great considering the fact that it is part of a larger universe that started with Dogs. Hence, it is an easy entry point for readers. If you like it, you can go back and read Dogs, which this one shot I believes follows pretty much directly after, and then go read Dogs ~ Bullets and Carnage. What is also great about Hardcore Twins, is that there are minor cameos abound of other Dogs characters as well as the few aforementioned references for fans of the universe already.
The character designs follow the trend already established in Dogs. I realize this probably doesn’t mean much because I haven’t reviewed Dogs yet. I’ll have to try and do and do this in order next. Domino literally looks the part of the down on his luck type of guy. His hair is disheveled, he is rocking the drunken salary man headband, and he just looks like he’s in disarray. Automatically, even if you read Dogs, you kind of want to sympathize with the guy. That is until you come across Luki and Noki. I am going to have to assume here that the two twins are girls. But, hey, you never know in manga. Moving on, the dresses Luki and Noki wear are pretty cute and it helps portray them as innocent. However, it also works with the various phases you see them portrayed as throughout Hardcore Twins. It makes them seem more comical when they are teasing Domino and makes them look demonic when they get serious. Also, the weird lazy dark eye they both have is a pretty distinguishing characteristic. I also really liked how they look exactly like two halves of one person. Even if it wasn’t original, it does work really well for the characters.
Hardcore Twins is drawn in a very high paced fashion. The use of dark shading for intense facial close-ups was well done. Hmm, I guess I can throw pacing in here to. Because Miwa Shiro uses a very dynamic panel layout, the pacing of the manga does go really at an appropriate pace for an action based manga. Because of this, there is little use for classic speed lines or movement sound effect. This is something I appreciate as it shakes up the norm a bit. Another interesting aspect is having somewhat overlapping panels, where weapons extend from one panel and don’t necessarily effect the next panel they appear in.
This is no disrespect to the scanlation group MangaTranslation. I happen to think more often then not they do a wonderful job translating and editing their projects. However, I have one miniscule gripe. I notice on a lot of pages have that bent page quality. For those of you who have read manga or scanned a page from a book before you know exactly what I am talking about. For those that don’t, let me explain. When you use a close top scanner, which most are, you usually have the problem that when you scan the page the image has an obvious curl to it from the spine of the book. For me, this is a little annoying and it could have been easily fixed by the cleaner. Some of you may find no problem with this. On the bright side, I really do appreciate MangaTranslation’s translation notes at the bottom of each page. They were usually helpful or just plain insightful
Overall, Hardcore Twins is really a fun read. Like I said, it is a great entry point into the Dogs universe if you want to get eased into the pace. I warn you that this is one of the less graphic things in the Dogs universe so do not let the lighthearted action fool you. I am going to give Dogs ~ Hardcore Twins a 4 out of 5.
Read Dogs ~ Hardcore Twins here at OneManga.
Review Posted by: Sage Gnosis