Creator: Makoto Tateno
Publisher: DC/CMX
Age Rating: Teen
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
RRP: $9.99
King of Cards v1
Reviewed by Dan Polley

“Chaos” is a trading card game that is very popular at Manami Minami’s school. Trying to learn more about it herself, she purchases a beginner’s set, only to discover that it contains “Sahgan, The Mighty Sorcerer,” the rarest card in the game. Now every other player is out to win the card from her. But Sahgan himself begins to visit Manami in her dreams, offering her advice on how to win.

“King of Cards” by Makoto Tateno is another entry into the long line of game-based manga such as “Yu-Gi-Oh!” And at the beginning, there seems to be a lot of promise for it. The main character is Manami Minami, who respects her cousin, who introduces her to “Chaos.”

Minami is put into rather clichéd situations in which rivals try to challenge her to win “Sahgan” as the reward for victory. And the path Minami takes in her challenges is pretty interesting, but overdone.

And with that, the book feels stiff, rigidly conforming to acceptable, repeated plot points that make the book feel as though it’s been published in other incarnations. It calls for a change in the plot, something to breathe more life into it. And that’s exactly what the book gets.

Except it doesn’t.

The plot twist delivered to the volume is so jarring, so unexpected that it makes the book feel disjointed. After reading it, it feels as if there are two completely different stories that are being told and they don’t feel connected in any way, except for the characters in them.

The twist is so sudden and hard to accept that the volume would have received a higher grade — a C+ — if it weren’t in the volume. If characterization and continuity weren’t necessary, the reader could easily skip over the third story in the volume.

The one redeeming quality of the twist is that it does breathe some life into the story. And earlier in the volume, the way “Chaos” and “Sahgan” interact with the challenges is imaginative and fun.

However, there’s just too much going on for this volume. An unexpected plot twist turns this into something that is just too jarring.

12 October 2007
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