Kujibiki Unbalance, Volume 1

Kio Shimoku, Author, Koume Keito, Illustrator, North Market Street Graphics, Illustrator . Del Rey $10.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-345-50628-3

Originally, Kujibiki Unbalance was an imaginary manga and anime series enjoyed by the characters of Genshiken , a popular series about otaku (geek) culture and its fans. Genshiken was written and drawn by Shimoku, who provides the story here for Koume. Because of its origin, Kujibiki Unbalance was meant to be stereotypical, so it comprises clichés. “Kujibiki” means lottery, and the setting is a high school where everything is decided by random draw. The lead is a regular guy, his best friend is a cute girl, and their antagonist is a mean genius with cat ears and a love of explosions. There's a ruling school elite to order them around, upskirt panty shots, a destructive giant robot, a little girl with superpowers, flashbacks to childhood friends, a harem gathered around the lead and, surprisingly, the occasional profanity. The characters appear very young, yet there's plenty of emphasis on the body parts of the girls in very short skirts. For fans of the original Genshiken , there's a self-congratulatory three-page bonus at the end in which the characters read this volume. (July)

Reviewed on: 07/07/2008
Release date: 07/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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