cover image Sayuki Reload Volume 1

Sayuki Reload Volume 1

Kazuya Minekura, . . Tokyopop, $9.99 (200pp) ISBN 978-1-59816-025-3

A four musketeers tale in which some of the heroes are human and some are a bit more, this manga follows a band of handsome, dashing young adventurers as they travel the land fighting the demonic youkai, who look almost human, aside from pointy ears and bat wings. There's a lot of backstory to this saga, but the protagonists are likable enough to make it enjoyable for newcomers. The leader of the band is Sanzo, a human priest with deadly fighting skill and sullen good looks. Son Goku, a much more cheerful kid, is actually the Monkey King; a long imprisonment in which he never aged explains why he looks and acts like an 18-year-old. Ladies' man Gojyo is actually a youkai himself, but that doesn't stop him from being one of the good guys. And Hakkai is a human who wears a monocle and drives the Jeep. This installment of their adventures has the boys saving a cute girl from a youkai attack and, after fleeing a mob of grateful villagers, stumbling upon an encampment of youkai children. With a winning combination of charming heroes, clever dialogue, great fight scenes and engaging stories, Reload is solid entertainment all the way. (Sept.)