Mardock Scramble 1

Tow Ubukata, Adria Cheng, and Yoshitoki Aima. Kodansha, $10.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-93-542953-1
In the aftermath of her near death at the hands of corrupt businessman Shell Septinos, underage prostitute Balot is rescued, repaired, and enhanced by Doctor Easter, who proposes to use her in his investigation of Shell and the interests Shell works for. A victim her whole life, unsure and diffident, Balot takes time to come to grips with her new abilities and with the task ahead of her; whether she will succeed remains to be seen, as her survival has made her a target for Boiled, a cyborg as enhanced and more deadly than the innocent Balot. Cheng’s adaptation of Tow’s lengthy novel has streamlined the original work considerably; the moral shades of gray in Tow’s version are sharply bordered black and white here. As well, the grotesque violence in the original appears to have been toned down considerably in Aima’s art while the unsavory elements of Balot’s past are acknowledged but not dwelt upon. The result is a leaner work; the reader is confronted by fewer problematic images at the cost of a manga less challenging than the original novel. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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