He’s positively burning
Once, in a land far far away…
A road is seen. A road, that only comes out once every few days, for the tides will recede and Heaven’s Road will open.
This road leads to…
…Abatraz, a maximum-security detention prison centre (don’t worry, you’ll get to Heaven soon enough after you go there).
Prisoner Number 0776 tries to escape from the prison’s stereotypically fat, greedy, pyromaniacal female warden, Ruby Ruby Deluxe, but gets electrocuted by his collar, and burnt by the warden’s ‘Rare Item’ shortly afterwards – much to the chagrin of newly arrived Prisoners Number 0774 and 0777.
That’s some horrible teeth, though the Japanese must love it (cough cough yaeba)
It’s a pretty strict place; if you spit gum on the ground, you get sent to the Detention Room; if you spit don’t eat your meal in under eight minutes, you get sent to the Detention Room; if you stay in the bathroom for more than a minute, you get sent to the Detention Room; if you kill the warden, you get sent to the Detention Room, and so on. It’s pretty ridiculous. Who cares if the warden dies? Gosh.
Prisoner Number 0777 is our main character. Gaia is a pretty charismatic fellow, with the two kanji (based on my understanding of Chinese), ‘moon’ and ‘step/walk’ tattooed onto his left cheek. He gets out of his handcuffs and collar with relative ease. No, to say relative ease is undermining his abilities. He gets out of handcuffs and collars Houdini would have trouble with.
Prisoner Number 0774 is Roy, an infiltrating investigator for the 1st Police Division. Gaia somehow gets his secret communication system (disguised as a nail), and the warden sentences him to the Detention Room.
It’s called the Barbie (Q)
However, the Detention Room isn’t filled with rats waiting to bite off your face, nor do you have any chance to survive make your time. It’s an underwater scuba diving trip to a sunken treasure ship near the prison. Everyone dies after finding treasure, for the prison’s secret is still eschewed from the government.
Gaia survives, even after his oxygen tube breaks. He carries along a gold coin as evidence of the prison’s misdoing.
He rises from the dead!
He takes Roy’s collar off – it’s a ‘Hac 5 to B’, whose meaning is ‘Act stupid, then you can go to sleep.’
A very nice meaning indeed, but Gaia’s knowledge of said collar extends to tremendous proportions, revealing that it was used for Dog Training 13 years ago, created by ‘Moon Walker Ltd.’
Swinging the collar at the gate system, they escape their cells and make a run to freedom.
He used to have 1000, but it’s hard to dodge flamethrowers
An outside contact informs Gaia that the tide will recede in around six hours, and he uses the time to make a makeshift pistol, just in time for when the guards arrive.
Knowing that one pistol just won’t work, he takes off his own collar and electrocutes a bunch of the guards with it. Roy then shoots the water pipe, adding more water to be energized (and more bodies to be disposed of).
Another two hours till the water recedes. To pass the time GODDAMMIT TIME WHY NONE HAVE WHY I TIME, Roy tells a story of how he became a policeman because his father was the number one sniper in the force. One day, while chasing a murderer, he only shot at the murderer, so the murderer used the last of his energy to jump off a building with a hostage – thus why he shot at the water pipe, and not at any person.
Gaia reveals his own story, that he’s the person who invented the collar in the first place.
The time is WASTED THESE FOOLS WHEN I HAVE NO TIME WHY DON’T THEY LOAN THE TIME TO ME, the tide recedes, and the men swim to shore – just as Rudy’s giant torpedo ship boat overpowered machine giant boat plane car aircraft carrier submarine tanker destroyer ship decides to grow, torpedo, ship, boat, overpower, mechanize, grow, boat, plan, cart, air craft, carry, submerge, tank, destroy, and ship the small, not torpedo, not ship, not boat, underpowered, humanoid, tiny, NOT BOAT, NOT PLANE, DEFINITELY NOT A CAR AIRCRAFT CARRIER WHAT NO merged (not submerged), footsoldierlike, create, NOT SHIP DIDN’T I SAY THAT ALREADY two men in front of them.
Gaia is revealed to be Gaia Moonwalker, one of the designers of Albatraz and a genius-level inventor of weapons.
Ruby’s flamethrower ‘rare item’ was produced in the Year 618 – the BF70-ATCF, which means “Camp Fire Starter with 70 Rounds” – produced by, of course, Moon Walker Ltd. – of which Gaia Moonwalker is the chairman of. Gaia wraps the flamethrower tube thing around the ship’s propeller, and attaches it to his handcuffs.
Suddenly, his arm falls off, Ruby’s flamethrower tube breaks, oil leak, catch on fire, everyone dies.
…But Roy and Gaia. The story continues on, with Roy still Governmenting for the Inspection, and Gaia floating around on his giant moon-walking blimp thing over weird totem poles in the middle of the desert.
HUH WHAT yeah.
The author of this particular one shot is Konomi Takeshi, the same author of the Prince of Tennis – obviously, a sports manga. I haven’t read it, but sports definitely =/= science action. Thusly:
The plot’s weak. Way too weak. It’s far too action-like; obviously, Mr. Konomi is stretching the realms of action way beyond attainable limits. The plot writes like an amateur with quixotically high prospects, an obvious trademark of noobish action writers.
For one, the pacing’s too fast. Everything just… happens. The infiltration attempts are too surreal – infiltration mission shouldn’t be carried with such haste. With enough forethought, accruing damnable evidence and presenting it to the police for an arrest warrant on the prison would not only be much more realistic, but also much safer – both in physical health and with regards to secrecy.
If the setting were stretched back a couple months, or even weeks, the eventual escape would be no less (to an extent) exciting, and it would make the pacing seem decently alright.
You can tell that Konomi obviously wasn’t writing this as a Oneshot, but rather as a Pilot. Maybe he’s already slated for serialization? We’ll know soon enough, because SWOT’s plot will be wrapped up :P
Nevertheless, from his previous expertise (I think because of PoT, he’s now one of the richest entertainers in Japan), the art is impeccably drawn with considerable attention to detail.
(besides that really creepy ship)
I’m almost completely certain Konomi didn’t mean to explore into the philosophical concepts of justified weaponry usage, and was merely justifying this ridiculously fast-paced manga with a few shallow bits of philosophy to tatter around. The whole shpeal about Roy’s father didn’t concern the plot in the slightest.
Nevertheless, this little bit does give us something to reflect about, in lieu of humanity’s woeful ways. Or rather, to stress said indecencies.
The inventor’s weapon turns against himself. A modern, or rather, futuristic Frankenstein cliché.
An interesting question comes up – are creators allowed to stop their own creations? Is the inventor of say, space travel, allowed to stop space travel altogether? Is the artist of a piece of art allowed to take all copies of the art down?
Not allowed as in legally, or even socially, but philosophically. Should they be allowed? Does the inventor determine the invention? Or does the invention, determine the inventor?
One major lesson that we must have learned from this though, is that carrying bird crap around with you is always a good thing.
Overall Rating: 5/10 (Great)