Manga-ka: Ryo Saenagi
Rating: Teen (13+)
Released: February 2008
Synopsis: “It’s back to the amusement park for Shima and his supermodel pal, Kaori. They’ve been invited to test out a new attraction: a mystery-maze game. The dynamic duo is joined by old rivals Mai and APP, but along with them is a snooping reporter who wants to get the goods on Kaori. When Kaori collapses during the game, who will learn the secret of his other personality?”
It’s more of the same in volume 6 and unfortunately it’s finally reaching the state of getting a little old. A game put in place by Kaori’s sister creates the perfect opportunity for characters to engage in mystery solving, Indiana Jones type treasure hunting without the need for any sustaining plot behind it. The volume survives on some littered character drama that pokes at past events and expanded cast interaction. The book is more for the characters than the readers, giving people like APP (a rival of the main character) a chance to get caught up with certain facts instead of offering readers much new stuff to chew on.
The back of the book already ruins one of the few surprises this book delivers with the appearance of the snooping reporter and all other surprises and guest appearances lack of really sense of excitement. Sure is that guy, who cares? The last story in the book shapes up at first to be a nice little family-drama mystery, starring a spunky, mischievous little boy, but the ending is so tidy and bow-tied, it loses any sense of realism.
The artwork, for the most part, is consistent with previous volumes and Ryo Saenagi doesn’t stray from her usual style. One thing that does stand out however is the sudden exaggerated proportions, on legs in particular. While the in-action scenes aren’t too bad, any panel-overlapping images that show off full-body views have legs that are so long, it would take a contortionist just to reach their own toes. While some styles (such as CLAMP’s XXXHolic) manages to use these kinds of body shapes with a level of consistency, in this volume of Satisfaction Guaranteed, they seem completely out of the place, with the rest of their bodies not being the correct size in comparison. It also makes it really hard to accept Shima being ‘the short one’ when here he’s got limbs more stretched out than a Barbie-doll.
Readers who really enjoyed the previous 5 volumes of Satisfaction Guaranteed will probably still find something here to entertain them but the same formula just isn’t holding up this many issues in. With the next book looking to dredge up old events and provide some new information on them, volume 6 is really just a bridge between the two volumes and doesn’t do much to stand out.