Manga-ka: Kazuya Minekura
Rating: Mature (18+)
Released: June 2008
Synopsis: “Pursued by rival yakuza factions and linked to the mysterious and dangerous drug, ‘Wild Adapter’, Kubota and Tokito have formed a relationship where they trust no one but each other. How did the strange bond between a young man who cares nothing but himself and a stray with a monstrous right hand come to pass? Finally the year between volumes one and two is revealed and we learn what happened after Kubota picked up his little “stray cat” off the street.”
It’s the volume we’ve been waiting for as the gap between where books one to four occur and the fateful first meeting of Kubota and Tokito is finally filled in. After finding the unconscious Tokito in an alleyway, Kubota takes him home and soon discovers that the boy has no memories and is clearly connected to the WA drug that’s been plaguing the streets.
As if finally reading about the two meeting wasn’t interesting enough, Kazuya Minekura decides to tell the story through the eyes (and journal) of Kubota’s next door neighbour, a young boy named Shouta Iizuka. Not only did it allow readers a fresh, and unbiased, look at the situation (as opposed to hearing from say, Kubota or Tokito’s perspective), but it was nice learning new things about the main characters through the eyes of someone who’s learning it right alongside us. Mix that with the interwoven personal issues of this endearing kid, and you’ve got yourself a very riveting read. This perspective is used for most of the book, though occasionally it moves back to the usual third person perspective view to allow for readers to garner information that Shouta couldn’t be present for.
Kazuya Minekura’s artwork continues to be stunning, especially for this story. After five volumes, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that in none of their series does the stylized images work any better than here in Wild Adapter. The character’s expressions, the black empty space surrounding the panels and the sleek backgrounds all work together to give each page a very specific tone and it sets the mood for the entire series.
Wild Adapter was worth the wait and though many questions remain to be answered, it’s a treat to see just a little further into the minds of these enigmas. With great art and a really suiting storytelling perspective choice, Wild Adapter volume five is a fantastic read and volume six will be welcomed with very open hands.