Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Smash Bomber Review

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Smash Bomber is a series that I had not heard about until about 10-20 minutes ago. I quickly checked out the 3 chapters and I have to say that I can see why it was canceled. The actual concept is great and this could have been the next toyetic elite, but the author made some interesting choices that just didn’t go over well. Add in the under average art and you don’t have the next Megaman NT Warrior. Well, let’s see how it went.

Keep in mind that there were only three chapters and the page count was less than 60 overall. So, this is about half as long as the average manga volume or even less than that. Well, it is the future and a new game has captured the hearts and minds of kids. It’s called Smash Bomber and the rules are almost identical to that of Beyblade’s. You have to essentially use your disc to hit the opponent’s discs out of the arena. It takes skill and tricks, but the big change is that you use your physical abilities to amp up your moves. Like jumping off of a sky scraper or something like that. Each fighters starts out with 5 discs so you have to think strategically about how you want to win.

The main character goes by the name of Binta. He wants to be the greatest Smash Bomber who ever lived. Unfortunately, his friend thinks that this is an unreasonable goal and so does everyone that he comes into contact with. I can understand since Binta is apparently not even that good, but it’s still sad for the kid. He duels Banji, the leader of the bullies at school and then they learn of an evil plot led by BJ. These guys are stealing people’s discs after they humiliate them in duels. Binta won’t stand for this and he quickly decides to team up with Banji’s group to put a stop to this. Will they be able too?

I do have to give the series credit for the fact that it actually manages to end things without a cliffhanger even though there were only three chapters to be found. That takes a lot of effort on the author’s part and he’s probably glad that he hadn’t started adding many characters in yet. Some of them certainly get the shaft thanks to the quick ending, but at least they got to show just how strong they could be. One panel fights can still be impressive…..right?

So, Binta seems to be a decent main character. Naturally, he is super generic though and I can’t say that I’m overly impressed with his skills. He gets a “hardcore” moment after his big training montage, but it’s hard to really feel like he earns one. He can’t have improved all that much in a few hours. I also think that he should have quickly walked away from the training at the first opportunity so that certainly did not help his case either. He’s not a bad main character, but he’s not exactly the next Kaz Gordan!

Banji is the Dex of the series. He’s a bully who quickly turns out to be a nice guy after chapter 1. He’s supposed to be very tough, but he lost to Binta in chapter one so consider me unimpressed. I definitely don’t care for him and he almost put a whole building out of business just so that he could train some more. He has an emotional moment during his duel that is supposed to win you over. Let’s just say that it didn’t really work.

BJ is the main villain of the series and he’s mean to the bone. He wants to duel with the highest possible stakes, but the problem is that the stakes are actually pretty small during the duel. Nevertheless, he decides that he will take his own life if he loses the duel. This causes some tension with the main character. After all…can Binta really try to win this duel if he knows that it will be all over for BJ? BJ’s design is pretty cool and he’s a tough villain. He’s very one dimensional, but you can only do so much in three chapters right? He’s definitely the best character in the series so I’ll give him some props there.

Chie is the main heroine and she’s certainly not passionate about Smash Bomber. She wants Binta to give up on the “silly sport” so that he can become a real person like the others. She must not have heard that everyone in the world loves Smash Bomber, but that’s just the way that it goes I suppose. At least the author finally decided that having everyone’s name start with a b would get old after a while so he went for the next letter. She has her big friendship moment during the last chapter, but she still felt a little overly hostile towards Binta. He has discs to save after all!

The art is pretty sketchy here I’m afraid. It’s very rough around the edges and even the Beyblade manga started out on a higher level in this category. The actual designs are good, but it’s almost impossible to see what is happening. I only grasped the rules once the third chapter had started and even then I have a feeling that there is more than meets the eye. The way that they hit the discs just seems strange. I think the characters throw the disc at the other discs or maybe they just make contact with their staff or body. It’s very interesting and the series definitely could have gone more in depth with it. Binta gets mad at BJ for putting all of his pieces together, but why should he be. It’s like camping or projectile spamming…they’re totally legitimate….

Now, why is this series a 5 instead of a 7? The main reason is the second chapter. To improve their skills, the heroes head to a local bathing house and learn that training requires serious business. They mean that literally btw. Basically, each character poops and then they place the stack right in front of themselves. The others have to throw their discs at the other person’s disc, but if they aim too low they will hit the poop and if they aim to high….that could be painful. Naturally, all of the kids aim too low for shenanigans to ensue until the main character steps in. That being said, it’s still incredibly wince worthy and you will never want to read the chapter again. I’m sure that the series was canceled at this point because that chapter was just sad.

Overall, Smash Bombers is a series that could have certainly been better. Toyetic shows should always be nothing less than amazing and if you aren’t an instant 7 to an 8 then you must have done something wrong. Having an entire chapter dedicated to the main characters using their droppings to train was really uncalled for. That guaranteed that a 5 was the best that it could do and even a 4 was in question for a minute there. *shudder* If you ignore that chapter, then the rest is decently good and you should probably check it out since it’s a very quick read.It does have some neat action scenes and the ending does manage to make things very dangerous very quickly. Also, how many people can brag that they’ve read a 3 chapter manga before right?

Overall 5/10

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