It’s been a while since I saw the film so it’s near to quickly relive the adventures over in manga format. The series was only 2 volumes so it makes for a quick read. It’s a fairly straight adaption of the film so it’s a good way of rewatching the film if you want to accomplish the task in about 30-40 minutes instead of the film’s run-time. Alternately, you could also do it for the action scenes since they’re a little better in the manga.
Hiro was having a good ole time showing off his science skills at a new school while his brother showed him around. He didn’t have many friends, but that never bothered Hiro. Unfortunately, everything changed when his brother was murdered and his invention was stolen by a mysterious villain. Hiro realized that the only thing he could do now was use his brother’s invention to beat the new villain black and blue. The problem is that the invention is a Marshmallow looking robot that has no real combat experience. Time to see if his big brain is just for show or not!
So, it’s partially a revenge story, but along the way Hiro realizes that he has to beat the villain by the book. His brother’s friends decide to help Hiro out and in exchange they receive power suits, which simulate powers. The friends can definitely hold Hiro back at times, but it’s always useful to have some backup for the big battles. One of the kids can roller skate, another one has a monster suit, etc. Some abilities are more useful than others of course, but Hiro can’t make everything appear to be super brilliant.
Fred’s the one with the monster suit and he’s always joking around. Turns out that the guy is rich, which is certainly useful and he’s the comedy of the series. None of his jokes are remotely funny, but he’s a good character and you need someone to mess with the team dynamic at times. GoGo is the roller skates girl and probably the only member who’s always ready for a fight. She does a good job of fighting back against the mysterious villain, but there’s only so much you can do with hockey pucks and roller skates.
Honey Lemon’s the most bland character of the bunch and as a result, she doesn’t really get any powers. She had something to do with bubbles or lights I believe, but her ability was not impressive. Wasabi easily had the best powers even if he didn’t use them to their fullest extent. He had Ice blades, which could really deal some massive damage if they could ever hit. Don’t underestimate good tech, but the problem is that the villain had the best tech.
The villain went by the name of Yokai although I never remember anyone actually calling him that. Using the nanobots at his disposal, he can essentially do just about anything. They can lift, move things, transport him around at high speeds, etc. He essentially had the upper hand against the heroes a lot of the time and whenever the heroes would come close to defeating him, they’d stop Hiro and remind him that they’re supposed to be heroes and must play by the books. Yokai gets a sob story as you might have expected. It’s a touching story I suppose, but it doesn’t really excuse the fact that he went about obtaining his goal in a very iffy way. Let’s face it, Hiro and Tadashi (Hiro’s brother) would have been glad to have helped him.
Sadly, the after credits scene of the film isn’t in the manga version, but that’s okay. It’s harder to do a twist ending in a manga although it would certainly have been awesome if it was included. The ending is rather complete and the mission of saving Tadashi can be considered as enough of a cliff hanger. I think another 2-4 volumes would have helped the series pacing wise though. It would have given the team more time to train, fight other villains to gain experience, and then they could have tackled the final boss. As it stands, the manga moves at a very high speed and that’s a good thing, but it also means that the adventure is over that much sooner. There’s not a whole lot of time to get to know the characters.
For example, Hiro’s a main character, but there’s not a lot of time to get to know him. He comes across as a little generic, which could have been eliminated had the series been longer. Still, he’s a good hero and someone that you can root for. I’m not a fan of Baymax though. I don’t find him charismatic or likable and I was just never able to get into the character. I would have preferred the comic design or a more aggressive personality. His A.I. is just a little too limited and the personality doesn’t match the character design. He can fight a little, but typically only as a last resort and by then the odds are stacked against him. He puts the heroes in a tough spot a few times.
The art’s a little cluttered during the fight scenes, but pretty good otherwise. In a sense, it has that “adaption” feel to it so you can tell that it’s not an original story. Most manga series have that effect like Kingdom Hearts or the Pokemon movie adventures. It’s probably intentional or perhaps the artists are trying really hard to emulate the movie’s style, which is how that happens. Either way, the art is fairly good and I was glad that the manga tried to stretch out the fights as much as possible. More action is always a good way to pad the volumes.
Overall, Big Hero 6 is a fun manga. It’s not very deep so don’t expect much more from it than a quick action adventure, but that’s all it needs. You know what you’re getting into from the get go and there’s not a whole lot that you can do in 2 short volumes. There are no really bad characters and no really big negatives. It’s a lack of positives versus having negatives that limits it from a higher score, but a solid seven is the end goal that should always be desired as a minimum. Getting lower than a 7 is what’s a cause for worry. This score is certainly a lot higher than my next few manga reviews so…prepare yourself!