PANG Ho-Cheung

PANG Ho-Cheung
With Hong Kong director PANG Ho-cheung after interviewing him in 2012

Saturday, December 17, 2011

ACF 1281: Holiday book suggestions - TENJO TENGE 2-in-1 volumes

Maya Natsume and Soichiro Nagi grace the cover of the first 2-in-1 volume.

Here's a holiday book suggestion for manga lovers, specifically those who like their manga full of gorgeous young women and terrific fight scenes. VIZ Media has been re-issuing Tenjo Tenge in new "Full Contact Edition 2-in-1" volumes every two months since last June. The fourth volume comes out this Tuesday, December 20th.

Maya and Takayanagi

The prime characters are members of the Juken Club at Todo Academy, a high school The club is led by Maya Natsume, a third year student and master of the Natsume Goshinryu style. Most of the time she looks like a little girl, but this is just a form she uses to conserve her ki. When she transforms back to her true self, she's "a stacked chick dressed like a hooker," as one student describes her. She has lovely ash blonde hair.

Soichiro Nagi

The senior male member of the Juken Club is Takayanagi, who is way tougher than he looks. When he first sees her, Takayanagi immediately falls for Maya's younger sister Aya, a first year student with dark hair. She is said to possess The Dragon Eyes, which enable her "to perceive things for what they truly are and even to see far into the past of future."

Aya Natsume

Unfortunately for Takayanagi, Aya is drawn to Soichiro Nagi, a new first year transfer student.  His friend is Bob Makihara, a black foreigner and also a new transfer student. Bob's girlfriend is Chiaki, who's not above attempting a girl-on-girl encounter, at least when it comes to the lovely Aya.

Chiaki puts the move on Aya

The Juken Club is opposed by The Executive Council, a sinister group of students who want to put the club out of existence and will go employ extreme violence to do so. One of the main threads of the story is how this hatred came about and how it will ultimately play out. Along the way there are plenty of beatings and bruises. That's probably why the volumes are divided into fights, not chapters.

The cover of the second 2-in-1 volume of Tenjo Tenge

The story and art of Tenjo Tenge are by Oh!great. He's terrific at creating distinctive individual characters, especially the females, and portraying the exciting fights. Each 2-in-1volume is divided into parts 1 and 2. At the end of each part are a few pages of Oh!great bonus manga in which the author talks directly to the reader. At the end of Volume 1 Part 1, he describes his obsession with Tekken 3. It was a pre-release demo of Tekken 2 that got me to buy the first PlayStation game system, and I've remained a staunch fan of the series since. So, while I was won over by Tenj Tenge before I'd read all that many pages,  reading this bonus section produced an even stronger affinity with the author.

The first and second Full Contact Edition 2-in1 volumes (the ones I've seen so far) carry an M.S.R.P. of $17.99 and include16 pages of glorious full-color artwork. I assume that this holds true for the volumes that follow.

Because of it's explicit content, Tenjo Tenge is rated for "Mature" readers. I've fallen in love with the series and highly recommend it if hot babes and cool fight scenes appeal to you at all.
 Note: All TENJHO TENGE images are © by Oh!great/SHUEISHA Inc.

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