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Junction 17 Color Pocket Manga [Paperback]

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Item description for Junction 17 Color Pocket Manga by David Hutchison...

Black Wave. The Alpha and Omega of Interactive Gaming. In the near future, in the secretive hyper reality of the on-line world, not playing means not existing. There are a select few who rule over this electronic dominion. And they are under attack. The "Ghost" is unlike anything these players have seen before, unknown and unseen-they do not even know if it is player or program. It has taken the game to the next level. The only thing they know for sure is people are playing. And dying.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5" Height: 7.25"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 10, 2004
Publisher   Antarctic Press
ISBN  1932453504  
ISBN13  9781932453508  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Hutchison

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Hutchison is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Glasgow Caledonian University; for a number of years he was a member of the BBC General Advisory Council and of the Scottish Film Council.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Manga > Fantasy
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Manga > General
3Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > General
4Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > Fantasy
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
6Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Junction 17 Color Pocket Manga?

Great art with a wretched, incomprehensible story  Oct 29, 2006
The back cover of Junction 17 announces that it is "A good cross between The Matrix and Dark City." Well, boys and girls, Junction 17 is a wonderful example of why you shouldn't cross The Matrix and Dark City. The art is great, but the story is muddled and strange, and the characters are cardboard cutouts (plus they seem not to know their own names). I'm not really even sure why I bothered to finish it.

Junction 17 is about a virtual reality game called Black Wave. I'm not really sure what kind of game it is (it's never explained), but I think it's some kind of battle game. Anyway, someone (or something) begins killing off players. This person/thing calls itself the "Ghost" (yes, that is really how the author uses the quotation marks) and begins targeting the top players. This synopsis is just what it tells you in the first 5 pages. Make sense? If not, you're sunk. This is the total amount of explanation in the book.

Perhaps you think that I simply skimmed the volume and missed out on the subtleties. Nope. I read the book all the way through, and it still didn't make sense. Let me show you a few of the things that had me confused.

On page 22 (there are no page numbers, so I had to count the pages) there are two girls talking. Actually, they are about to start fighting each other. There is a girl with yellow hair (I'll call her Yellow) and a girl with purple hair (I'll call her Purple). According to the profiles at the beginning of the book, Purple is named Nisa Otaka. However, Yellow calls her Kara. Now, either Yellow is crazy, confused, or for some reason has decided to call Purple by the wrong name. Purple/Nisa responds to the name "Kara" (instead of saying, "Hey, Lady, that's not my name. My name is Nisa."). Then on page 27, the "Ghost" shows up and chops Yellow's head off (in an incredibly graphic matter, I may add). However, Purple calls Yellow "Nisa". Um, wait a minute. You mean the profiles at the beginning of the book gave me the wrong name? No, no, that would be too simple of a mistake. Later in the book, some other kids refer to Purple (who has magically sprouted glasses and a gun) as Nisa. Then Purple/Kara/Nisa says she's Gungirl-One now (I presume that's her name in the game). Say what? Wasn't Yellow Nisa, and didn't she die? Usually when people get their heads chopped off, they die. Obviously, Purple was lending Yellow her name for the beginning part, and then after Yellow died, she took her name back, even though she was using her game character's name so she didn't really need her name back anyway. Well, now that you've explained it that way, it makes PERFECT sense.

There's also the fact that while people are playing the game they can somehow interact with people in the real world. At least, I think they can, because none of the technology in the book is explained. All I know is that people who are in the game are somehow able to talk to people in the outside world (as well as attack them) but then they also seem to be see-through in some frames and solid in others. To make matters even more confusing, sometimes people in the real world can see the players, and sometimes they can't. Hmm, that doesn't make much sense.

There are also the see-through speech bubbles. For some reason, some of the speech bubbles are see-through, which makes them not only really hard to read (there are sometimes black letters on a grayish background) but also really confusing. What are these see-through speech bubbles? Do they signify whispering, or did the artist just feel like making the page layout look different?

According to the back of the manga, this is the Creator's Cut. What does that mean? Could that be why none of the book makes sense? Was there an original release that wasn't the Creator's Cut?

There's also the rating. The manga is rated T (Teen) for ages 13+. While I have absolutely nothing against blood, the story frankly has too much blood in it to be rated T. In the course of the story there are several disturbing images of people who have been shot, strangled, had their heads bashed in, etc.; a guy who randomly explodes in midair (and believe me, it doesn't leave anything to the imagination); a panel showing the after effects of exploding in midair guy; a girl who gets her head chopped off (Let's get as close as possible for the maximum gross out effect!) then stabbed with a sword and stuck in the reader's face; a girl who gets her entire body stretched and pulled apart by a computer virus; and a scene where a girl starts bleeding out of her eye sockets and mouth. In my opinion, the publisher should have upped the rating to T+ or OT (16+ or 17+).

A note to fashion conscious cosplayers: On the back of the cover is a picture of Kim Nihei wearing a stomach-baring long-sleeved shirt (which by itself is very strange), gloves, a ski cap, a pair of blue pants with holes in them (although you can barely call them pants because they have more holes than cloth), and a pink thong. Please do not try this at home, as it may result in ridicule from everyone you have ever known.

The art is amazing, but the story is incomprehensible. So, if you're looking for a good manga (or one that makes even a modicum of sense), please flee screaming in the opposite direction of Junction 17.
Set in the near future, "Junction 17" concerns a popular new online game called Black Wave where players take on alter egos to battle each other in a stark, virtual reality world. But while it's just an obsessive game for most there is another player who has much darker designs. A character calling himself the "Ghost" is killing players not only in the game but in reality itself, trapping them inside the game so they can't get away. The game's top players including Nisa Otaka, Kim Nehei, Sarah Dawson and buddies John & Wilson all find themselves as targets by the sinister Ghost. Like many online gamers, the players in Black Wave take on the roles of characters that are polar opposites of their own personalities. This futuristic world allows players to have modems implanted into their bodies, allowing them to log-in from anywhere. The ghost has managed to incorporate a virus into the game that he uses to attack other players with and giving his grim reaper-like alter ego great power in the game. These five players, along with Thomas & Bruce, two investigators in the cyber crimes unit, find themselves having to work together to stop the Ghost who can summon up legions of player characters to fight for him as mindless automations.

"Junction 17" blends a cyber punk, Matrix-like plot with a lush, full color Manga look to create an exciting page turner. While the story may not be terribly original, Creator/Artist David Hutchinson puts his own unique spin on the world of popular, online and interactive gaming, possibly foreshadowing a rather dark future for the hobby. His art is first rate and the colors are fantastic and lend a whole new dynamic to the story. Fantastic cover as well! The book also includes a sketch gallery. Solid dark sci-fi Manga!

Reviewed by Tim Janson

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