Manga girls with powers are not something new. In fact, there is an entire genre with some great ones and some not so great ones. Austrailian manga fan Andrew Archer decided to create an original English language manga of his own with the help of artist NICE called “The Tokyo 5.” While the enthusiasm is there, the first volume in this series is weak.
A mega-corporation called the “Tomo Corporation” has been doing some seedy things, especially with humans. Specifically, creating five girls who have psychic powers. Now, one of them is fighting for this corporation and four of them are fighting against them alongside a rebel group.
The biggest problem with this comic is that it lacks focus on who we should be focusing on. It constantly goes back and forth between three different scenarios with little time to develop any character. The only real characters we do have any information on are Furi and Yama.
The most interesting character is Furi and she’s the villain. She has this fun sadistic side of her that makes people love her. She has all the best lines, the best scenes and best development. The entire prologue is dedicated to her. The comic is the most enjoyable when she is on screen.
Everyone else is just boring. Yama spends the entire first volume having an identity crisis and the others are sprawled all over fighting. Good luck remembering who they are because very little time is spent on developing them. Then there are the rebels. They’re the typical rebels with little character and just swearing and killing. What’s worse, the majority of the volume is focused on them and not the five girls. For a story that’s called “Tokyo 5” that’s supposed to be about these five girls, three just seem like minor characters.
The plot is fine and everything, it’s just that way too much exposition is dumped in just three chapters and the plot is way too complicated and it’s only the first volume. The writing is also not that strong. There are times when the writing is strong, and then there are times when the comic gets way too preachy. These instances cause the pace of the comic to come to a screeching halt.
The art is fine. Nothing particular stands out about it. There are some panels that seem to be unneeded and NICE could have combined them to make it flow better. Then there some awkward ones like one where Yama is injured and she has to sit on a chair. What’s supposed to look like someone in pain trying to sit it looks more like someone trying to take a dump.
“The Tokyo 5” has an interesting idea, but weak writing, character development and lack of focus bogs down the experience. The comic may improve over time, but for now, it’s something that needs work in order to be entertaining.