The aptly named Crisis City is protected from all manner of evil by The Undertaker: Grave Digger Kaede! This intimidating moniker belongs to an adorable little girl with a ton of power. Kaede is one of several children, dubbed the Crisis Girls, born with cursed blood that gives them superpowers. The authorities, realizing that these supergirls could turn into supervillains, assigned them guardians to raise them as protectors of the common good.
Kaede, the youngest of the Crisis Girls, is being reared by Okabe Makoto, a man wrapped in mummy bandages sporting a Hannibal Lecter-type face mask. The kindly Makoto tries to teach Kaede rational decision making and the difference between right and wrong, but Kaede has slightly off-kilter priorities. Her powers include slicing giant evil penguins in half with her shovel and raising the dead. She commands legions of the walking dead and loves them like her family.
Crisis Girls has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Each chapter stands on its own, but there are hints at larger plot arcs developing, especially with the introduction of Toucha, Kaede’s arch-rival and fellow Crisis Girl. Everything in the book is adorable, especially the ridiculous villains such as the Chihuahua Etenowaru, member of the Anti-Human Terror League, and a kindly little witch girl who can’t bring herself to be evil despite the machinations of her demon familiar. The book is a fun spin on traditional superheroes, reminiscent of a graphically violent Power Puff Girls.
Yoshikawa’s art deftly balances action with slapstick and generous amounts of cute. The character designs are winning, with Kaede’s uber-cuteness undercut by sharp teeth and weird mannerisms that keep her from being completely saccharine. The only objectionable moments are two panty shots of Kaede, which make an otherwise enjoyable book uncomfortable considering Kaede is clearly a child. But the book still has a ton of fun to offer. Recommended.
Publisher: Seven Seas
Story and Art: Hiroaki Yoshikawa