Otaku USA Magazine
Kirby Manga Mania Has Nintendo’s Pink Puffball Goin’ Buckwild

kirby manga maniaThere might not be anything better than Nintendo comics. Whether we’re talking about the old Valiant floppies or the recently released localization of the Super Mario-kun manga, you never know what you’re going to get when Nintendo’s world-famous roster of characters hits the page. This definitely applies to Kirby Manga Mania, a fitting title for the first volume of a very fun and ridiculous gag manga series by Hirokazu Hikawa.

The first chapter sets the tone nicely, as King Dedede wants nothing more than to have his picnic party go off without a hitch and with no Kirby to ruin it. That last part is crucial, because that’s exactly what happens almost immediately. Kirby doesn’t just hop on down and gobble up all the food, though. He gets drunk—”loopy” in this kid-friendly localization—trashes the place, gives some inebriated life advice to Dedede, and belts out karaoke so bad you can practically hear it screaming from the page.

Things don’t get any easier for Dedede from there. Another chapter finds the rough-and-tumble ruler trying to secure his castle against the threat of an impending typhoon. When Kirby offers to help, however, it turns out that everyone’s favorite pink puff is way more of a liability than any force of nature. To defend himself against the constant carnage of Kirby, one chapter even has Dedede going so far as to introduce a not-so-convincing double to take all the beatings in his place. Does this backfire, too? You betcha!

It’s a great formula for a gag manga, and right as you start to feel sorry for Dedede he does something to remind you why he’s such an irredeemably pathetic villain. Hirokazu Hakawa’s art lends so much life to these stories, as silly as they are, and the countless expressions are gag manga perfection. Pages can be busy but they’re never cluttered; the joke-per-page rate is aggressive and admirable. If you’re a fan of Kirby, this collection is a must, but even those who have never ventured to Dreamland will find plenty of fun in these pages.

Story & Art: Hirokazu Hikawa
Publisher: VIZ Media
Available: Now