Otaku USA Magazine
Replica vol. 1

Manji is bored. He needs to kill some time. He tries to become a bodyguard for the mayor, but it doesn’t happen. Some people call him the Red Dog, indicating he has quite an intense history. However, when they meet him, they’re typically disappointed, as he doesn’t live up to his name.

Then a man lands on top of Manji while Manji is just sitting around. This is a unique method of introduction. There’s also a unique problem in this manga—toys. Yes, you heard right. Here, toys aren’t for playing with, they’re mobile dolls that kill.

But, as it turns out, Manji is excellent at killing the toys, and soon gets to work helping the man who fell out of the sky. He’s the one who explains the menace of these toys to Manji.

Manji gets together with a team dedicated to destroying the toys, their base conveniently located in a city called Deathtopia (subtle). Turns out the killing toys are from an unnamed madman inventor who gets called AAA. Am I the only one who thinks of batteries? Battery jokes or not, this guy is scary, and someone comments that he has these awful toys just as a way to kill time.  Sound familiar? It definitely startles Manji to hear this phrase after all his complaining about being bored and needing to kill time. Except, it seems AAA wants to kill time a little more literally.

So we have lots of scary toys flying around, and also plenty of Alice in Wonderland references, if you care to notice. We have the name Alice, the Cheshire Cat, cards… keep your eyes peeled if you’re a Lewis Carroll fan, or even if you’re not, for fun. Manji gets involved in killing the toys, but they’re not all as easy as they were at the beginning. Replica gives us quite a few fight scenes, earning its description as an “action” manga.

The art is pretty typical shonen, though there was at least one drawing (page 134, to be exact) that caught my attention. It was more detailed and I liked the shadow play. A lot of the story also felt like run-of-the-mill shonen. Not amazing, not bad, but basic stuff. However, at about the second to last page there was a twist I didn’t see coming, and I think that gives more promise to future volumes of Replica.

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing

Story & Art: Kemuri Karakara