Case #2: The Destiny of Pandora II
(Shukumei no Pandora II-sei)
Author: Takachiho Haruka
Art: Fujihiko Hosono
Publisher: Asahi Sonorama, Media Factory, Studio Ironcat
Volume Information: Vol. 1 1-929090-02-1
Date of Publication: 1979, 1983
Length: 64 (188) pgs
Format: English Translation
Jan Barzack, a famous and brilliant scientist, is severely wounded while escaping from a station. Taking off in a ship, he sends out a distress beacon which is intercepting by the Minerva, Crusher Joe's ship. However, just as Crusher Joe and crew rescue the scientist, the Minerva is confronted by a Space Free Battle Line ship who demands the return of the fugitive.
The scientist, feeling his life slipping away, hires the Minerva's crew to finish one final task: to destroy Pandora II. However, before he can give much information about Pandora II, Barzack dies leaving Joe and gang to seek out Elina, the scientist's daughter in the hopes that she has information that can lead them to their target...
The true beginning to the Crusher Joe manga series, this "second" story gives readers the background information for the setting of the story. With a brief description of crushers as well as the movement to space life, readers are drawn into the story in a somewhat clearer fashion than what was encountered in the story of the St. Germi.
What will catch the reader's attention most in this story is the change in drawing style for the characters. Most noticeable is Alfin who is depicted as being younger, cuter, with bigger hair and eyes, and having a more pixie-like appearance. From the story of the St. Germi to Pandora II, it's difficult to link the two as the same character until the first time her name is mentioned. Likewise, Talos is much more Frankenstein-like in appearance compared to the scarred roughneck seen in the St. Germi story.
The story itself moves fairly quickly although this is by no means a high space adventure or epic story. Rather the plot continues to be quite basic with enough development and action to keep readers focused on the story. The story also has a more serious feel with fewer of the visual gags that were seen in the story of the St. Germi. While a touch darker, the pacing of the story feels at times a touch contrived. As readers, once certain plot points are revealed, much of the story concept becomes quite predictable. However, the question of how the story will end and how these concepts will be revealed to the characters remains to be seen. This "waiting" for the characters to catch up to the readers makes the story less enjoyable.
The translation (editing?) shows more weaknesses with problems in word use and occasional spelling. These unfortunately can catch the reader's attention at times, making for a slightly confusing read. Readers are left at times guessing as to the intended meaning of certain cryptic lines and may or may not be correct in their assumptions.
- JYN, 2002.04.09
café rating (english translation):
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