Okay, it's nitpick time. The more I read this third story, the more problems I find with the translation / editing / story. Determining where the problem lies would require the original manga version. To be fair, most first time readers probably will not notice these little gremlins. However, the sharp-eyed or people who read every word may sit up and take notice. (These might even make minor trivia points if they occurred in an anime episode). Truth to be told, the overall story, while occasionally sounding a little stiff, has an interesting plot and isn't too difficult to follow. But that still doesn't make these "little things" disappear. (Please note, those who aren't interested in these quirks should skip the next paragraph).
The first oddity sharp-eyed readers will notice is that story 3 is called "Episode 3", while story 2 was "Case 2". Story 1 didn't have any distinguishing term in this sense. Second, in the prologue, one character was referred to as "Major Glenn", but is consistently named "Glenn Ryan" in the story. This would be normal for Japanese works as they call people in surname - given name order. In the second story (Pandora II), name order appears to have been consistent with Western standards. The question is which was intended and to what extent does the publisher seek to maintain the original compared to adapting the work for the English market? Third is the question of Harold's last name. Mentioned twice in the story, it's first listed as "Spender" and later shown as "Spencer". All three of these points require the original work to determine whether this is a translation / editing or a story problem (i.e. an error in the original story). Something we unfortunately do not have access to. While other little points are present that may catch the reader's attention, they aren't likely to cause much confusion for readers.
The story itself is well paced with some good twists that keep readers intrigued. Lacking character development overall, readers still don't know much about the main characters and there's no indication of expanding on this aspect of the story yet. However, this is very much an action based science-fiction series so keeping the story light but fast paced may be the primary focus at this point. More information and character development will likely be found in the original novels on which the manga is based.
The artwork in the third story continues in the same style as that seen in the second story. Here again, sharp-eyed viewers will find little things that catch their eye. With little gags occasionally running in the background, these bits of humour make the story more fun and enjoyable to read; a little bonus for the attentive.
While readers may start wishing for a bit more character development to the primary characters, thus far the story as seen in this manga volume has been focused on action. Visual gags makes things more interesting for the attentive reader while certain wording quirks create minor problems in story flow for those same people. All in all an okay read for those looking for an action packed, science fiction graphic novel.
- JYN, 2002.04.16