Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cannon God Exaxxion review

During the recent revival of my interest in mangas (it comes and goes every few years) I started reading Cannon God Exaxxion (whatever), and let me warn you: It is a god awful manga series. No, it wasn't because of the self-censorship (though I kinda wished it was).

The truly awful things about Cannon God Exaxxion that I can personally think of while typing this are the series is filled with cliché characters, a plot that seems to be written by a Star Trek fanatic and awful (and I do mean awful) mecha designs. I hated it. While Gunsmith Cats had a tolerable plot, a cast of interesting and likeable characters as well as detailed art, Cannon God Exaxxion had all the opposite. It is like the perfect example of how not to write a mecha-based manga. Characters are two-dimensional and dialogues are corny and cheesy.

Coupled with a churlish storyline that seems to advertise that "collateral damage" is okay and foreigners are bad people who weasel their way into any societies; these says more about the author's political standing than anything. And while ecchi mangas like Ikkitousen or Tenjo Tengi can get away with juvenile fan service, the gratuitous nonsensical sexual scenes weren't as funny when superimposed to the supposedly serious storyline.

So while I admire Kenichi Sonada's attempt to interject some deep pseudo-social commentary into the storyline, failed badly he did. Unlike Ghost in the Shell where I would re-read it many times to understand the plot and gain a better understanding, here I found myself not caring if the reluctant hero achieved inner-peace with his morally ambiguity self. I just wanted to get to the end and see if the invading aliens do eventually murder his psychopathic grandfather and his cohort of immature but well endowed sex slaves. Except I didn't, because continuing would be a waste of my money and more importantly, my time.

Mecha fans should stay pleased with Neon Genesis Evangelion, Full Metal Panic and other generic mecha mangas. Do avoid, instead go read some of Sonada's better works like Gunsmith Cats Burst.


JonUk said...

I respect your right to be completely and utterly wrong - Exaxxion is no more or less churlish than Gunsmith Cats.

Not everyone reads Manga for 'deep pseudo-social commentary' - Consider this to be the manga equivalent of an action movie.

I would recommend anyone who enjoyed Gunsmith Cats to give Exaxxion more of a chance than Jon obviously did.

Jon said...

I personally found it to be extremely boring including the action bit, unlike Gunsmith Cats. I really did wanted to like it.