FCBD 2015: Kodansha Comics preview vs. Steampunk Goldilocks


It’s time to look at two genre titles here, one manga and the other steampunk.

They’re about as different from each other as you could get, in size, content and style. Kodansha offered six excerpts from some of their hit manga series in a typically black and white compact book, while Steampunk Goldilocks offered one complete story in a full-colour regular comic book size issue. But which one offered up something special?


Kodansha Comics preview:

With six stories this one takes a little while but, as any fan of manga knows, once you’re into a story expect a long haul. The teasers included are the massive hits Attack On Titan and prequel Attack On Titan: Before The Fall, Your Lie In April (now an anime series), Noragami: Stray God (also an anime show now), hit series Vinland Saga and… Inuyashiki, which is a series very few have heard of outside of manga fans. Still, there’s some pedigree here already.

The Attack On Titan excerpts are exactly as you’d expect if you’ve heard anything about this but never seen it. There’s just enough here to make a reader want more, as we’re introduced to Eren and his desire to explore beyond the wall of the city, where giant Titans roam and live to eat people. When a Titan breaks through the first wall the adventure begins.

Noragami: Stray God is a must for fans of Bleach and Vext, as a minor god with delusions of grandeur takes on odd jobs so that he can gain worshippers and afford his own shrine. There are creatures out there which exist in the blind spots between life and death that only he and a select few can see and do anything about. Vinland Saga… unfortunately, for such an acclaimed series the preview of it here isn’t great and will hardly win it new fans.

Your Lie In April is a sweet contrast to the other stories, even though not much of it is shown here. If you liked Love Hina then this could be the one for you, as a piano prodigy abandons music but meets a violinst who sparks the love of music in him again. Then there’s Inuyashiki, and this one’s probably the standout of the bunch, as a lonely old man with terminal cancer experiences an other-worldly life-changing event which changes things forever. It’s sad and touching, and absolutely fascinating…

Read a sample of the comic here: www.freecomicbookday.com


Steampunk Goldilocks:

With a somewhat manga-inspired bubbly art style and colours that pop off the page, this is the story of Goldilocks and Miss Muffett who embark on a Mission: Impossible style adventure to break into the bunker of a trio of Ursiforms and to retrieve the Golden Bear – a vessel containing the most expensive and delicious honey in the world.

Travelling off in their tank they arrive at the bunker, where Goldilocks acts as the boots on the ground while Miss Tuffett is her tech advisor back in the tank. Goldilocks goes off-mission fast, sampling the Ursiform’s porridge and drinks before accidentally destroying some of their furniture. Worse, the second she samples the rare honey she becomes almost addicted to it and desperately needs a nap. When the three Ursiforms return… well, you can probably figure this out.

The good news is that this is a complete story and has some intriguing updates on the classic Goldilocks story. Also the main characters drive a tank so there’s a slightly Tank Girl feel of eccentricity going on. The weird news is that the word bubbles are so large the wording looks like large-print headlines, and the dialogue isn’t that good. The bad news is that the ending of the story is weak and it really isn’t all that steampunk despite their high-tech gadgets.

Read a sample of the comic here: www.freecomicbookday.com

There’s something odd about these two, and it’s hard to tell which worked better. One offered brief glimpses of magical things while the other offered a full view of something that was a little disappointing. Kodansha was easily the one with the better track record and the variety of series on display in it was a good mix. For those who wanted a complete story though, Steampunk Goldilocks fitted that better, and the concept of it holds a lot of promise even if there are kinks to be worked out. At the end of the day Kodansha scored

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