Half-vampire half-werekoala Paifu lives happily in a monster village with his flatulent ghost friend Jose, always getting into wacky misadventures. But when a sickness begins to spread through the residents its up to Paifu and his friends to track down the needed medicine. Along with ex-wrestler Mako Maruyama and Paifu's self-proclaimed arch nemesis Arpon, the duo will travel through monster and human territories alike to find the Witch and her medicine before it's too late!
The art is full color in the first chapter, but grayscale after that. It sorta reminds me of Captain Underpants or something like that. More simplistic than I was expecting from Akira Toriyama in this stage of feir career. I imagine this might be appealing to kids. It's got that low-tension, surface-level-plot quality that you find in childrens' books or shows. The stakes are technically life or death, but it sure doesn't feel that way. There's a friendship arc between Maruyama and the kids--breaking through feir tough exterior and self-imposed isolation (imposed after fe had accidentally killed someone because fe's just too strong). The adventures in the first few chapters--and even later, to some degree--are meandering and filled with random directional shifts and encounters. There are some fight scenes, but they're not exciting or anything. Some of the humor comes from the monsters having topsy-turvy moral judgments, where good is bad and bad is good. Though this flipped mentality falls apart pretty quickly. Paifu helping people is initially portrayed as a moral degradation, but by the end of the manga, it's seen as heroic and laudable. Lying is also initially portrayed as not a big deal for monsters, but later is shown to be something to be ashamed of. Stealing is always portrayed as bad (though it's something they still do). I find Apone to be annoying. And I feel that Paifu's werekoala transformations and de-transformations were too quick and convenient.
Manga in 200 Words: Cowa! Premise: Young monsters realize that something bad is happening to their friends and family. The Monster Flu is making everyone sick, and without the medicine, everyone will die. Paifu, a half-vampire half-werekoala, and José, a ghost, must find a way to save their town before it’s too late! Audience: Young boys. Elementary age? It really seems like a pre-pubescent manga, because Toriyama isn’t using any dirty humor like he did in Dragon Ball. (Yes, that Dragon Ball.) Art: It’s very true to Toriyama’s style, but the lack of muscles and fireballs may be a bit off-putting for some. Supernatural Elements: The werekoala thing is strange, but handled fairly well. Of course, the fact that no one tells you what Paifu is until after he transforms makes the first appearance a bit unsettling. (That’s not a wolf… is it a bear?) Just a side-note, I didn’t spoil anything by telling you about Paifu; it’s on the back of the volume. Plot: It’s a simple and immature story, and it promotes dishonesty if it produces results. Think mischief, not manipulation. Overall: Not much there, but decent quality for what is given. Cowa! is definitely best for children.
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