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Kintoki
by Zoro on November 8th, 2011, 6:03pm

Rating - 7.2 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 3.6 out of 5
Characters - 3.4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 3.9 out of 5
Enjoyment - 3.7 out of 5
Overall - 3.5 out of 5

Click here for series information

Plot/Story
For an Akira Toriyama stand-alone story you'd either have to be an absolute fan and purely love his words, or a fan who can recognize when he's missing something.

A tribe still exists in this outcast planet known as the Aurumoculi. The Aurumoculi are some of the strongest beings on the face of the world and can be spotted for their golden textured eyes. Our main lead "Toki" happens to be a survivor of his tribe and is on the look out for a women to help continue his bloodline. A story so generic, it's best delivered in 34 pages and less.

A simple story, no 'Kamehameha''s, no evil aliens taking over the world, nothing we've seen from Toriyama before, including a solid story structure. Toriyama sets up a rather small premise contained in a rather vast world, as he always likes to illustrate in his series, this is something we can recognize from Dr. Slump or even SandLand. A story with the potential to end the same way Dragonball did.

Toriyama has been in the shadows ever since the grand finale of his hit series Dragonball. Working on anime related projects and collecting rather large sums of cash from all the Dragonball franchise sales. That is to say, he is the 'Francis Ford Coppola' of manga. Refining the shounen genre with a series as dramatic and action-packed like Dragonball, and then slipping under the radar.

Although Toriyama puts some backbone into a particularly timid series like this, he ultimately tells readers that he simply hasn't been able to come up with any new ideas to trump his masterpiece, a job we're all waiting patiently for.

Characters
Like most other Toriyama works, character development is left high and dry and is only slightly touched up during the progression of a series. A One-shot with only 30 or so pages is something Toriyama knew he could never manage.

Toriyama hands us a fistful of characters, briefing on these characters, and performance under physical and mental stress. None of these characters, save Toki, has any aspiration to get this story moving, and the only motivation we can find to help move the story along is whenever someone asks for a date, or for their hand in marriage.

The atmosphere to any part in the story that should be emphasized has completely parted for Toriyama's sense in story-telling. He gives his characters phony situations, expecting them to grow into something more realistic and to the point. However, it just isn't enough for us readers when competing with the amazing story-telling skills of a famous author such as Akira Toriyama.

When it comes to characters, I'm sad to say, Toriyama is a little on the slow side.

Drawing Style
The artistic features found in Kintoki is no different than they are in any other Toriyama series. Immediately, once looking at the art, we can distinguish leading characters from generic characters that hold no positive value for the story. This is a great technique by Toriyama. Even while defining lead characters early, Toriyama doesn't forget to include unique features in supporting characters as well. Making the art well-rounded and balanced.

Toki's character was obviously worked over plentiful times, giving him a face to match his personality. It surely does, however a character of Toki's caliber is best suited to be more supporting. This change of pace is not bad for the author, because experimenting with character traits helps him grow, leaving characters like Goku in the dust, but because Toki carries with him that fearful grin, we can't help think intentionally about his motives. This clouds our liking for a character like Toki because it's hard for us to relate with him. Of course, there are techniques of developing his facial features throughout a story like this, and it might've been exactly where Toriyama wanted to go.

Enjoyment
Brilliantly paced, this story has all the time in the world in just 34 pages, nothing to rush and nothing to meet its end.

Despite being wonderfully organized, a story like this has the feeling of being empty. Not enough of anything to fill that void in the world, and the author has no help from his seemingly quite main character. The dialogue may hint at the comic appeal, but it's hard to crack anything but a smile to Toriyama's plain and uneducated jokes.

Overall
If you like Toriyama's works than you may want to turn your head to this unappealing tale. If you're expecting it to be anything like Dr. Slump than you should give this story a read.

All in all, it is another One-shot to add to Toriyama's sequence of glitches. Already having many 'glitches' in the past, Toriyama has set a rather large obstacle in his way with Dragonball. I hope he can one day return to the public with something he can be proud to brandish as his own. His work with Masakazu Katsura on the series Jiya is definitely something I'd like to see more of in the future.
 
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