Recent Reading: Jaco the Galactic Patrolman

Closing in on wrapping up my homework for my online class, but wanted to take a bit to write about some manga I recently read, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman from Viz Media. As you may know, I am a big Dragonball Z fan. I credit the show for inspiring me to get into animation and it has influenced my career path and when I found out that Viz was releasing Jaco, created by Akira Toriyama, earlier this month, I had to check it out. Here are my thoughts.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.05.07 PMThe cover is a little bit of a precursor into the story and some of the themes and comedy you will see in the story. That fellow on the cover, is our main character Jaco, he’s a galactic patrolman. He looks an awful lot like a former Dragonball Z villain too, down to the exact color scheme. Check out the trailer for the new Dragonball Z film, the Return of F, coincidentally that comes out in Japan later this year.

In the story we see some of the same elements we see in Dragonball Z, the story starts on a tiny island that is inhabited by an old man, Omori, sound familiar? Omori is a super smart scientist that is working on figuring out time travel. Jaco’s spaceship crash lands on Earth and decides he is going to live with Omori until it can be repaired. However, the ship requires an expensive material to fix so Jaco is stuck on Earth for a while.

Over the course of several chapters, we see some comedy that is straight out of Dragonball Z. Jaco saving the day when a stranger is in a bad situation against a group of bad guys. The story continues to follow some of the same Dragonball Z humor.

The book ended with a slight twist, but in hindsight I should have seen it a little sooner given the closeness to Dragonball Z. The book even ends with a small, unseen chapter of Dragonball Z, which makes sense considering the book was to get Toriyama’s work out there more before the new Dragonball Z movie in 2015.

The artwork of Jaco is Toriyama’s distinct style and it was nice to see it in a new story. However, I felt the overall story was a little lacking and in my opinion, was solely used as a piece of promotional material for 2015’s Dragonball Z film (not that there is anything wrong with that). With that said, I felt it was a little too promotional and felt a little too much as a spin-off. It is only a one volume story, so if you are looking for a light read it might be worth checking out.

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