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Megatokyo 1
Author: Ross Liversidge

Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.

Megatokyo 1

Dark Horse
Fred Gallagher

Megatokyo started life as a web based comic by Fred Gallagher (Piro) and then co-creator Rodney Caston (Largo). Its popularity has seen the title picked up by Dark Horse, and the books have since gone onto critical acclaim. It's not hard to see why.
Concentrating on the adventures of their alter egos, the pair find themselves trapped in a Tokyo that embodies everything we associate with the country - giant robots, rent-a-zilla's and cute girls by the dozen!

Whilst the over-sensitive and introverted Piro struggles to find a way home, the near-psychotic tendencies of his l33t gaming friend Largo seem to thwart his every effort. The relationship between the two forms the book's foundations and from here Gallagher lets his imagination run wild as a huge cast of characters appear to make life as difficult as possible.

The book succeeds on many levels, most notably its ingenious use of anime-culture icons and sensibilities. It skilfully manages to take all our preconceptions and work them into the story, with genius ideas like a Sega/Sony secret police, a PS2 accessory called Ping (a robot girl) and normal police in giant robots.

The early comics are just finding their feet in this first volume, and compared to later books the artwork is quite simple, but even so its always of a high quality. Each page is accompanied by Gallaghers notes, which always make for interesting reading. With the comic produced online a page at a time, the book benefits from a thoughtful narrative, with each panel lovingly crafted. Volume 1 also comes with a series of rough drafts of the characters and notes on the evolution of key characters, which makes for comprehensive intro into the Megatokyo universe.

You can catch up with the latest Megatokyo strips at the website:

This is Megatokyo before it took off, but it remains engaging and a fascinating introduction to one of the best non-Japanese manga ever created.
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