Story/Art: Hideaki Fujii
Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki
What They Say
A year has passed since the fierce battle against the New Dawn Raisers. Suddenly, every LBX around the world starts going out of control. In order to solve this baffling case, Van Yamano heads out with his new partner, Hiro, on a journey around the world!! Double LBX Tournament arc, Battle Start!!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
A year has passed since the events of last volume, and we now join a new character named Hiro Hughes, a geeky boy who’s rather skilled at videogames. During a demonstration of a new LBX something goes horribly wrong, and the LBXs in the area go out of control. Fortunately Van appears on the scene with his LBX Odin, and explains that the LBXs are going berserk worldwide! Based on his gaming skills, Van decides to enlist Hiro’s help, offering him the LBX Odysseus. However, it turns out that Hiro has never used an LBX before! Van ends up sacrificing Odin in order to save some bystanders, forcing Hiro to step up to the plate and control Odysseus.
With the introduction out of the way, Van and Hiro officially team up, and Van gets a new LBX called Elysian. Though Hiro is learning fast, however, he still can’t manage a super attack routine! While fighting, though, his beloved action figure of his hero Super-Duper Man is crushed, bringing out his rage and enabling him to pull off a “Cosmic Slash.” With that done with, our heroes learn that the LBXs are being controlled by five computers around the world and depart on their journey.
Along the way, our heroes meet a new rival, are pitted against an old friend, and even gain a new companion named Laura Hanasaki. Finally, when our heroes meet an enemy that exceeds anything they’ve faced before, will they be able to band together to beat the powerful foe?
With this volume, we enter a new arc, and what’s presented is a bit of a mixed bag. The fighting seems to have fallen back down a notch in some ways, and the villains have yet to really properly step out of the shadows, leaving them feeling kind of flat. Hiro also doesn’t really come into his own yet here, as a lot of his spotlight as the “new guy” is stolen away by Van still being a huge presence. Hopefully the “partners” aspect pushed here will start to come together a little better in the coming volumes, as for now it doesn’t quite mesh as well as it should. Even so, there’s still a good bit of crazy over the top, incredibly silly action to keep fans entertained. In fact, the ending to the book is one of the best goofy moments in the series thus far, and it’ll definitely be interesting to see how the next volume goes. For now, though, this remains a turbulent yet serviceable transition into the second arc of the series.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: All Ages
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015