After a long time I’ve finally got hold (thanks, Melissa) of Akihabara Denno Gumi PataPi!, that is the manga version of Akihabara Denno Gumi (or Cyber Team in Akihabara, if you prefer): some of you may even remember a rather sparse description on this very page when it was still devoted to ADG (almost eight years ago, time flies…).
This manga, drawn by Tsukasa Kotobuki (who also did the original character designs for the anime), is a sort of reduction of the animated series. The storyline goes more or less in the same fashion, with young Hibari Hanakoganei being given a mechanical toy known as PataPi by a mysterious “prince” who lives in her dreams. Of course, Den-suke (the name Hibari gives to the little mechanical monstrosity) is not an ordinary toy, it holds the key to a strange castle in the sky, and of course some people are interested in that.
On the aspect of drawings, this manga in my opinion uses a hybrid approach, as despite not quite geared for girls, uses some techniques that are best seen in shojo manga. Of course, the drawing style and the story are totally different. The style is somewhat pleasing, but it lacks detail, especially with backgrounds, which are often too simplistic or absent.
Story wise, the manga is a** very** cut down version of the anime. The most important difference is the role of Tsubame, which is greatly diminished, up to being non-existant. In general terms, the fact that it is only one volume, albeit bigger than usual, is a huge drawback. The story starts, new characters are introduced, and then it winds up too fast. Characters like Christian Rosenkreuz or even Shooting Star are developed even less than in the anime. Even the Diva themselves appear little. So, how to judge this? I’m not sure. Despite having been a fan of the anime back then, personally I think this incarnation could have been avoided. What I really don’t like is the downplay of some characters like Tsubame.
At least I can say I saw it, after all these years. That is why I wrote this post in the first place.
Luca Beltrame ANIME
akihabara denno gumi Anime