Now, I don't often ridicule myself for the mini review titles that I make, but I just couldn't help myself. Isaac Fox and team are back with the next issue of Cremisi, an adult-themed space western with manga flair, and we get to meet another Kaneex (anthropomorphic with canine traits) whose name is the title of the issue. A salty mechanic on a backwater world, the tropes are soon slain with the type of action and panache that we've come to expect from the series.
So far, Fox has not let up on the gas in this adventure, pushing the characters through with the speed of the plot and making them handle things whether they seem ready or not. Running underneath all of this is a solid world building that is rich and complex, pulling from various genres to fill up a world that is as engaging and wondrous as it is grounded in the gritty realities of itself. The world feels as though it's well lived in, and though the terminology is new to us in a lot of ways, the narrative never leaves us lost for long with any type of term unless it helps to create the mystique that runs through so well. I have the feeling that Renee is going to be hanging out for a good deal longer than Shay's last partner, and she gets a great introduction here. Her angry and provocative energy balance a good deal more with our laid back and oft-inebriated protagonist, and throughout we get to learn a lot more about the mysteries piling up about the Purgatory and its captain. I really enjoy the new equilibrium that's achieved at the end of the issue, and it feels like we're going to be able to really dive into some of the little threads that have been lovingly teased out thus far.
A new artist makes their way to these pages, and there's not a step lost in the transition; the locations and character designs still feel wonderfully lived in, rough enough around the edges to reflect the realism of the world without losing that fantastical feeling. I still dig the style, and the action is pumped up even more in this one, mixing a big fight without losing too many elements. There's a subtlety to the direction that allows us to learn as much about Renee by her body language as anything we read, and it fills the character out in an organic way.
I like this story; it hits all the notes of some of my favorite anime without having gone too cuckoo gonzo yet, with the team trusting that their world is robust enough to engage the audience well. The trust in themselves is well placed, as I am fully primed to see these two bust loose and start kicking some major butt. What I love most throughout is the same feeling of reading manga - there's enough room for everything: high drama, slapstick, empathetic turns, and, of course, just randomly weird stuff. It's a mix that allows for the reader to feel more comfortable diving in and allows for the story to be absurd and awe inspiring in turns, making the journey a nuanced and multifaceted experience that should definitely be on your read list.
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Creative Team: Isaac Fox (Writer/Creator), Mitsu (Artist) Sayako Rush (Front Cover & Support Artist), J. Quick (Letterer & Technology Designer)
Publisher: Astral Ticket
Click here to purchase (via Kickstarter).