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Ultimo, Vol. 1: Kurenai Dôji
     

Ultimo, Vol. 1: Kurenai Dôji

4.8 9
by Hiroyuki Takei
 

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With girl and money troubles, life is hard enough for high school student Yamato, but then he stumbles upon Ultimo, a peculiar-looking puppet. Things only get stranger when Ultimo awakens and his archenemy Vice shows up. Will this be the battle that finally decides good versus evil, or is this just the beginning of a most fantastic adventure?

Overview

With girl and money troubles, life is hard enough for high school student Yamato, but then he stumbles upon Ultimo, a peculiar-looking puppet. Things only get stranger when Ultimo awakens and his archenemy Vice shows up. Will this be the battle that finally decides good versus evil, or is this just the beginning of a most fantastic adventure?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this bizarre international coproduction, Marvel Comics legend Lee (Spider-Man; X-Men) pairs up with artist Takei (Shaman King). Lee himself cameos as a crazy inventor-cum-scholar in 12th-century Japan transporting two doll-like robot boys to his clients. Bandits attack and activate the robots as Lee reveals that one is an incarnation of pure good and the other pure evil, named Ultimo and Vice, respectively. Lee has invented the robots to discover, outlandishly enough, “which is stronger, good or evil.” Cut to present-day Japan, where average high school kid Yamato stumbles upon an inanimate Ultimo in an antiques shop. Yamato turns out to be the reincarnation of one of the 12th-century bandits, a good-hearted freedom fighter also named Yamato. Lee's premise is dead in the water, and Ultimo proves to be a laughably bad adventure. Ultimo's fights with Vice play out the empty old good versus evil stock premise of American comics. The book also captures several of manga's worst clichés. In one scene a school friend walks in on Yamato kneeling over Ultimo in bed; it's simultaneously a nod to unappealing erotic romantic comedies and yaoi. The artwork is adequate yet unmemorable—Lee's character is ridiculously manly and his caricatured face appears throughout the book, well after the joke has worn thin. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Stan Lee makes the jump to manga, and, yes, he has a cameo. His concept, brought to life by manga-ka Takei, pits Ultimate Good and Ultimate Evil in a battle to the death. Ultimo, representing good, and Vice, representing evil, are Karakuri Doji, or doll-like robots built to answer the age-old question, "Which is stronger?" The dolls need masters to learn their roles, and Ultimo chooses a 12th-century Kyoto bandit. The story jumps from past to present as Ultimo's master, Yamato, lives his lives. It's a shaky plot device and is strongest when the characters are in the past. However, the point of the manga isn't the plot or the characters but the battles. The Karakuri Doji fight fiercely. Their battle scenes are surprisingly violent but well executed. Unfortunately, after the battles die down, the artwork is a confusing mix of cute characters and lean, tall ones. Yamato looks ages older than his peers. Not only is that confusing, but it is also a little bit creepy. Still, with the action and Lee's name, this will be a popular yet nonessential choice.—Sadie Mattox, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421550244
Publisher:
VIZ Media
Publication date:
04/09/2012
Series:
Ultimo , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
212
Sales rank:
670,821
File size:
86 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Unconventional author/artist Hiroyuki Takei began his career by winning the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize (named after the famous artist of the same name). After working as an assistant to famed artist Nobuhiro Watsuki, Takei debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997 with Butsu Zone, an action series based on Buddhist mythology. His multicultural adventure manga Shaman King, which debuted in 1998, became a hit and was adapted into an anime TV series. His new series Ultimo (Karakuri Dôji Ultimo) is currently being serialized in the U.S. in SHONEN JUMP. Takei lists Osamu Tezuka, American comics and robot anime among his many influences.

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Karakuridoji Ultimo, Volume 1 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Rakishu More than 1 year ago
I first saw that artwork on the cover of Ultimo & thats what draw my attention. After I read it I was drawn into the story lines & sad that I have to wait for the next edition to come out to continue this awsome story. This manga has many differnt Sci-Fi elements that I like in both manga & T.V. setting. After reading this Manga I hope that they will create a animated version of this manga. I recomended this manga to my club members because of its in depth story line & Sci-Fi elements.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This manga is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this manga i hope it will pick up and be the next big thing
ElTigreChino More than 1 year ago
A really awesome manga written with the help of Stan Lee, that guy. So you have to know that is is good. And the characters are all terrific, as well as the main plot. The karajuridoji are all so awesome, and they provide great action scenes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Totally worth it. Action packed and exciting. Kind of inspiring, too! GET IT!
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Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
I would recommend reading ¿Ultimo¿ because it is fun. Of course, since it¿s a Japanese manga, you read it backwards in retrospect to ¿normal¿ books in America, which can be a bit confusing for people new to manga. The reason that I think its fun is that the mood changes a lot. It will go from calm to frantic, to interesting, to surprising/weird, back to calm, and then to crazy/exciting (that¿s from the end of Act One, ¿Nanban-Okina Pass¿). Agari Yamato is the main hero, 13 years old, and is the dôji master of Ultimo, the embodiment of pure good; Kodaira Rune is Yamato¿s best friend, and becomes a dôji master to Jealousy, the embodiment of Envy. Rune is the same age as Yamato. Dôji to K and the opposite of Ultimo, Vice represents pure evil. He does whatever he wants, when he wants, and doesn¿t care who gets hurt in the process. K is the Vice master, is unemployed, and is described as, ¿A man in glasses who dreams of being evil. A short-tempered person of low caliber, when he gets flustered he doesn¿t know what¿s happening and starts trembling. His favorite things are motorcycles and heavy metal. He is 31 years old.¿ Dustan, the man who created the dôji, is a scholar. He created the dôji to see which is stronger: good or evil. Of unknown age, he travels across time and space, for a reason I do not know (it might be in volume 4). Other characters include the Six Perfections: Regula, who represents Discipline, Pardonner represents Patience, Gauge represents Contemplation, Slow represents Diligence, Service is Generosity, and Sophia is the embodiment of Wisdom. The Seven Deadly Sins: Eater-Gluttony, Rage-Wrath, Désir-Lust, Paresse-Sloth, Avaro-Greed, Orgullo-Pride, and I already mentioned Jealousy. There are many more characters, but to name them all would take too long. Basically, the book takes place in the 12th and 21st centuries with a little bit of future stuff here and there. As I said, it gets weird occasionally¿