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Switch, Volume 1

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Overview

Kai Eto may look like a squeaky clean kid, but the Greater Kanto Narcotics Control Division's new investigator hides a violent alter ego and a dangerous past. With his stoic partner Hal Kurabayashi, Kai is assigned to track down and stop the distribution of Dragon Speed, a dangerous new drug. But Ryugen, the syndicate trafficking the drug, is almost impossible to infiltrate. Add street violence and a jurisdiction war with the Meguro Police, and poor Kai is in for some very long ...
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Overview

Kai Eto may look like a squeaky clean kid, but the Greater Kanto Narcotics Control Division's new investigator hides a violent alter ego and a dangerous past. With his stoic partner Hal Kurabayashi, Kai is assigned to track down and stop the distribution of Dragon Speed, a dangerous new drug. But Ryugen, the syndicate trafficking the drug, is almost impossible to infiltrate. Add street violence and a jurisdiction war with the Meguro Police, and poor Kai is in for some very long days at the office.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Lively art almost makes up for routine storytelling in this cop-buddy serial by the team known collectively as Naked Ape. Writer Otoo Saki's script isn't inept, but it's extremely predictable. When young, innocent-looking rookie cop Kai Eto shows up for duty at the Greater Kanto Narcotics Control Division, readers aren't surprised to see him teamed up with a jaded officer who can't stand the new kid. It's also no surprise that the little boy Kai good-heartedly befriends turns out to be the son of a drug dealer. And when Kai goes undercover, it's certainly no surprise that the junkie he's watching discovers his identity and pulls a gun on him. That's the trouble: there aren't enough new ideas to make the action fresh. Tonomi Nakamura's art, however, is full of surprises. Her layout combines overlapping panels full of oddly angled closeups and long shots, stressing grotesquely forced perspective. Although readers will occasionally struggle with the storytelling, even pages that don't contribute much to the lumbering plot are interesting to look at. By the time they reach the cliffhanger that ends the book, readers may be convinced that there could be potential here to support some distinctive, quirky story that hasn't emerged yet. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up

Kai Eto is a rookie investigator for the Narcotics Control Division. That's how he introduces himself when he barges into the middle of a bust, the first of several incidents that probably would get him fired in the real world. But this is a manga universe, where characters revert to cuteness moments after they've used their fists or their guns. And what guns they are! Firearms stand out on several occasions; sometimes the gun in someone's hand is drawn in a different style from everything else on the page, causing readers' eyes to focus on it more closely. A gun is also prominently featured on the cover, held sideways in a gangster style, pointed at the readers who can see which chambers are loaded and which are empty. The other clue to the plot on the cover is a pill containing a dangerous new drug. Kai and his partner Hal are trying to infiltrate a Chinese drug ring, learning more about Dragon Speed, and trying to make more arrests and take credit for more busts than the Meguro Police Department. The illustrations are excellent and they capture a lot of motion and excitement. But the story is sometimes difficult to follow, many of the characters look alike (and are best identified by their accessories), and the violence/cuteness ratio is a little jarring.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421517643
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
  • Publication date: 3/11/2008
  • Series: Switch Series , #1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 838,810
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 5.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Naked ape is the collaboration of artist Tonomi Nakamura and writer Otoo Saki. The two women also design posters, album covers, and phone cards. Their other work includes Black tar and the futuristic crime thriller DOLLS.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great storyline, unforgettable characters, and beautiful art

    Switch follows two detectives, Kai and Hal, who work for the Narcotics Control Department. There's a new kind of drug on the street, DS, or "dragon speed", that causes a plethora of problems for the detectives. <BR/><BR/>The storyline, though confusing at times, is great, and the art is some of the best I've seen.<BR/><BR/>The characters are quite memorable, too- in the first volume, you'll get introduced to the young child of a drug dealer just trying to help his father get better; Kai, the newest detective with a psychotic alter ego; and Hal, Kai's sarcastic partner with a bad smoking habit.<BR/><BR/>Overall, this series is one that I would consider a "must read".

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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