A few years back Tokyopop started advertising and promoting its own line of “Original English Language” or OEL Manga, and no one I know reads them. I’ve checked out a few here and there, but I feel something holding me back when I see a title in the stores. On the few occasions where I have picked one up to read, well, sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised and other times I’m not.
I liked Bizenghast overall, but the fluctuation in quality from page to page was very distracting. A well-done drawing would lead into a rush job into another nicely detailed drawing, and it seems like the product of someone with not enough time to really hone each panel.
Dramacon is another one I decided to take a look at, simply because Anime Jump and others had lauded it for being one of the better titles. I found myself unable to finish it, as it felt less like a heart-felt examination of the convention scene and the drama in it and more like wish-fulfillment on a level below Comic Party. What’s a mysterious love interest with a scarred face doing in a story where the focus seems to be Normal Anime Fans Doing Their Normal Anime Things? Maybe I’ll come back to it at some point, but it was like the pieces of the puzzle did not fit together properly.
I’m probably giving them a harder time than I should, but at the same time I’m really not, as it was Tokyopop’s desire to showcase these talents on a level on par with work from Japan. If there’s any OEL titles of merit that I’m overlooking, I’d like to know about them.