Volume 0 of Her impact by Mikel Miles and a slew of talented artists (Digitkame, Sukma Agustriyana, Joe Sketch, and Deo Keo) is a decent start to a story about a bi-racial single mother who trades the cooperate life for boxing gloves. It’s heart is in the right place, but the problems lie within the vagueness of its narrative which is often too cluttered with dialogue to fully enjoy what’s happening.
Sadie Hiroshi is young single mother living and working in Japan. She’s the daughter of a world class Japanese boxer, and instead of growing up in his shadow, she took a different route and became a receptionist at a high stakes law firm. While the job pays well, she’s miserable and looking for a way out. Sadie is unsure how break her mundane lifestyle until a chance encounter with a boxing trainee aims to change her fate.
It took me a while to come to terms with the idea that Sadie lives in Japan. The Japanese are known as a relatively calm society but the issue portrays its characters as crass, rude, and uptight. Maybe it’s a side of Japanese culture I haven’t seen, but it struck me as an odd behavior that I kept having to remind myself this isn’t America.
Otherwise, I like the idea of a single mother becoming a boxer like her father. I just wish some details were left out while others were included. For example, it isn’t explicitly clear that Sadie Hiroshi is blasian (Black/Asian descent). If writer Mikel Miles didn’t tell me this bit of info before hand, I wouldn’t have known as the text doesn’t make it very clear. Now, that isn’t a big deal, however, if that’s one of your selling points, its something the text should be upfront with, right?
There is so much happening on every page, it felt like a cram study session. I’d prefer more landscape shots, Sadie interacting with every day life. Instead so much dialogue is forced into a small number of pages and panels. Too much exposition swallows up the action. It took a second reading just to make sure I got enough information to understand what I mean reading. Not something I enjoy having to do when reading manga.
The artists work on Her Impact is quite good as each page is drawn with super clean, neat lines, and a professional, polished look. The cover page colors are appropriate enough for the theme. Looking forward to seeing how the art department molds this story and I hope they get the opportunity to display their talent with grander designs.
I think writer Mikel Miles and co. are on to something. The premise of Her Impact is solid and could garner a loyal fan base IF, some of the issues plaguing it are rectified in future issues. There just needs to be more of a balance between the dialogue and the visuals.
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Valerie Complex is a freelance writer and professional nerd. As a lover of Japanese animation, and all things film, she is passionate about diversity across all entertainment mediums.