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Steam Detectives, Vol. 1 Paperback – Feb 5 1999

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; Original edition (Feb. 5 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569313172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569313176
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.9 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 268 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #908,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
Steam Detectives suffers from the simplicity of its stories. Although it's not quite on the Scooby Doo level of simplicity, it's not nearly far enough above it. The villains are of the masked variety, with nonsensical schemes and goals. The steampunk--high technology based on steam power--setting is interesting enough (if derivative, considering the recent wave of steampunk stories), but it's really wasted. It's not so much that the stories here are bad; rather, there just isn't enough to them.
The art can either save this book or harm it. I've never been a big fan of Kia Asamiya's artwork--the noses of his characters are just too big for their faces (in length and width), and it doesn't appeal to me. Steam Detectives doesn't suffer this nearly so much as other stories (Silent Moebius, for one), but the artwork is also simpler and more stylized. My recommendation: click on the cover art to get a larger view of it. That's what the art looks like, except the book is black & white. Some people love the look of Kia Asamiya's artwork, so take a look at it and decide.
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Format: Paperback
Asamiya's normally known for the "Blade Runner"-inspired "Silent Moebius"; for "Steam Detectives", he turns the clock back instead of forward, putting us at the turn of the century... or is it? I love it when an artist freely intermixes past and present metaphors as a way of enriching a story, and "SD" does that excellently. Some of the translations are not quite up to snuff, but the quality of the work as a whole is unbeatable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa08f8ca8) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
HASH(0xa072d5e8) out of 5 stars Best Steampunk Manga! Sept. 4 2015
By J. Alford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Taking his love for Batman(a title that he eventually worked on in an official manga adaptation), Kia Asamiya mixed in the idea of a superhero-styled story with a Victorian detective noir, plus giant robots! Steam Detectives takes place in a steampunk-styled manga but takes place more or less in the early-to-mid 20th Century.

Set in Steam City where the prime source of energy is steam, Narutaki is a genius boy detective whose deceased parents where the best detectives in town until their untimely demise apparently at the hands of the masked villain known as Phantom Knight(who oddly looks like an off-model Batman)that also died during the encounter. His mysterious son takes up the mantle of the new Phantom Knight, and coerces the sexy young nurse Ling Ling to using her brilliant scientist father's robot(known as Megamatons)Goriki to get revenge on Narutaki. After the Phantom Knight's plot has been exposed, Ling Ling and Goriki are taken in by Narutaki and his butler to become part of his crime solving team. Narutaki has a wide rogue's gallery, including the cat burglar Crimson Scorpion, the Machine Baron who is obsessed with obtaining Goriki, and the mad scientist Dr. Guilty. The one who always gives Narutaki a run for his money is his own personal Moriarty, the masked kid criminal called Le Bred, who also employs Ling Ling's older sister Lang Lang as his caretaker and lover. Narutaki also performs acts of bravery for children in need, and seems to have a serious thing for helping damsels in distress.

Kia Asamiya really went all out to make this a visually spectacular manga, with sharp graphics an a rich texture. The characters do suffer slightly from some anime tropes, but that doesn't stop them from being enjoyable. The manga allegedly went on for about 13 volumes, even though only 8 graphic novels have been released in English ending at a possible stopping point. This was adapted into 26-episode TV series, and 2 light novels. Even though most of the manga by Viz has been out of print for a while(most of which was originally printed in Animerica Extra), its worth at least checking out to see if your local library or used book store has any spare copies to check out.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa072d858) out of 5 stars Too simplistic April 29 2000
By Steven Myers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Steam Detectives suffers from the simplicity of its stories. Although it's not quite on the Scooby Doo level of simplicity, it's not nearly far enough above it. The villains are of the masked variety, with nonsensical schemes and goals. The steampunk--high technology based on steam power--setting is interesting enough (if derivative, considering the recent wave of steampunk stories), but it's really wasted. It's not so much that the stories here are bad; rather, there just isn't enough to them.
The art can either save this book or harm it. I've never been a big fan of Kia Asamiya's artwork--the noses of his characters are just too big for their faces (in length and width), and it doesn't appeal to me. Steam Detectives doesn't suffer this nearly so much as other stories (Silent Moebius, for one), but the artwork is also simpler and more stylized. My recommendation: click on the cover art to get a larger view of it. That's what the art looks like, except the book is black & white. Some people love the look of Kia Asamiya's artwork, so take a look at it and decide.
HASH(0xa072dac8) out of 5 stars Steam Punk Fun Manga Style May 14 2012
By kahones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've always been a fan of Kia Asamiya, so shis series is right up my ally. It's a fun, light-hearted, story with elements of Batman,steam punk, and big giant robots! What could be more fun!

The only downside is that I don't think Viz (the publisher) was able to finish brining the series to the U.S. Amazon only list volume 7 for sale, while volume 8 is availble from other retailer on the site.

If you're thinking about checking out a new manga series, definitely check this out.
HASH(0xa072de04) out of 5 stars Great for fans of manga or american comics March 6 2015
By Carolyn Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From a creator who is clearly a fan of american comics come a great series for anyone who likes batman or other american comics or detective stories
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa072ddb0) out of 5 stars It was pretty good! April 19 2011
By Huai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Book arrived with only minor damage and was in great shape otherwise just as it was described on the page. I would like to say that it also came in a relatively fast time frame. Thanks a Bunch.


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