MegaTokyo Omnibus #1: Blast from My Nerdy Past
Gather around children and let me tell you a tale, a tale from the days of the old internet. An internet that took so long to download a web page, you could go to the bathroom, get a snack and still have to wait for the page to finish loading. An internet you’d have to shove towels under the door so your parents wouldn’t hear the demonic screeching your computer made while connecting in the middle of the night. This is a tale about a web comic who through hard work, original ideas and probably a whole lot of luck became a published manga. A tale of MegaTokyo.
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Piro and Largo are 20-something year old gamers on a quest to E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo or video gamer utopia) a quest that ends fairly quickly as they are turned away at the door. After Largo drowns his sorrows in alcohol and then loses his pants, Piro decides a getaway to Japan is just what his melancholy friend needs. So begins their adventure, well more of a series of unfortunate events. After maxing out their credit cards on what one can only assume is video game swag , like most 20-something do, they must find a way to survive in the middle Tokyo. Piro and Largo meet many up with many different characters, some from their past and some that our new to their every exciting lives. The MegaTokyo version of Tokyo is very different from ours, for instance instead of a passport all you need to get into Japan is the ability to destroy your opponent in Mortal Komat. Many “nerd culture” references are sprinkled through out the story, from robot ladies to zombies you never know what will pop up.
I thought it was pretty neat to watch Gallagher’s art style change and mature over time. His skill level has drastically changed from the beginning to the end of the book, something you don’t quite notice when you read it as a weekly web comic. His art style is very “anime” which I also enjoy and think it fits the over all theme of the series. It’s also packed with extras, like a little commentary on the bottom of the pages. A little insight to what the creators were thinking. Plus some bonus art and comic!
As I’m sure most nerds from my generation, MegaTokyo is a pleasant blast from the past. Feels like I’m back at my parents house again, sneaking into the computer room to read web comics at night. Even these young whipper snappers, who probably don’t understand how something from the internet was brought to life with out Kickstarter, will get a kick out of this. With the popularity of “nerd culture” nowadays, this series easily slides back into the world. For some of us it’s a welcoming nostalgic reminder of our younger days, while others are experiencing the strange but delightful world of MegaTokyo for this first time.