The 10kCommotion by Yukon Makoto, reviewed by Stelas
Held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the year 200X, the TenKay Commotion is the hottest Dance Dance Revolution tournament around. With 24 teams of competitors and some of the most prestigious judges around, not to mention the TenKay Commotion Mix, a collection of all the DDR mixes so far, TenKay promises to be hot.
And indeed it is; blazing onto the scene is The 10K Commotion, a relatively new manga-styled webcomic from Yukon Makoto. Updating weekly, but in batches of about ten pages each week, it has already built up a huge following and an archive stretching to eighty pages (at the time of this writing) â€“ two chapters out of a planned eleven.
So. Are you ready?
The 10K Commotion focuses primarily on two particular teams - the local favorites for the title, 'Team Psyclone', and the wandering team 'The Platinum Mark', whose captain Dynamite enters the scene by arriving in Hawaii and immediately - well, what do you expect? - going to the local arcade and meeting Picture Me, one of the more inflammatory members of Team Psyclone. After the latter's rather stubborn refusal to relinquish the arcade machine upon losing, the two face off in a brief competition where, not only does Dynamite beat Picture Me, but he also beats Team Psyclone's captain Cyber, leaving the team angry. They become angrier still when the Platinum Mark then proceed to (albeit 'accidentally') remove their highscores from the machine. Two weeks later, with barely a few days left until the tournament, the two teams begin to clash again, and from here the webcomic takes us through the events leading up to the tourney.
The characters are, by and large, a likeable bunch, though a few are, at present, a little stereotypical thanks to the story's early phases - the plot simply hasn't been going long enough to get around to them yet. Some of the situations that the cast find themselves in - and some of the lines they deliver - may seem a little cheesy, but it's all in good fun. The storyline bounces along at a happy pace, drawing the reader along and making for a pleasant read, though it may be a little too fast sometimes: scene changes can suddenly strike with little warning, forcing a quick mental gear shift. In addition, when it comes down to it, The 10K Commotion is fundamentally about a Dance Dance Revolution tournament, so those readers who've never even heard of the game may get a little confused about some of the aspects of the comic, even despite the first episode's little primer on the game.
When it comes to the manga style, Yukon Makoto knows her stuff, having worked on a number of professional projects including Shonen Jump (as a letterer and translator). The art is well-drawn, if slightly loose-lined, with a slight bent towards characters and foreground rather than background, and a fair whack of rough pencil-work left in. Rather than mar the work, however, this all comes together to give each page a rather unique effect. As stated, there's often a lack of a detailed background â€“ or indeed any background at all â€“ though the same rough pencil lines can often help to shape one. To compensate, there are often some fantastic portrait or full-body pictures of the cast, making some sections look more like an art gallery than a comic. Ultimately, the happy-go-lucky feel of the plot and most of the characters continues in the art, leaving the pages breathing with a light air and wafting easy on the eyes.
Just like the game it revolves around, The 10K Commotion can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. It's a fun, light read that'll endear itself to a reader and draw them in, and while it may not be for everyone given its integral reference to the DDR culture, it's nonetheless highly deserving of its following, and recommended for just about anyone, manga fans in particular.
Stelas is a staff contributor for Comixpedia. More Details.