Two down, two more to go for this new batch of Jump Start. We’ve seen Kagamigami and Black Clover; now we have a little number called Cyborg Roggy, by a creator I’m not familiar with. The premise sees us in a futuristic setting with cybernetically-enhanced individuals.
Is it good?
Cyborg Roggy #1 (Viz Media)
Written and Drawn By: Yu Miki
Translated By: Stephen Paul
Sometime in the future, something very interesting happened: a decade before the story started, people started getting artificial biological implants known as “Augmentation Parts”. It seemed cool at first, with people enhancing their physiology or giving themselves special powers, but as time went on… things didn’t go so well; crazy people started using them, followed by people who wanted to protect themselves from the “Augs” (AKA cyborgs). The justice department and police didn’t know how to deal with this and soon, most people ended up using Augmentation Parts to keep up.
Our story focuses on this odd fellow named Dog, whose name derives from the augmentation that gives his nose super smelling abilities. He’s a part of a gang called Stress-Free, who recently need him for his ability to track someone down. One of Stress-Free’s members got beaten badly and they need to find the perp who did it. The results of Dog’s searching leads him to a rather odd looking fellow, unlike anyone he has seen before…
Street crime of the future, folks. Not even getaway cars are safe.
Cyborg Roggy may be the most unique and different of the recent Jump Start titles I’ve seen thus far. Sure, there are elements to it that we have seen before, but the series feels like it puts enough twists into familiar concepts that the flavor is unique. That being said, I’m not exactly sure if this is my cup of tea or the type of book that will have wide appeal since it feels very different than most of the books. However, let’s judge it as it is.
The story shows a lot of potential. The whole future angle with people getting cyborg enhancements or being able to get special abilities to improve themselves has been seen before, as I said (even quite recently with the Label system from Hi-Fi Cluster), but there is a twist offered in Cyborg Roggy‘s backstory; the augmentation started off as something that only certain bad people were getting and it expanded from there, to where good people have to get augmentations just to be able to protect themselves. It’s not like this aspect has actually helped society, but in fact has seemed to screw it over quite a bit.
Which brings us to our two apparent lead characters — The first is our title character, Roggy, and it is a bit hard to figure out what exactly makes him tick. He has similar qualities to staple Shonen manga heroes, like staying true to his word and standing up for the weak. However, he also gives off the impression that he’s indifferent and bored with the world around him. He is the type of character who probably has a big backstory that really shaped him into what he became, but as of now, it’s hard to know what to think of him.
Dog on the other hand feels like your archetypical weak-willed character, sort of like Sena from Eyeshield 21 or Closer from Hyde & Closer. Dog doesn’t have much confidence in himself and is easily pushed around and intimidated by most people. However, unlike characters of this mold in other series, Dog doesn’t actually show a small change or bit where he stands up for himself to show that he is starting to get a backbone. This may mean that his development may be more gradual and natural, but it does feel rather odd to me.
The writing isn’t too bad overall. The pacing is decent and there’s only slight bits of jumpiness in some scene transitions. The tone is pretty serious and plays things straight unlike the other Jump Start titles as of late, with only slight bits of humor sprinkled here and there. The tone will probably be what helps determine if this series is the right one for you, especially with how gritty the first issue came across. The dialogue and narration aren’t too bad, but nothing stands out that much and there are some awkward bits when Roggy talks initially that sound off. The ending is mixed, since it’s a bit quieter and more laidback than most first chapters. No big hook, surprise, or twist to it to keep encouraging you to read like you may expect. It’s perfectly fine, but it felt like it could have used a hook.
The artwork is a bit mixed to me as well, but does have some really strong points. Foremost, the character design in this series is great; everyone is made so distinguishable and unique looking from one another in nearly every aspect — from unique hairstyles, clothing, body types, and even the ways they compose themselves and walk. Combine that with how well the artwork does at capturing this gritty and rundown looking city the story is in and it all really helps bring the world to life. The layouts and action are both pretty solid as well, but are a bit hard to follow in some areas. Also, some of the body physiques look rather off during the fights. It’s not awful, but a bit sloppy and hopefully the next issues will be better.
Can even a futurisic augmentation save that poor kid’s spine?
Is It Good?
Cyborg Roggy #1 is a new Jump Start series that shows plenty of potential and most importantly, uniqueness. It twists things up just enough in areas and provides a more serious and gritty tone that really establishes it as a title that could be a breath of fresh air. It has its own share of problems, but I think as time goes on, those will fade away and this series could potentially shine brightly. Overall, I would recommend voting positively on the series, especially if you want Weekly Shonen Jump add a manga with a different flavor to it.