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Megatokyo Volume 1

by Fred Gallagher and Rodney Caston

Publisher: Dark Horse

Format: 152pg, softcover, black and white, $9.95

Category: Young Adult Action/Adventure

Dewey: 741.5 GAL or SC GAL

Subjects: Comics and comic books, etc.; Action and Adventure; Humorous fiction.

ISBN-13: 978-1-59307-163-9

Reviewed by: Kat Kan

Two inveterate gamers, Piro and Largo, travel to Japan on a whim and then max out their credit cards so they can't buy return tickets to go back home. Stuck in the expensive country, they stay with Piro's friend Tsubasa for a while. Trouble is, both young men are easily distracted from their goal (to go home), and when Piro manages to finagle money from some friends in the U.S., he and Largo spend it on toys and games. Largo lives only to drink beer, play shooter games, and work on computers, while Piro is more into anime, manga, and dating sim games. When Piro loses his bookbag in a bookstore, Yuki, a cute high school girl, finds it and starts to look through his sketchbook – decides to keep it and the bookbag! Meanwhile, Piro accidentally lands a sales job in an anime/game shop, while Largo obsesses about evil zombies on the streets of Tokyo. Will they ever find their way home?

Megatokyo is a webcomic which is still ongoing, compiled by Dark Horse into print format; this is "Chapter 0" of the story. Gallagher and Caston write the webcomic as one-page standalone comic strips with continuity; the strips appear several times a week on the web. Piro and Largo are fictional counterparts of the co-creators; and a number of their friends also appear in the book. Gallagher draws in anime style to tell the story; the book includes his commentary at the bottom of the pages, which makes for a different kind of reading experience. The commentary is exclusive to the book. Largo's "l33t sp34k," Piro's conscience which appears in physical form, and other characters and incidents keep this story in the fantasy realm even as it depicts Tokyo as it is today. It's fun to read, and not just for the webcomic fans. Older teens and adults will get a kick out of Piro's and Largo's misadventures; this one is good for public libraries.