Her Impact Review
I haven’t done a review in a while, so I thought I would mix things up a bit and review a manga-inspired comic about a female boxer called Her Impact. I was actually asked by the writer Mikel Miles to take a look at it. (FYI– I wasn’t paid for the review) I was a little surprised as I’m the anime science guy, and the comic, at least so far, doesn’t really have any science in it. Then again, I have been doing a lot with the boxing manga/anime Hajime No Ippo recently. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.
There isn’t too much to say at this point as it’s only the first chapter, and I’d like to keep the spoilers to a minimum. The story begins by introducing us to Sadie, a half African-Canadian/ half Japanese single mother, who is bored and frustrated with her admittedly cushy job. The comic doesn’t waste any time in showing us just how crappy her boss is, which might be considered a little cliché, but it works. I could have done without the tissue innuendo though. It is also brought to light that Sadie’s father was a famous Japanese boxer in the 60’s, and she is 28 years old. This means the story is taking place sometime between 1988 and 1997, which makes Sadie’s smartphone a little out of place. Yes, I know the first “smartphones” came out in 1992, and the term “smartphone” came into use in 1995, but her phone greatly resembles a late model iPhone. While the technology might be out of place, it is possible that the comic is indeed set during the late 80’s to the mid 90’s, as this is when women’s boxing begins to really emerge, even though it was in the Olympics once back in 1904, before reemerging in 1988. It’s also possible to determine that she had her son young at the age of 21.
Now I would like to see the story stick to boxing, but there are some other areas that could also be explored. First off there is the fact that Japan is still very ethnocentric, and our lead character could face some issues because of that. In fact, Ariana Miyamoto represented Japan at the 2015 Miss Universe contest and won, but faced backlash for not being Japanese enough, due to her being half African/ half Japanese.
These issues could potentially be explored over the course of the story. A second area to be explored would be the issue of being a single mother in Japan, which is on the rise, but the traditional two parent home is still seen as the norm and ideal. While these are potential plot points worth examining, I hope that it sticks with the nuances of women’s boxing, at least initially. I am curious to see how it differs from men’s boxing and how the comic will handle an older woman (for a boxer) entering the ring.
While inspired by manga, the artwork of Her Impact is more western in style, missing the stereotypical large eyes. While the eyes are still a bit larger than they would be on a normal person, they are not anywhere close to the so-called manga or anime eyes. I don’t find this to be a negative at all, it’s just a different style. Also missing are the exaggerated body types often found in anime and manga, and again it’s by no means a negative. The backgrounds are lacking in some detail, but that actually serves the purpose of putting more focus on the characters. I find this to be a nice change of pace as you focus more on the writing and the story, because sometimes I find myself skipping over the words and just focusing on the artwork in some manga.
While Her Impact is only a demo issue at this point, it is off to a promising start. If I had to give it a ranking of some sort I would give Her Impact a 7.5 out of 10. If you like sports manga, or if you like this melding of eastern and western comics, I would seriously consider giving Her Impact a look.
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