Sandata Crisis online (escano)

I kinda know of this thing from the Summer Komikon and I did see this plugged for the Indieket. So when I saw this among the list at MangaMagazine.net (and believe me, going through the stash there is quite the chore right now, since there is no search function), I went on a marathon. Sandata Crisis is available on MangaMagazine in Tagalog and English.

Nathaniel (Nato) is the grandson of the Supremo of Gerilya, an assassin group, one at odds with a group led by Sophoro. As the Supremo of Gerilya is starting to weaken, Sophoro is slowly rising in strength. Both are starting to be aware that Nato may have inherent skills. Unfortunately Nato himself is unsure of what he can do, especially now that he’s depressed about his girlfriend cheating on him.

Yes, this thing definitely needs better scanning and better Photoshop-cleaning, Yes, this thing descends occasionally into text-speak and tends to use a Tagalog that is understandable but is not acceptable written Tagalog. Yes, sometimes the proportions need work. But this is really good stuff from a guy who says he’s only sixteen. There’s an understanding of life here that is rather wiser than his years. It’s possible, of course, that this may have been gotten from books and comics. But the assimilation of these things is done well, with more maturity than in some other komiks out there.

The pacing of the story, and the information-dropping, is good, though it may be slow-ish for some people. It gives enough airtime for all the major players, particularly the Supremo, Sophoro, and Nato. The art is generally okay, though sometimes it’s hard to tell some characters apart. The paneling is always understandable, and is unafraid to use whole-page scenes to create impact. The occasional fully-digital pages are well-made.

The English translation by Avarice/Gehrome Serrano is VERY good, keeping the feel of the original, surely improving on the grammar mistakes of the original. It does lose a little of the street-wise Tagalog edge it had, though.

Overall the series is worth the follow, online (at MangaMagazine.net) or offline (through the Komikons). The problems cited do need to be fixed, but there is much potential here that deserves notice.

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