Two beings, one of pure good and one of pure evil, infused with all the knowledge and abilities of their creator, were set to awaken when the world was about to enter its final war. Shortly after his masterpieces were completed, the creator committed suicide, satisfied with the potential mayhem his creations will cause. Now, 1000 years later, a peaceful city is terrorized by a monster attack. The monster was created by the "pure evil" being named Vice, as a means to draw out his "pure good" counterpart, Ultimo. When the monster starts wrecking the city and attacking innocent bystanders, Ultimo appears to take out the monster. Finally, the two meet and their grand battle begins. Who will win? Who will lose? What do the police think about these new creatures destroying their city?
I came into this series not expecting much, but I was very surprised about the concepts that the manga is trying to achieve. If you are looking for something similar to Shaman King, then then this is not the series you may want to read, since this Ultimo has a different vibe from Takai's predecessor.
The series Ultimo is based around the idea philosophers have been trying to figure out for centuries and that is what is truly more important within life, being good or being evil? And through this idea, our main antagonist Dunstan, who show similarities to Stan Lee, is trying to uncover
the meaning through the 15 robot children he created to fight each other to find the meaning. There is a big focus on time travel, and reincarnation within this series, since every important character had some significance in there past lives, and each character is tied to Dunstan's plan to uncover the truth to his ultimate question. The layout of the manga is pretty straightforward, and it never strays away from it main objective, but I think there are many parts of the story where the journey become tiring and predictable, and often repetitive, since many of the same fights will occur over and over again.
The characters were interesting, but many of them lacked depth. The main protagonist,Yamoto seemed very uninteresting and unreliable for the majority of the series, but he does make big strides in the last 2 volumes of the series. I think the best character is definitely Ultimo, since she shows the most growth throughout the series.
The artwork is a hit or miss. I do like Takai's style, but often when there are fights that occurred between two Doujis, the fight would often become to chaotic, and the the line variety of the robots would often be hard to read. This led me to staring a pages for a few minutes to just find out what I was actually viewing instead of just admiring the two giant robots fight each other. The spotty artwork definitely alters the flow of the manga, and this may be a deal breaker to many people.
Okay, if the first page of colored spread does not got your blood pumping or your b0nar expanding, then something is definitely wrong with you.
Meet Ultimo the 'Good' of Karakuri Douji, one of the first ultimate robot that was made by Dunstan. This old fucktard also made Vice the "Evil". The reason he created these robots are because he wants to see who is the strongest: Good or Evil. Fascinating idea, don't you think?
Ultimo is a collaboration manga between Stan Lee (yes, the Stan Lee from Marvel Comics) and Takei Hiroyuki (the same mangaka that did Shaman King). Stan Lee is the author and Takei
is responsible for the art. I must say that it is a brilliant combination. I love the story so far and I thought it's original. I also like how the robots look like. They are so effing adorable. Although at first I find it hard to believe that Ultimo or Pardone are males. I'm not complaining, just wanna say that I was amused =D
The Karakuri Douji needs a master so that they can learn the good and evil of things. Once they couldn't learn anything else from their master, their contract/vow/whatever will be terminated which mean they can kill their former master and go look for a new one. Of course, that's what Evil Karakuri Douji would do.
The story really gets interesting when they introduced the six Karakuri Douji of good. Also known as the "six perfections". Let me list the names of the Douji that has been introduced so far: Ultimo the "good", Regula the "moral" and Pardone the "patience". They have also introduced the masters for the six perfections. One in particular (besides Agari Yamoto) has caught my eyes. He is Murayama Musashi. His Douji is unknown at the moment.
Yamato is the master for Ultimo. At this point in time Jealous the "envy" doesn't have a master yet because he just killed the old fuck Irumi. Too bad Yamato is too slow to make Jealous as one of his. Just think of the good that will do... I lol'd at Vice's master. He is called K (urgh why the fuck K?!) and has this stupid look on his face. Truth of the matter is, Vice is the one with the order and what not. He is just using K. Behold the powah of Evil!!! XD
If the "Good" has six perfection, then the "Evil" has six sins. So far that have been introduced are Jealous the Envy (Shitto no Jealous) and Edile the Glutton (Boushoku no Edile). It hasn't been explained in details but Jealous is after Lune (Yamato's bestfriend) to be his master while Edile's master is a 6 year old kid with a foul mouth. It was an interesting mix of characters for both sides.
Interestingly when Ultimo fights, you can clearly see that he's not really on the "good" side of things. I love the twist.
Oh wow! I am truly liking this story. It's true that it's very early in the game to review but I think it's getting better and better as I keep on reading this.
Story: 9 - The story seems simple but boy it is fun. One thousand years ago, Dunstan cursed the world by creating two doll like robots. One represents the ultimate good (Ultimo) and the other, the ultimate evil (Vice). Dunstan created them to see which of the two will win. In addition, we also leaned that he made more models to fill in the gaps of good and evil. Now, it's the 21st
Century where the world is watching the two 'kids' fighting in the sky. I put a nine for two things. One for space...who knows if it will end up going down or whether it will go up. 10 is perfection and any story can improve. After all, the 'epicness' of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was at the second half even though already TTGL was epic then.Two was the fact that it can be kinda similar to all these other stories where humans partner up with some supernatural being (Gash Bell, Shaman King, Rozen Maiden...) and we just have to see whether it will be kinda repetitive from the idea or will be the best of its kind. However, I think Hiroyuki Takei will be great to deliver this type since he is the author of Shaman King.
Art: 8 - I don't have any beef with the art really. Hiroyuki Takei is still recognizable and I haven't seen a change whatsoever from Shaman King. I dunno...maybe I was expecting something new in his style which I have not seen yet. It is very good but it's nothing too much to really give a jawdrop.
Characters: 9 - I do love these characters a lot...which is just the characters that I know of...but we've just met them so there will be cases of character development which we gotta check out. Will they be stick figures or will they have a lot of layers? Let's see what the Takei/Lee due come up with. However, I do like these character a lot because even in it's early chapters, the presence of the KDs (Karakuri Doujis) does question what is good and what is evil.
Enjoyment: 10 - I'm already getting into this story a lot. I'm already thinking of possibilities of what's going to happen and I'm already waiting for the next chapter. (I've even started thinking of Asian Ball Jointed Dolls modeled after KDs.) I'm having fun and I hope you will too.
Overall: I give it a 9 since it's fun, entertaining, and I'm considering all of the other categories at once. (It's even mathematically correct. ^^)
It's amazing that Stan Lee would work with a great manga artist in this very suspenceful, and action packed manga. I loved the plot alot, the art is even better than Takei previous series Shaman Kingm, I really enjoyed the series created by these masterminds, and I was intrested in the characters on how well drawn and developed they were.
BEST HIROYUKI TAKEI MANGA EVER!!!!!