“Kai, a young man seeking his destiny, finds himself in a predicament that would soon change his life. Becoming the “Chosen Reishenu” the leader of the the elite team of warriors known as the TSHADOW (Tensou Shadow) , in a war against the Yōkai Universe! Join TSHADOW in the newest Shonen Suspense Comedy Manga: 保護者 004 (Guardian 004)!”
This is a very short one-shot comic consisting of only 12 pages. It leaves the reader with an ending that is open to interpretation.
It can be a bit difficult to review something this short, but I’ll do what I can. As a result, there are some spoilers here, so please take that in mind.
Guardian 004 jumps straight into the middle of a plot, not giving the readers any character introductions or background information. Actually, it feels like the story jumps to the final battle, like when you walk in at the end of a movie. Except this webcomic doesn’t have a solid ending.
The plot is confusing to say the least. The motive for the antagonist contradicts itself three times. He is first accusing the protagonist of being a demigod, then calls him weak and useless, and finally he states the protagonist will become something that is dangerous. The story basically ends after we learn all this.
Aside from the fact that there really isn’t a lot of story to base this review on, it’s also pretty difficult to read. The font is very small, and when you zoom in it becomes blurry which doesn’t make it much easier to read.
There are also quite a few grammar and spelling errors throughout these 12 pages. I find this especially upsetting because of the length of the comic. There should be no errors at all if your story is this short.
Ignoring the grammar and spelling, the conversation actually flows really well between characters and panels. If there were more backstory and development of the characters there could be a great story in the making here.
Looking at the art, NinjabotXI kept a very simplistic style with minimalistic background and character designs. The shading was also basic, but was manipulated well at times to emphasize facial features and reader reactions.
Although the backgrounds were minimalistic, there were scenes that NinjabotXI completely cut out the buildings behind the characters and instead replaced it with television static. I’m not entirely sure why. Possibly to keep the attention on the action scene? I don’t think the backgrounds would have taken away from that anyway.
In fact, Guardian 004 used colour in the action scenes to really attract the reader’s attention. It works well as a focal point and also creates movement in some of the panels.
Overall the art felt a bit stiff and would have benefited from a bit more detailing. However, the use of colour was a good tactic to engage the reader in the scenes more.
If you are looking for an extremely short and interpretative read, maybe give Guardian 004 by NinjabotXI a read. It might not have been my cup of tea, but it could be yours!
You can read Guardian 004 by NinjabotXI here.
Check out more of NinjabotXI’s work on Tapastic!