Blank, vol. 1

It’s a walking mailbox! It’s a talking stone wall! No! It’s Blank, nameless, international man of mystery and superspy extraordinaire. Or maybe not quite. Our man Blank suffers from amnesia, exacerbated by a severe case of cluelessness and social awkwardness. Luckily he’s got fantastic martial arts skills and a cute smile or high school athlete Aki Clark would never have given him a second chance after she catches him spying on her from inside the trashcan in the girls’ bathroom. … Did I mention that Blank’s not the smoothest customer? Just as Aki is getting totally fed up with these creepy antics Blank’s unexpected abilities come in handy when Aki unwittingly becomes the target of a gang of international terrorists. In situations like this, even an amnesiac teenage spy is better than no friends at all.

Like its hero, Blank can’t quite decide whether it’s a goofy slapstick comedy or a spooky international thriller. Watching Blank try to negotiate the hurdles of life in a fancy private school while simultaneously “protecting” and stalking Aki is hilarious – it’s easy to see why she can’t take him seriously until danger strikes. As usual, I could wish that Mhan would tone down the fanservice shots of scantily-clad highschoolers in favor of a little more plot, but it’s clear from the cliffhanger at the end of Volume 1 that the series has a lot more thrills in store. Girls, look again at the awkward, giggling doofus in the back of the classroom – he just might be a 16-year-old James Bond.

Blank, vol. 1
By Pop Mhan
ISBN: 9781598167795
Tokyopop, 2006

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