The Webcomic Watchman

Friday, June 16, 2006

Review #10: An Unfortunate Stigma

Title: Otenba Files
Artist: "Bazabat" (real name unknown)
Collective: None
Genre: Romance/Anthromorphic
Updates: About 2-3 times a week

I think Bazabat has found the right formula to make her comic a success.

Yes, it is a sneaky, lowbrow formula that caters to the lowest denominator of webcomic reader. And no, I won't deny that I indulge myself in her comic as well as a lot of her other readers have probably done (and one may have done with the artist personally, so I hear). You (either the artist or the one reading this review) might find it unfair for me to characterize it this way, but that's what it is.

What? You want me to spell it out for you in plain English? Okay, fuck the cryptic language. Otenba Files is goddamn yuri with a storyline on the side.

The story starts off with a tall, androgynous, hot-tempered psychic girl named Krisko (or just "Kris"). Apparently, she's an unknowing pawn in some war between the forces of good at a psychic school and the forces of evil, represented by an ominous sillhouetted, anthromorphic gentleman. She also plays a sport called "Dranball," which Bazabat describes as, "A type of futuristic rugby/American football mixed with psychic cardplay [sic]."

And that's where it all goes downhill:

In the following chapters, we are introduced to the stereotypical team consisting of the huge dumbass (Koda), the little whiney bitch (Juppy), and the chain-smoking angry badass (Tamka). They fight, they yell at each other, the female members go off and get fucked (either in flashbacks or in current time), and then they do it all over again. The cast has expanded, but the characters haven't really done much to advance what little plot exists in this comic.

As for the romance shtick, you gotta wonder how many women has Kris slept with? And how easy are these people? The romance in the story doesn't really seem to be an end to which Kris strives for, but more of a forced means of showing hot yuri instead without any real context. If that's how Bazabat wants to present it, fine. But she should stop trying to pretend that the comic is anything more than that.

On the other hand, if she doesn't want her comic to be seen as just yuri scenes with a plot on the side, then she should remedy the situation quickly, because the unfortunate stigma of "pr0n with a plot" is sticking to this comic already.

Art: 5/5 (Even though Bazabat uses nothing but pencil, the art has progressed incredibly well)
Story: 2/5 (little substance, and the romance feels more forced than it should)
Humor: 2/5 (Some, but not a lot)
Action: 3.5/5 (Ehhh, it's good with only pencil. Nothing spectacular though.)
Characters: 3.5/5 (A little cliched for my taste, but showing some development)
Overall (not an average): 6/10
Evil Stuff: HAWT YURI SECHS (consensual and non-consenual)! Oh, and some blood, some violence, moderate language.
Final Thoughts: +2 to score if you want some yuri. -3 if homosexuality turns you off (I see you, Jerry Falwell!). If you don't care about either (oh, I believe you), take a look, but it ain't bookmark worthy just yet.


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