Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rosy's scrawled manga recommendation: C.A.T. (Confidential Assassination Troop) by Fung Chin Pang

C.A.T. (Confidential Assassination Troop)
Fung Chin Pang

The third World War is nearing. Each super power country is going through a communications war to prepare for it, a war to obtain the top profiles' information of enemy countries using the Russian's secret weapon BEAR, China's Hao Long, and the United State's Confidential Assassination Troop, a.k.a. CAT.

Alternative names
Confidential Assassination Troop


Manga reader sites (free)

Rosy's scrawlings on C.A.T. (Confidential Assassination Troop)
Cat is a woman on the run. She's got a traumatic history, as seems obligatory for this dark assassin story, and she's set on gaining revenge. Unbeknownst to her, she's been released on purpose and her revenge plays straight into her creator's designs. A game is afoot and she's a player. Along with several other assassins from Russian and America. There is much more at stake than the simple revenge of one assassin against her abusers.
C.A.T. is a manga that's rather striking from the outset. The art is the first appealing aspect, looking somewhat like charcoal sketches. The rough textured art looks more like what is usually found in art galleries than within the covers of a manga. With this distinctive style all the action scenes gain a dark and rough atmosphere, particularly when blood begins to fly, and the spy master scenes gain a sombre subtlety not usually found in glossier and less stylised works.
There's a little more emphasis on sexuality, usually dark and twisted, when it comes to Cat's characterisation than is really required but this does play true to manga writing. Here though, while she was a victim at one stage simply by being young and overpowered at the time, Cat isn't one to be cowed by sexual threats or to retreat from her own physicality. She does, however, consider herself more monster than human so sex is off the books. This is true to her characterisation and maintains the vengeful assassin storyline.
Justice and righteousness have no place in this story, despite the revenge scenario. One death leads to another and many are fed through the meat grinders on the whim of a few spies and government officials. Freedom and human rights are violated left, right and centre and the only course any of the assassins has is to do whatever needed to survive. In this way they're played and manipulated as war looms, brought about by the terminally ill genius running the CIA. C.A.T is a story where the viciousness of humanity is displayed for your amusement and interest, the morals buried under action for the most part. There's no time for thought unrelated to survival, as it is far too late for any of the characters to escape. At best you can read the story and draw them yourself, hoping all the while you never get stuck in such situations. Thankfully, almost none of you ever will despite some far-too-common crimes being included in C.A.T.

I'd recommend this manga to: anyone interested in stories containing spies, bloody action, impending tech-based war, augmented humans and assassins.

Notes on manga reader sites
The quality of manga readers can vary. The uploads are often done cheaply or as a serious hobby by a collective. Be aware that sometimes licence hasn't been given but the sites noted above, Manga Fox in particular, are extremely careful about adding and pulling mangas according to license agreements. So you shouldn't have to worry too much about the material being pirated. There are also translated works and non-translated. Amongst the translated works you will find that the quality of translation may vary according to the skills of the translators. Usually the works are perfectly readable anyway, with only a few added or dropped words or a word in the incorrect tense or with/out plurals. But sometimes the text becomes gobbledygook. In which case, either seek another version or give up and buy an official copy once a printed translation comes out. The other issue of note is you may need to expand the screen to read the text easily as sometimes the scans are minimised a little.
I find that if a page doesn't download properly or some other issue occurs (too slow or someone ordered the pages incorrectly etc.) with one reader then skipping across to another reader and picking up where I was is quite easy and rarely annoying.
Otherwise, enjoy and watch out you don't get too addicted you forget about the necessary things in life.

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