TOKYOPOP’s upcoming World of Hartz promises to be huge with the teenage crowd, blending manga-style art with a story that centers on the world of Internet gaming, a sure bet to corner the young geek market.
Yes, at ONE volume. Obviously, this never took off. I mean, what do you expect? It’s not even close to what you expect. Sometimes. It’s everything and WORSE. “World of Hartz” doesn’t do itself any favors with its lousy artwork, mind you. But that’s the least of its problems.
I’d say the most of its problems is the characters. Han is quite possibly the least likable character they could have chosen. I say I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’m not. From the get-go, Han proves himself to be a spoiled, self-entitled jerk. All Han wants out of life is a girlfriend. Did I say “girlfriend”? I meant to say “sex object”.
Apparently a girlfriend isn’t enough, as he sees a girl (from the back) holding a gaming magazine he likes (he doesn’t see her face), so he falls head over heels for her (he just assumes the woman is hot). WHAAAAAA??? She’s ugly?! Better yell in terror, because she’s not sexy! Fortunately the girl socks him, so that goes well.
Yes, this is the life for a virtual-reality gamer. Generic fights and being the number one site for… okay. Hmm. Han and his friend, “T”, run a… something. I don’t know. This was published in 2004, when the internet was just a wee child. Maybe a preteen. Apparently, being the source for gaming news or something is a big deal in the far-off future. They get like, a thousand people on the site per day. Gee whiz!
Han, as mentioned, is a jerk. So much so that he betrays his friend for a cute girl online. The twist? It’s a guy! And an old guy, at that! And eeeeevil! T even points out that the cute girl could be a fake avatar. So basically, it broadcasts the ending. Neat.
Of course we never find out why. The volume I have has no number listed, despite the above cover having a “1”. They were also planning an “anime” to go along with it, but as you can tell, no one would watch an anime based on this. The only proof of this is in the ads at the end. Online… I’m completely at a loss. The “World of Hartz Website” gives a 404 message, and there’s already barely any information about the series as is.
Granted, I’ve gotten over a lot of my manga bias. I can like a lot of American manga, and I can even stand manwha sometimes. We’re not quite there yet. But when it comes to something like this, I just wonder what the point is of publishing it at all. It’s just dumb, and not even in a fun way like Gamerz Heaven. Skip it.