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Reviewstravaganza : Te@mare

Ben is finally back at Gempakstarz with his new title; Te@mare. With two volumes now available, I finally got the chance to read them. What do I think about it ? Hit the jump to find out.

I am a big fan of Ben (I had all his Gempakstarz collection, though I realize that I lost my Turbo EX recently) and I was super frustrated when he left Fatal Chaos and Le Gardenie leaving the two titles ended in a very confusing way. Since then, I was hoping to see a new title from him that has a proper ending. When I saw Te@mare, I was super excited again because the last one that I read; Atan, I was not really on board because it doesn't really show his true talents.

Eventhough this is a Reviewstravaganza, I will try not to spoil to it much because up until volume 2, it is a good story and because it is still ongoing, I don't think I should spoil it. Now we got through that, lets get going.
Tea@mare volume 1 starts off good for me. The art was a lot more cleaner in compared to what happen at the end of Le Gardenie and Fatal Chaos in which it looks a little bit of 'chaotic', pun intended. The story also looks original eventhough it has the looks of Le Gardenie and some of the character design looks familiar to Fatal Chaos, you still feel this is a totally different story. That is a good sign because you want to attract your old fan from you most familiar artwork but you don't to put to much reference in your artwork and making it become a carbon copy.

In term of character, it still has the archetype similar to Ben's other artwork. While I am not fan of archetype, I'm giving it a chance as it still at development stage. The color reminds me to Caramel Theater, but I think it is because they have the same colorist instead.

My favorite character for volume 1 (I'll explain that later)was instantly Hana with Keiko in close second. Hana reminds me of Apple's archetype of being soft and the type of girl-next-door and I really enjoy the twist on Hana's look. The ending was done nicely to make sure the readers back for volume 2.

Volume 2 was entirely different for me. The beginning for me starts really good with the continuation of what happen in volume one and was a really good development for Colin, distancing him from Orange in Le Gardenie. However, while Hana's family development interest me, her character now has become a carbon copy of Apple making me a little frustrated.

In term of story, honestly there's nothing much happen really and unlike other Ben's work, the questions in the story can be answer immediately as the evidence was very obvious. The only unexpected element in the book is Mia as her role in the story is not yet clear whether she is a protagonist or an antagonist.

In term of artwork, it seems a little bit inconsistent. There is some part , you can see it was inked by entirely different people. I don't know if he attempt to change his artwork throughout the series or it is just that the assistant was changed halfway to the series.Hence unlike volume 1, I wasn't really happy with volume 2 as much.

Overall, Te@mare is a good read and feel like a proper return for Ben. While I was not really enjoying volume 2, I am still excited for volume 3 just for the reason of to know Mia's role in the story. In the end, I give Te@more volume 1 and 2  a total of 3.5 out of 5.0. A good start, while it drops a little bit in volume 2 but it still able to make sure the reader returns for volume 3. However, I really hope that the story could stand on its own and distance itself from Ben's previous artworks.

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