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Clamp School Defenders Duklyon, Volume 1

de CLAMP

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In a world where evil can show its face at any moment, where alien invaders secretly plot our planet's annihilation, where even halls of academia are not safe from danger, only one force can stand up for peace and justice--Duklyon: Clamp School Defenders. Bakers by day, defenders by night, the Duklyon team of Kentarou and Takeshi is always eager to defend their school (and the world) from the menace of super-villainy. Well...not exactly eager. But as long as their manager, the verbally abusive, mallet-wielding Ellie is on their backs, the Duklyon team can't escape their duty.… (més)
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One of CLAMP's earlier works, from the period in their creation history when their manga was bipolar. Either the stories were intense and tragic, albeit beautiful, or they were happy and light-hearted but lacking much depth. Duklyon falls into the latter category. The story is set in Clamp School (also the setting for Man of Many Faces and Clamp School Detectives), a fictional campus where the best and brightest of Japan's students study and live. To protect this Utopian society, the mysterious General has formed Duklyon, Clamp School Defenders, consisting of two high school students who wear superhero sentai type costumes to battle evil doers. The heroes, Kentaro and Takeshi, are managed by Eri, a high school girl who is a part of Duklyon even though she never goes into battle herself; especially odd since she is apparently the much stronger one.

The manga offers little back story besides a brief introduction of Clamp school and its need for protectors. At the beginning of volume one, Takeshi and Kentaro are already established as the Duklyon fighters, and have been so for an undisclosed amount of time. They are summoned by the General because an evil organization known as the Imonoyama Shopping District Association has struck again. This time, it has kidnapped a child from the kindergarten division of Clamp School. Duklyon rushes off to confront the secret evil society's leader, Kotobuki, also a student at the school. Just as no one recognizes the General to be Nokoru, elementary school president, no one realizes that Kotobuki is the evil leader of the aforesaid secret society. This is just part of the rules of the tokusatsu genre, and also part of the humor of the manga. The CLAMP women are clearly having fun with this particular style of storytelling popular in Japan, and the series is both a satire and an homage.

The Duklyon boys confront the kidnapper, and he declares that taking over the kindergarten is the first step towards world domination. This is quite ridiculous, as it's supposed to be, parodying as the manga does the many tokusatsu stories where the villains make some arbitrary move that makes no sense but is somehow supposed to help them take over. The fight scene is lightning quick, as Kotobuki unleashes a giant monster and the Duklyon defenders immediately blow it up. As the manga progresses, the moves the Imonoyama Shopping Association takes are even more arbitrary and absurd, and the fight scenes all short and sweet; the focus here is not on the battles but on the characters and the parody. A dash of romance is thrown in when Eri and Kotobuki fall for each other, not realizing that they are on opposite sides of the fight. This complication, of course, is also handled with tongue-in-cheek comedy. The whole package is very funny and entertaining, even if the story is shallow. And, of course, it is accompanied by CLAMP's always gorgeous art. A good choice for someone looking for a frothy pick-me-up story that is easy to read. ( )
  nmhale | Nov 23, 2014 |
MInd-bendingly funny! A tokusatsu satire of epic proportions! Clamp School Defenders Duklyon is chalked full of realistic characters, page-turning plots and death-defying-derring-do! Err... Okay that last part was a complete lie.

Easily CLAMP's funniest work, Clamp School Defenders Duklyon is the perfect addition to any manga collection. Duklyon boasts a terrific translation, adorable monsters that are always and forever vanished with the exact same attack and characters with names so long they will literally take up four hyphenated lines in some bubbles. A must (not) read! ( )
  senbei | May 20, 2014 |
A bit different than most all the other Clamp works I've read, this manga reminded me of a mix of the Archie comics (artworkwise) and the campy Batman television show of the '70s without the "Bam" and "Pow" effects.

In the Clamp school which covers all grade levels there are two super heroes who are there to protect the student body from an evil corporation. On the surface it doesn't sound too campy, but then you take the super heroes one who is way too happy to be alive, the other who can't seem to be happy at all, mix it with the fact that the villain is a classmate with his identity hidden behind...wait for it...a pair of glasses and throw one overly patriotic girl who can out fight and out wit both the "heroes" and it is certainly a recipe for unsurpassed chaotic corniness.

I did have a bit of fun reading the manga and I laughed out loud at parts. Recommended for super hero lovers kids to adults. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Jan 17, 2008 |
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In a world where evil can show its face at any moment, where alien invaders secretly plot our planet's annihilation, where even halls of academia are not safe from danger, only one force can stand up for peace and justice--Duklyon: Clamp School Defenders. Bakers by day, defenders by night, the Duklyon team of Kentarou and Takeshi is always eager to defend their school (and the world) from the menace of super-villainy. Well...not exactly eager. But as long as their manager, the verbally abusive, mallet-wielding Ellie is on their backs, the Duklyon team can't escape their duty.

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