One Punch Reviews #75: Wonder Momo
Earlier this week, I mentioned how Bravoman reminded me of 80’s Saturday morning cartoons. I should have quantified that to mean American cartoons. It’s Shiftylook stablemate, Wonder Momo (written by Erik Ko and Jim Zub and illustrated by Omar Dogan) reminds me of the toons from the era that were viewed by our pals out in Japan.
While it looks modern for the most part, there’s a spot where the illustrations change to mimic the 80’s look. One of our characters sports an audacious Gundam helmet, which she uses in part to protect her impeccably fluffy and oh-so-80’s perm. Elsewhere, bits of the story are reminiscent from the schoolyard rivalry of the classic 80’s anime/parody Project A-Ko. And, finally, while I know this is going to make me sound a little gross, there’s the one thing that I remember being in just about every 80’s Japanese anime I ever watched to the point that it’s a little nostalgic: gratuitous panty shots.
(This just in! I just guaranteed myself 1,000+ search engine hits for this post just by including the words “gratuitous panty shots”.)
You can’t really get mad at the creators, because the game it’s based on is heavy on the fan service. The blog post explains, “The character and the game were quite popular in Japan, mainly because of its rather sexy nature, especially the fact that you see Momo’s underwear every time she kicks. In fact, this even becomes a focal point in the game. When a photographer snaps a picture of Momo’s underskirt shot, she is temporarily stunned and unable to attack!” I should point out that, despite the copious amount of cheesecake in the Wonder Momo webcomic, it’s still fairly tame in that chaste Taylor-Swift-in-a-one-piece-bathing-suit way, and a little wholesome compared to, say, most 80’s anime aimed at children. However, that video game photographer returns, and he comes off as something of a sex pervert.
Our heroine is Momoko, a young aspiring idol who’s a little low in the IQ department. After a frustrating audition which involved hula hoops (something that, for some reason, has never been included in the American version), she’s discovered by a clueless space lizard. He chooses her to be the champion to defend the world against alien invaders. He gifts her with a powersuit, which allows her to go toe-to-toe with the galaxy’s most dangerous villains. It also turns out that in this new, unexpected career path, her hula hoop skills can be surprisingly devastating.
Momoko still wants to be an idol, and she worships Akiho Mazo, popular idol star and a fellow classmate. Surprise! Akiho is actually Amazona, a fellow superhero who was inspired by the real Wonder Momo. It turns out that was a Wonder Momo previous to Momoko, and she’s pissed that the little airhead is tarnishing her memory. So who’s the original Wonder Momo? Well it turns out that it’s — SPOILER ALERT! — Momoko’s mom!
Wonder Momo is page after page of attractive ladies yelling the names of their moves and delivering crushing yet colorful attacks. There is not plot. There is no character. Every character is as one-dimensional as they can be, and they flaunt it with a mischievous wink. It’s about as brainless as you’d expect a webcomic about an obscure video game centered around fan service can be.
From his work on Skullkickers, it’s pretty clear co-writer Jim Zub likes to wring out humor by taking things to the absurd extremes. With Skullkickers, it’s the audacious amounts of testosterone and head bashings. Here, it’s the shamelessness of the cheesecake. Every time they pose (and it’s often), it’s almost like they’re taunting the reader: “Get back to drooling over me, you big, dumb meatheads.”
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5).