Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 1 was a fun start to this new manga from Ryuhei Tamura. Tamura managed to quickly introduce the entire cast and set forth the mission statement for this manga. Chapter 1 did everything that is required of a successful opening chapter of a new manga.
There is no doubt Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin has tons of potential. I am excited to see where Tamura goes with this new world. With that in mind, let’s hit this full-spoiler review for Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 2!
Words: Ryuhei Tamura
Art: Ryuhei Tamura
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Boyle Samejima aka Shark: Samejima is the hard-boiled cop. He does things like a cop from an old pulp detective story. Unfortunately, Samejima’s old school ways land him in constant trouble. The result is that Samejima finds himself kicked off the Tokyo police force and transferred to Ogasawara. Samejima is the co-star of this manga. Samejima is given the nickname “Shark” since the kanji for his name is “shark.”
Orpheus aka Orfie: Orpheus is the Dolphin. In fact, Orpheus is a large anthropomorphic dolphin. Who is also a cop. Yeah, it makes no sense to Samejima, either. Orpheus becomes Samejima’s partner when he gets transferred to Ogasawara. Orpheus is the co-star of this manga.
Umi Nanase: Umi is the well-endowed police officer in the Anegadhima Police department in Ogasawara. Umi is the first officer to meet Samejima upon his arrival in Ogasawara. Umi is spunky and by the rules officer.
Princess Otsukoto aka Chako: Chako is a five-year-old girl who was raised by Dolphins. We know little about her other than Orpheus rescued her and she calls him her “Papa.”
Synopsis: We begin with a short recap of Chapter 1. Samegima is now a member of the Anegashima Police Department. Angegashima is an isolated island at the edge of the Ogasawara Archipelago with a population of 1,800.
We are at the police station. Samejima is complaining that the ship with all of his belongings on it has been delayed by a typhoon. Umi chimes in that such things like that happen sometimes around here.
Samejima thinks how he has only been here for one day and is already so confused. We then see Chako hop out of a window with a police baton in her hand. She calls Samejima “Shark monster man” and attacks him. Umi and Samejima think it is a fake baton and that Chako is just playing around. However, Chako hits Samejima in the head with the baton and he collapses to the ground. Umi can’t believe that Chako got her hands on a real police baton.
We shift to inside the police station. Samejima yells at Orpheus about what Orpheus’ “daughter” Chako did to him. Samejima asks why a child is even allowed at the police station. That this is not a daycare center. Orpheus replies that Chako is at the police station because she is officially in protective custody with the police.
Chako then tries to attack Samejima again but he just picks her up and holds her in the air at a safe distance. Umi exclaims that Chako really likes Samejima. Orpheus gets jealous and says that Chako does not like Samejima. That Samejima just has a face that you want to smack.
Suddenly, a phone call comes in that Mr. Yamazaki’s house has been broken into. We cut to Samejima, Orpheus, Umi, and Chako arriving at the scene of the crime. Mr. Yamazaki is an old man who is also a hoarder. The home is full of junk. During the investigation, Samejima references some hoarder houses he had to deal with in Tokyo. Orpheus tells Samejima to stop bragging abbot Tokyo. Samejima replies that he was not bragging.
Orpheus says that he is sure that Angegashima must seem rinky-dink compared to Tokyo. But, that this island is the front line in the war against ocean crime. Orpheus points out that Mr. Yamazaki’s house is on the ocean.
Chako then notes that the truth is always lost in the darkness as she looks at some tracks on the ground that she calls important. Chako tells Samejima that the culprit is probably a bomber. Suddenly, we hear ticking from inside the garbage flowing out of Mr. Yamazaki’s house. Samejima yells that there is a bomb and for everyone to get down. Everyone safely hits the deck and a bomb blows up Mr. Yamazaki’s house.
Our heroes stand up and survey the damage. Suddenly, an octopus with human hair on its head appears and says that it likes explosions. The octopus then runs away. Samejima is stunned by what he sees. Orpheus says that the octopus is the bomber.
Orpheus tells Samejima to come with him and they will chase the suspect in a pincer attack with each one of them coming up from the opposite side of the octopus. Samejima is still stunned by what he has seen. Orpheus comments that he told Samejima that this place was on the front line of the war with ocean crime. Samejima thinks that Orpheus cannot be serious.
Orpheus and Samejima head off in opposite directions to chase down the octopus. We cut to Samejima having caught up to the octopus. The octopus then evolves into a human male. Samejima is totally stunned. Suddenly, Orpheus rushes in from the opposite direction and attacks the now human octopus. However, Orpheus slips on a small piece of an octopus tentacle and flies into the air and then the piece of the octopus tentacle explodes.
Samejima then rushes the human octopus and quickly takes him down with ease. However, the man becomes slippery and gets out of Samejima’s grasp. Suddenly, several octopus tentacles attack Samejima. Samejima dodges the attack. We then see the man is now standing and multiple giant octopus tentacles are coming out of his mouth. Samejima thinks which is the octopus trying to be? Man or octopus? Samejima then thinks what is up with this island. End of Chapter 2.
The Good: Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 2 is another strong read. Tamura delivers a well-constructed story. There is a concise and effective recap in the first two pages in case readers missed Chapter 1. Then, with everyone on the same page, Tamura hits the gas and delivers the story at a lively pace. Tamura massages the story to make sure the scenes are never meandering or too rushed.
Tamura creates a story that is well balanced. There is an enjoyable blend of dialogue-heavy scenes and action-packed scenes. Throughout the story is a good dose of comedy in general that never gets in the way of the story or makes the characters seem foolish. It is all well placed and timed.
Tamura also continues his excellent world-building with Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 2. The reader learns that this seemingly insignificant remote island is actually the front line in a war against ocean crime. What a fantastic concept! This continues to build the mysterious ocean world setting from Chapter 1.
Of course, things also get wild with Chapter 2. Tamura already hinted to the reader that there is some type of magical and or/mystical nature about the ocean world when we meet Orpheus. Evidently, a talking anthropomorphic dolphin is just the tip of the iceberg. Because, in Chapter 2, Tamura rolls out a talking octopus that can transform into a man and then still access magical octopus powers. It is all so brilliantly insane!
I love the endless creativity that Tamura is affording with this ocean world. The reader gets a sense of excitement that literally anything can happen at any moment. This helps to contribute to the fun vibe of this manga. It is exciting to think of the wild creatures that Tamura has in store for us in future chapters.
I dig the concept of ocean crime. The idea that there are bizarre ocean creatures looking to wreak havoc on land. This is a unique twist on the police/crime genre. It should be interesting to see such an old school pulp fiction type cop like Samejima have to wrestle with such bizarre criminals.
Tamura ends Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 2 with a wonderful hook ending. The bizarre attack from the human/octopus gets the reader’s adrenaline pumping and excited to learn more about this bizarre creature and how will our hard-boiled cop be able to adjust and defeat it. This is how you end a chapter on a high note!
Tamura continues to deliver plenty of quality character work in Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 2. I know it is a bit of a trope in police stories to have the partners get off on the wrong foot with each other before becoming friends. But, I am fine with it. In fact, it works especially well with Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin because Samejima is such an old school noir character. It is expected that he would begin his partnership with Orpheus in such a contentious manner. Also, Samejima and Orpheus are radically different characters. They need to experience conflict with each other before being able to fully appreciate the other man’s differences and then respecting him.
Another reason that this trope works so well in this manga is that Samejima needs to be resistant to life in Angegashima. It is a small place when compared to Tokyo. Add to that the fact that Angegashima is also weird. All of this should lead to Samejima needing to experience some conflict with living in Angegashima in general before he learns to appreciate and respect his new home.
Having said that, Orpheus is trending a bit too much on the dickish side. I would rather have Tamura present both Orpheus and Samejima as likable even though they have to fight with each other. It’s important that the reader never views one of them as “the bad guy.”
I certainly like Orpheus, but Samejima is still the star of the show. Samejima remains the most interesting character over the course of the first two chapters. This is not by mistake. To this point, the only character that Tamura has allowed the reader to have access to their internal thoughts has been Samejima. This naturally makes the reader closer to Samejima. It also makes Samejima have the most fleshed-out character and the most engaging personality.
Another neat aspect of how Tamura is using Samejima’s character is by employing him as the reader’s window into this bizarre ocean world. The reader is experiencing all of this craziness alongside Samejima. It is Samejima’s reactions that help guide the reader and emphasize the reader’s reaction to all the insanity that is taking place.
As always, Tamura’s artwork is fantastic. Tamura is equally skilled at action scenes as he is at dialogue-heavy scenes. I also remain impressed that Tamura can draw serious scenes as adeptly as more comedic scenes. I love the facial expressions that Tamura gives his characters. It helps to make the story so full of emotion. Tamura’s design for the human/octopus at the end of Chapter 2 is also very cool.
The Bad: My only criticism with Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 2 is that Chako is just too precocious. Tamura tries to make Chako a bit too cute. In general, I am still fine with Chako’s character and I do recognize her potential. However, I am seeing where Chako’s character may get annoying in a rather quickly if Tamura keeps writing her like he does in Chapter 2. At this point, a little bit of Chako goes a long way.
Overall: Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 2 is another great read. Tamura has created a new manga that has tons of story potential. I love the overall fun vibe of this story which presents the reader with plenty of action and adventure along with a solid amount of comedy.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content, visit our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, and our Instagram feed. Also, catch up with all of Rokk’s other musings about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on his Twitter page.