Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin continues to be a blast to read. Ryuhei Tamura impresses with his ability to quickly construct a complex world and then populate it with interesting characters. Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin also balances fun action with quality character work, too. I am confident that Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 4. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.
Words: Ryuhei Tamura
Art: Ryuhei Tamura
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 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 Samejima and Umi meeting with the Police Chief. The Police Chief tells Samejima to rewrite his police report concerning the exploding octopus man. Samejima thinks how he is not surprised since his report sounded like a second-grader’s class essay to him.
The Police Chief says that everything sounds ridiculous and unbelievable. The Police Chief notes that Samejima wrote that he used a “rolling sobat” to take down the octopus man. (Ha! Guile’s rolling sobat from Street Fighter! I love it!) The Police Chief says that he has never seen a video game term in a police report. The Chief notes that Samejima even said that his rolling sobat kick was impressive. The Chief tells Samejima, “You just stopped caring there at the end, didn’t you.” (LOL. I love this scene!)
The Chief stands up and tells Samejima to come with him. The Chief apologizes for taking so long to explain things to Samejima. The Chief says that Anegashima island was designated a special hazard zone by the government. This designation was assigned the day Chako came back.
The Chief then reveals that Chako does not just have the power of prophecy. And not just to simply see the future. That whatever Chako says other people and creatures try to fulfill. Chako’s words give them the ability to radically evolve. The Chief says that Chako has the power of revelations. (Holy. Shit. What a hell of a reveal!)
We cut to Samejima walking along the beach outside the police station. Chako is playing at the ocean’s edge. Samejima is stunned and still processing what the Chief just told him. Samejima wonders if the Chief was implying that Chako created the exploding octopus man.
We see Chako looking at a starfish. Chako calls the starfish a “star-punk.” Suddenly, the Starfish evolves into a human with a starfish face. Star-Punk yells if Chako wants him to stuff this stupid sand full of razor blades? Star-Punk tells Chako, “Screw you!” The Star-Punk then walks off into the ocean and swims away. Samejima is stunned and realizes that Chako’s power of revelations is real.
We shift to Orpheus stitching an “I ‘heart symbol’ Papa” message on the side of her dolphin stuffie. Orpheus says that now Chako will definitely love him the best. Samejima enters room and kicks the stuffie out of Orpheus’ hands. Samejima yells at Orpheus for not telling him about Chako’s power of revelations.
Orpheus gets angry that the heart symbol fell off the dolphin stuffie. Orpheus tells Samejima to step outside, so he can teach Samejima who is on top around here.
We cut to outside the police station with Samejima and Orpheus squaring off against each other. The other cops are watching from a window. Orpheus says that whoever wins the fight gets to take a nap together with Chako. Samejima replies, “Hell no.” Samejima says that Orpheus needs to tell him how Chako’s revelations work. Orpheus says that if Samejima can beat him then he will answer Samejima’s questions.
Orpheus charges at Samejima. Samejima pulls out his handgun. Samejima starts shooting at Orpheus’ feet. Orpheus yells that he surrenders. Samejima then hits Orpheus in the head with his gun which knocks Orpheus out.
We cut to Samejima in a cot at the police station with Orpheus with Chako in between the two. Samejima comments that he thought he won. Chako says that it is nap time. Chako says that she has to clear her mind of all thoughts to fall asleep. Otherwise, she will start thinking about “Mama.” Chako then falls asleep.
Samejima sits up and wonders what Chako’s mother is like. Orpheus regains consciousness and says that Chako’s mother went missing along with the Cult of the Sea. That Chako’s mother is somewhere out there in the wide ocean. Orpheus says that one day he will find her. That he promised Chako he would.
We shift to Orpheus and Samejima walking along the beach outside the police station. Orpheus says that Chako does not know about her revelatory powers. That Chako does not even get that they are powers.
Orpheus says that the police are still trying to figure out how Chako’s revelatory powers work. Orpheus says that Chako’s revelatory powers grow more intense the closer to her you get. Samejima thinks how this explains why the exploding octopus man singled out Chako like he did.
Samejima thinks how Chako is an innocent kid saying whatever pops into her mind. Samejima wonders why it went wrong. Samejima wonders if someone is out there weaving malice into Chako’s words.
Orpheus says that the ocean gangs will come after Chako again. Orpheus extends his hand and says that it is good to have Samejima aboard. Orpheus calls Samejima “partner.” Orpheus thanks Samejima for keeping Chako safe.
Samejima tells Orpheus to hold it and back up. Samejima says that Orpheus slipped some new information in there at the end. Samejima asks Orpheus to explain what these ocean gangs are. Orpheus responds for Samejima to not worry and that the two of them can take out the gangs together. End of chapter.
The Good: Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 4 is another excellent read. Ryuhei Tamura crafts an entertaining chapter that delivers a perfect balance of action and character work all wrapped up with some fantastic comedy. There is so much to love with this chapter.
Let’s start with Tamura’s impressive world-building skills. Tamura continues to flesh out such a fascinating world for this manga. Obviously, the biggest reveal in Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 4 is the fact that Chako is not only a telepath, but that she also has revelatory powers. Holy crap. This was a jaw-dropping bomb that Tamura dropped on the reader. Chako’s revelatory powers also have huge implications for this entire world as well as for her character and Orpheus’ character.
First, let’s examine how Chako’s revelatory powers impact this world of Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin. This immediately shifts Chako into an even more central and important role than before. Chako’s powers also provide Tamura with a plot device that will enable to create insanely creative characters that are only limited by his imagination. Seeing marine life evolved into bizarre evolutions based on a child’s wild imagination is going to provide for some incredibly entertaining characters. Case in point, the Star-Punk that we got in Chapter 4. What a hilarious character! I love his surly attitude and his unique look. It is going to be fun to see what else Tamura has Chako cook up in future chapters.
Second, Chako’s revelatory powers have a huge impact on her character itself. For the first time I actually became interested in Chako’s character. Chako was not longer simply a precocious and annoying brat. This incredibly unique power immediately makes Chako a far more compelling character. Over the first three chapters, I found Chako to be either lame comedic relief or simply a MacGuffin that gives a reason for the bad guys to attack the human world in an attempt to recapture her. However, Chako’s revelatory powers now make her a far more active and central aspect to the story.
Third, Chako’s revelatory powers have a massive impact on Orpheus’ character. It certainly seems that Orpheus himself is a product of Chako’s revelatory powers. We know that Chako had a mother. However, she was missing a father. So, in her time of distress, Chako took a dolphin and used her revelatory powers to evolve the dolphin into her father who could rescue her and protect her. This would explain how an anthropomorphic dolphin could exist. It also explains Orpheus’ obsession with being the center of Chako’s attention and not sharing her at all with Samejima. If Chako created Orpheus to be her father then it makes sense that he sees being her father as his central and primary reason for existing.
Tamura continues to impress me with his character work. Once again, Samejima and Orpheus get the bulk of the character work in Chapter 4. I am fine with this, too. After all, we are only in the fourth chapter and it is imperative that Tamura properly flesh out these two main characters and their relationship with each other. Tamura is threading the needle well with the nascent stage of this buddy team. Tamura has made sure that neither man seems unlikeable during this rivalry stage of their relationship as they lock horns with each other. This conflict is necessary and will provide the foundation for both men to respect and admire each other. This is the proper basis for any partnership and friendship.
To be sure, Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin has delivered good character work, fun action, and impressive world-building. However, there is another vitally important aspect of this manga: comedy. Chapter 4 definitely delivers plenty of wonderful comedy. My favorite part is the opening scene with the Police Chief, Samejima, and Umi. This is hilarious! I had tears in my eyes! This is well crafted comedic dialogue delivered with perfect timing.
Tamura ends Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 4 with a fantastic hook ending. We get the tease of Chako’s mother out there somewhere in the world of the ocean realm. And we also get the introduction of menacing ocean gangs. Sign me up for this! I cannot wait to see what kind of quirky characters Tamura serves up with these ocean gangs. The quest to find Chako’s mother is also a proper one for our two heroes to undertake. A good quest is always a welcome ingredient in an adventure manga.
As usual, Tamura serves up gobs of slick and stylish artwork. Tamura continues to bring great emotion into his story via excellent facial expressions for his characters. I also loved the character design for the Star-Punk. Chapter 4 is flat out good-looking.
The Bad: I have no criticisms of this chapter.
Overall: Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin Chapter 4 is a blast to read. Tamura continues to deliver well-balanced stories that offer excellent character work combined with quality action. The comedy is the connective tissue that wraps up this package to make for a cool adventure manga. If you still have not tried this manga then you really should give it a chance. This is well worth the money.
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