The cult manga of motorsport takes the place of another in France: when Original D concluded at the end of May on Crunchyroll after 48 volumes and more than 14 years of publication, a coincidence of the calendar wanted the editions of Noeve Grafx to take place with the arrival of an important work. in its category: Capeta, the most emblematic series of Masahito Soda, the author who shocked us in the 2000s in the Akata/Delcourt editions with Subaru – Danse vers les stars. The stakes are high for Noeve as the work, in addition to dealing with a special subject, has no less than 32 volumes, having existed for a whole decade, from 2003 to 2013, one of the main headlines of the monthly review of Gekkan Shônen Magazine from. Kôdansha editions (the magazine is also known for the series as Your lie in April, Arslan or Noragami), as well as in 2005-2006 an animated adaptation of 52 episodes (the rest, so far, not published in France). So let’s hope that the publisher will be able to maintain the correct level of publication and, above all, that the series will quickly find the audience it deserves, because on this first volume alone it is already very promising.
Capeta is the story of Kappeita Taira, named Capeta, an 8-year-old boy when the series begins. Between his mother who unfortunately died a long time ago and his father Shige who is very busy with work to provide for his son’s needs, the child has been trying to remain wise, even if he didn’t show anything. he feels lonely, self-absorbed, restraining his desires. So, when he’s not spending time with his little neighbor and childhood friend Monami, or hanging out with boor Nobu, he fakes his boredom by going to admire beautiful cars, and imagining himself driving them. This is how a secret dream was formed in him: to be able to drive a car one day. When his father sneaks in to build him a kart, the little boy doesn’t know yet that this is his first step towards his dream and, perhaps, towards a bright future…
In the first volume of this long automotive fresco that will trace Kappeita’s journey over several years, it’s all about setting up. And the least we can say is that this installation is very beautiful, immersive and touching because the author, apart from focusing exclusively and directly on the racing itself, strives to show the delicate context in which his young hero grew up and lived: missing a mother and the father is often absent, there is undoubtedly in him a feeling of lack of emotion that we easily understand, and that he is trying to fill a little dream of cars to drive. Sadly, the child even wonders, silently, if he is not a burden to his father, and then he prefers to remain discreet. And that’s why Nobu, a guy maybe not that bad, bothers her: she blames him a lot for not giving his best.
The discovery of the kart then sounds like an emotional renewal with his father, and like a good starting point to start living his passion. The creation of this small car that even a child can drive skillfully emphasizes the true love that connects Capeta and Shige, between the father’s joy at the thought of his happy son, and the son’s abandonment at the thought of his father’s efforts. On the basis of this lovely relationship of father and son, we then begin, little by little, to engage in the game of this story that will take us far to the racetracks, in the footsteps of Capeta’s apprenticeship for many years. . And while waiting for the serious stuff to start, Soda still manages to squeeze in some preliminary information about the big world of pilots: the importance of tire types, some important things to do in the event of a problem… Capeta is a series known for its sharp writing. , something that is already heard a little here through the presence of Kuro Tomiyama as an assistant, a note on the collection of the right information at the end of the volume, and quite simply the great originality already. provided for car drawings.
And precisely, since we are talking about graphics, let’s emphasize all the quality, from this first volume: by adding this fact in current cars and decorations, Masahito Soda certainly gives the first time to drive a car very briefly but. it’s already strong, especially when it places its sights at the height of drivers close to the road, which of course leaves us with huge promises for the sequel. But where the author also shines is in his well-constructed and understandable character designs, which already pleased Subaru – Dans vers les étoiles and the strong emotions that came from them. Here, the designer reveals himself in the manifestation of his characters by being ready to give a large palette, from anger to tenderness, through the infectious pleasure of suddenly seeing Capeta’s face light up in front of the kart.
Whether you are a fan of motorsport or not at all (personally, I never liked that), Capeta already has everything you need to take us into his world. Taking care of its implementation through the human and touching relationship of father/son, Masahito Soda installs by attaching and immersing a fresco that, between dreams, passions and intentions, has certainly not ceased to interest us.
Finally, let’s underline the usual quality of Noeve Grafx for the edition, with a jacket that is very faithful to the Japanese origin to its logo head, and with a nice varnish to choose from. Inside, we have access to the first eight color pages on glossy paper, a flexible and opaque paper that allows for better visibility, the neat writing of Clair Obscur, and an exciting and original translation by Yoan Giraud.