Dominion: Conflict 1 (No More Noise)
Masamune Shirow

Conflict 1 (No More Noise) is the sequel to Masamune Shirow's Tank Police mini series. The story takes up some time after the first mini-series. In this series, Dominion's lead protagonist, Leona, now is in command of a tank squad under Brenten. While the bulk of the story line revolves around the people who work in the Newport Police Department, the main conflict is the Tank Police's attempts to find and capture Urushi-Maru, the airborne terrorist. Underlying what seems to be a simple antiestablishment prankster is a plot which can be surprising if the reader doesn't see it coming.

At first, Conflict 1 starts off a bit silly. Most of the story revolves around the day-to-day events in the police station. Two villains from the last series (Annapuma and Unipuma) turn up in the station as new recruits. While their inclusion is rather under-explained, their use in the story (especially Anna) provides enough laughs to make the lack of reason forgivable. The story moves along at a good pace and is told without being too intellectual.

Artistically, Conflict 1, as well-detailed and strong. While not as consistently serious in style as Ghost in the Shell or Appleseed, it is structural deeper than some of his older works. The illustrative quality of each book is still up to Shirow's expected standard.

While the underlying plot may seem thin, the small bits featuring "nameless" characters are often a nice diversion and a good sampling of Shirow's vision of the human race. While Urushi-Maru may pale in comparison as a villain to Baku, there is a lot less of Leona's fawning over her tank - something that got kind of tiresome from the first series.

Overall, Dominon - Conflict 1 is a good series that's illustrated well. If you're expecting something intellectually strong, you might be a little disappointed. This series is more about people than technology. The humorous aspects of the story are dished out well and the flow leads to a good read. You'll enjoy this as a pleasure read.

- - Vane

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