by Roger Leloup
Yoko Tsuno: electronics engineer. It’s not the usual career of choice for our heroes and heroines now is it? Her father has created an artificial typhoon making system that’s been stolen by a villainous businessman with the intention of weaponising the whole thing, amassing power, threatening the country etc etc. It’s up to Yoko to save the day.
Which, when you think about it, is frankly preposterous. A young woman (who looks about 12 but seems to be in her early 20s), with no military training is sent into effectively a combat situation (parachuted in no less) to prevent a potential catastrophe that could destroy most of Japan. But then again, possibly no less preposterous than a boy reporter ending up on the moon.
And that’s not the only comparison with Tintin you can make with Yoko Tsuno; exotic locales, fantastic adventures, a rather unhealthy attitude to leaping into trouble headfirst – all it really needs is a white dog as a companion and a flick in her hair.
(What a great start to the book – page 1 and already we have beautiful landscapes, brilliantly detailed backgrounds, tech joy and a cast of characters looking like the Scooby gang complete with colourful shirts and cravats)
From the first page it’s pretty obvious that this is very Tintin-esque. But it’s also got a nice bit of James Bond thrown in – full of undersea lairs, exotic locations and bewildering technology. But most importantly what it has most in common with Tintin is a great sense of fast moving adventure.
So Yoko Tsuno lands in Hong Kong and finds herself very quickly and inexplicably drafted into service to stop the villainous businessman, save her father and his invention and prevent the destruction of Japan. With her friends and companions in tow she has to find the Typhoon system and make sure it’s destroyed in time to save not only the lives at stake but her father’s reputation as well. Along the way she’ll parachute into enemy territory, battle ninjas, dive to undersea bases and fly into the heart of a typhoon. And she’ll take it all in her stride.
(All I can see in that second panel is Tintin in The Black Island. But if you’re going to borrow ideas and scenes – borrowing from Herge isn’t that bad an idea – it certainly works here.)
Daughter Of The Wind is a really nice, well put together all ages adventure. Completely preposterous it might be, but is that really a problem? I certainly didn’t let it spoil the considerable fun I had reading this.