It’s zoids but not really. It’s crush gear without the wheels. It’s Little Battlers Experience, the latest craze to sweep the children of Japan by storm. Stop me if this sounds familiar to you. Because boy oh boy is this a familiar ride. If you’ve ever read a kids shonen manga or watched a shonen anime, you’ve likely seen something like this before. But you know what? That’s alright because Little Battlers Experience or LBX for short is actually pretty fun.
Like many kids shonen manga before it, Little Battlers Experience revolves around a world that revolves around a children’s game and the toys involved in it. Even the evil criminal organizations are obsessed with LBX and love to LBX battle in order to solve all disputes. But in the world of kids shonen, that is just par for the course and LBX is no exception to the rule.
LBX follows Van Yamano a young boy whose father who went missing after a mysterious LBX incident on a plane to an LBX event. Van seeks to continue his father’s LBX legacy and become the best LBX fighter in the world. Oh I forgot to mention, his father is in fact the inventor of LBX as well just to add an extra layer or deep connection for Van to LBX.
At its core the series is a fun little shonen that in anyone else’s hands would be mediocre. However LBX succeeds through sheer enthusiasm and over the top exuberance for these kids manga tropes that have become so well ingrained into the culture of shonen manga. It knows its ridiculous but it revels in that and its relentlessness for shonen tradition is actually rather charming.
While the series is definitely not gonna produce too much thought, it does serve as a solid good read to pass some time. It is far from brilliant but its good fun and ultimately that is enough for LBX to be worth a look in. This first volume has a rather frenetic pace and its easy to be swept up in the enjoyment of it all.
At the end of the day, sometimes a fun read trumps a thoughtful one and such is the case for LBX, a rather light hearted shonen effort that endeavours to be the most shonen of all the kids shonen to ever shonen. If any of this is catching even a faint interest from you LBX is worth a spin because it’s almost impossible to not have fun with the experience these Little Battlers have to offer.
You can check out the first volume of LBX: Little Battlers Experience over at Madman’s Online Store.