Book Battle 3: Akira Book 5 vs Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction

After allowing weapons in the previous battle, it only seems natural for these books to properly tool themselves up. I’ve written about the first 4 Akira books before (part one, part two); they’re written by Katsuhiro Otomo, and volume 5 is the penultimate book in the series. Adrian Mole and the WMD is, clearly, the latest in the Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend; I read the first one when I was about 13¾ myself, so I remember very little of it, and I probably didn’t get most of the jokes. As in previous book battles, it is the books themselves, rather than the eponymous characters, that square up, and the rounds are decided using the ‘All Adjectives’ list from my random word generator.

Round 1: Defiant
Adrian Mole and the WMD pulls a bazooka from its pages and fires off a missile that perversely represents it’s defiant anti-war stance. But the anti-establishment tone of Akira 5, and Kaneda’s complete lack of compromise, allow the book to leap out of the way while pumping a few rounds from a machine gun into its opponent. Verdict: Akira 5.

Round 2: Gentle
The gentle humour at the start of Adrian Mole and the WMD allows it to rally, and it aims a rifle squarely at Akira 5; but Gielgud the swan and the steeliness of the novel cause the gun to jam. Equally, Akira 5 has little to offer in this round – the romantic(ish) scenes with Kei and Kaneda, and Kaori and Tetsuo provide some gentle relief from the action, but this a sci-fi, action-filled, brute of a book Verdict: Draw.

Round 3: Sharp
The nimble, perceptive narrative of Adrian Mole and the WMD allows it to attach a bayonet to its rifle, while Akira 5 fiddles with a bio-dart gun. Akira 5 sustains a few lacerations before it fires off a bio-dart, and the needle-sharp detail and precision of the drawing, and the book’s wonderfully honed characterisation ward off a groggy Adrian Mole and the WMD. Verdict: Draw.

Round 4: Elegant
The stylish Akira 5 capitalises on its advantage, and it bombards Adrian Mole and the WMD with elegantly depicted visions of destruction. The broad satire of the latter causes it to stumble, and Akira 5‘s graceful lines carry the round. Verdict: Akira 5.

Round 5: Outstanding
Akira 5 tugs a small trigger from a hidden recess, carefully points it at Adrian Mole and the WMD, and squeezes. In orbit, a satellite whirrs, its base glows phosphorus white, and a brilliant laser arcs down from the heavens. Akira 5 literally blows Adrian Mole and the WMD away. Verdict: Akira 5.

The winner: Akira 5. Adrian Mole and the WMD is very funny in places, but is ultimately no match for the remarkable Akira 5.

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