All good things must come to an end. This is where we find ourselves with Mech Cadet Yu #12. The stellar series following a young boy and his giant robot is coming to a close. Stanford Yu is caught between a rock and a hard place. His robot, Buddy is trying to sacrifice itself to power the Suprarobo which could eliminate the Sharg horde in the midst of their invasion. That would mean losing his friend forever. Can Stanford lose one so close to him if it means saving the world?
Stanford is more than just the main character of Mech Cadet Yu. He’s an influence on every single character in the entire series. His inherent good nature is infectious and begins to affect everyone from his fellow cadets and soldiers, to his mother and the robots themselves. He has an unshakable positive outlook on life which is something that is sorely lacking in today’s landscape. This is just one of the aspects of this series that has stood up.
See, Stanford’s positive energy causes others to act in a similar good manner. His very presence brings out the best in people. Even angry and bitter people soften when they come into contact with him. You can’t help but get swept up in his aura. This makes for an incredibly inspiring scene as so many people come together to support Stanford and Buddy in a pulse-pounding moment with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
This powerful scene is book-ended with devastating attacks by the Sharg. With every passing second, these alien foes get closer and closer. The other robots are failing to push them back and they’re just overwhelmed by the sheer number of the Sharg. Mankind needs something big to stop these invaders. It needs the Suprarobo.
The tension is so thick in these scenes. The book itself feels like it’s shaking at times. Artist Takeshi Miyazawa uses this effect often seen in anime where the edges around a character or setting will blur a little. This immediately emulates the feeling that’s coming through.
This is just one of the amazing qualities of Miyazawa’s artwork. The entire issue is a testament to top notch storytelling. There is not a weak link in the whole book. Every panel is rock solid and helps push this comic to new heights, which is saying something considering how great it’s been throughout its whole run.
The intensity carries over to Simon Bowland’s letters, too. Everyone is constantly yelling, so you get a good idea of how much pressure is on them all. This even translates to the robots even though they only make odd sounds. The word balloons imply a tone.
There’s a definite feeling of dread in the opening pages of Mech Cadet Yu #12. Colorist Raul Angulo sets the tone early, underlining the stakes involved. This is a do-or-die moment. If Stanford and the others can’t figure this out, the sun is going to set on humanity. The sky is this eerie shade of blue, like it’s supposed to be night time but that tranquility has been destroyed by the explosions on the ground.
Mech Cadet Yu has been an absolute delight from beginning to end. I’m sad to see it go, however it could not have had a better finale. Writer Greg Pak took us on an incredible journey filled with heart, adventure, and positivity. This comic shows how a scrappy good-natured kid can be plucked from obscurity to literally save the world. It’s a dream that just about everyone has had at one point in their lives and here it plays out beautifully. Quite simply, this is one of the best comics of the year, if not the decade.