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Basically a business textbook rendered in manga form, this volume relates in copious detail the true story of how two businessmen discovered the concept of the "convenience store" during a research trip through the United States in the late seventies. Enlisting a young storeowner who was willing to convert his family-owned liquor store into a potentially more profitable venture, the businessmen launch what becomes Japan's first 7-Eleven, the vanguard of a retail revolution. Filled with the minutiae of development, distribution, management concerns and corporate dynamics, the authors present this landmark moment in Japanese business with the histrionics and gravitas common to action and adventure manga, and the result is an earnest yet baffling attempt to give moving, operatic scale to a turgid example of the often deadly dull historical comics genre. Both scripting and artwork almost intentionally strive for flatness, which soon seems ironic. Business school students and those who appreciate Iron Chef–type over the top dramatics will receive opposite but equal forms of enjoyment from this volume. (Oct.)
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