Manga of the Day Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto (Sakamoto desu ga?)

Sakamoto is the ‘coolest’ guy in school. The girls want him. The bullies can’t beat him. He makes the bad look good. Don’t underestimate his skills. Sakamoto’s prowess is out of this world.

 

 

 

My Review (Part 1)

Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto aired its anime this year. I heard good things about the show but I needed to experience the manga first. Warning: there’s going to be a lot of school life reminders for those on Christmas break.  *Apologies to those who have to go back soon. I hope this manga cheers you up.*

Sakamoto keeping cool in the face of real fire

The Art

Nami Sano’s art resembles the work of Yano Toboso specifically the infamous Sebastian of Kuroshitsuji. Sakamoto-kun has a similar look with the ‘demon’ butler. Both have an elegant form, charming aura, and fluid motion. Sakamoto also shares the ability to look beautiful even in the oddest transitional poses. Also, the emotion, or lack of, is similar where the character remains ‘cool’ when others start sweat-dropping.

 

 

No mistaking one Kubota for Sakamoto

Overall the manga is well-drawn. Every character has a distinctive detail making it easy to quickly recognize. For example, Kubota’s short pudgy figure stands out against his classmates, specifically when he is at Sakamoto-kun’s side. The classic pigtails are Aina’s signature feature and the gym teacher is the only character who breaks the status quo.

The Characters

Sakamoto has almost super-human abilities. He’s a master at performing tasks but a novice at understanding humanity. The jealousy of Sakamoto’s ‘coolness’ gets him into constant situations where he performs flawlessly without dissing his enemies. He wants to protect people even when they promise to beat him up.

Kubota-after being saved by Sakamoto-kun, Kobuta turns to him for help. He admires his rescuer without resenting the man’s ‘coolness’. Through the manga his confidence slowly starts to improve. He is protective of Sakamoto after discovering his mother’s obsession with the highschooler.

Aina-the most devious of competitors for the position of Sakomoto’s girlfriend. She has a history of manipulating guys. Sakamoto’s subtle rejections shock Aina. Obsessively stubborn Aina plots to win Sakamoto’s heart!

 

 

It’s all part of the plan

My Review (Part 2)

The character of Sakamoto-kun shares an otherworldly ability like that of Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji. His coolness makes a simple task an exercise in extravagance but he’s more than just a cool guy with skills. The guy is a mastermind at thwarting even the most devious bullies. No violence necessary.

 

Sakamoto: Gopher from Hell

For example, Maruyama-sama (2nd year bully) names Sakamoto his personal gopher. Instead of decking the guy, he does the grunt work above expectation. When Maruyama runs out of tasks, Sakamoto becomes obsessive at anticipating his every need. The ‘coolest’ guy in school leaves the senior bully traumatized.

 

 

 

Traumatizes bully Maruyama.. up pops Hayabusa

I enjoyed seeing the brilliant ways Sakamoto maneuvers through life. Every chapter has Sakamoto versus a problem. I loved the ideas but started to get disappointed with the lack of variety. Only so many bully besting scenarios before one begins to wonder where the manga is going.

Chapter five’s remark by Sakamoto ‘I am actually a denizen of this world’ hinted there could be a depth behind this unusual statement. Instead we never get insight into who Sakamoto is. Kubota sums up the conundrum of his closest friend. He doesn’t know anything about him. What makes his coolness possible? What is his life like? Who is he?

 

Never heard group dates described so academically

My biggest question was ‘why does he see humanity from the viewpoint of a scientist collecting data to analyze.’ Is there a non-human component to him? Is this why he wants to work for NASA? What are you Sakamoto? Are you a citizen from a different world residing on earth? Or are you a genetic anomaly born to be the ‘coolest’ high school student of all time?

 

 

Sakamoto, NASA, & a mission to Mars?

The manga’s ending left me feeling like something huge was denied to its readers. All the ‘whoa Sakamoto-kun is brilliant’ turn to ‘what was this manga’s message again?’ So much potential exists for Sakamoto desu ga if the creators would just give readers a few more chapters. Clear up the confusion over plot or a pre-manga chapter explaining Sakamoto’s abilities. I would even be open to having a follow-up manga series following his new life studying the stars. Yes. I am that interested to know more.

 

 

He puts the cool in school

To the Reader

Slice of life and school life manga fans will find lots to love in Sakamoto. Comedy genre fans will love the humor in this. Anyone looking to read a feel-good non romance manga should try it. Horror fans I recommend my new favorite webtoon: Bastard.

 

Final Rating: 8.6 


Details

Name(s): 坂本ですが? Sakamoto desu ga??, lit. “I’m Sakamoto, You Know?”; Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto

Author(s): Nami Sano

Artist(s): Nami Sano

Year: 2012

Volume(s): 4

Genre: School life, Slice of life, Seinen, Comedy

Status: Complete

Anime: Yes


Haven’t you Heard? I’m Sakamoto is now available! Buy  the anime on Amazon today!


Barcode Geass Lelouch of the Sales

Lelouch Lamperouge is a part-timer at Zenbu-Eleven. Superstore Britannia is stealing their customers. With the manga, Lelouch of the Rebellion for inspiration, Lelouch plans to take down Britannia in disguise!

 

 

Revival in 2017!

My Review (Part 1)

I wanted to read a Code Geass manga in celebration of the upcoming Lelouch of the Revival. I’ve already read Lelouch of the Rebellion so I chose to jump down the rabbit hole of parody with Barcode Geass: Lelouch of the Sales (Hanbai no Lelouch).

 

The Art

Code Geass junkies can breath a sigh of relief: Barcode Geass retains its original look. Full-on Code Geass right down to the clothing choice of Britannia store manager, Schniezel. Excellent decision by the illustrators as Barcode Geass, no matter how good a parody, would flop without its signature character looks.

 

 

The Characters

The creators do a brilliant job at transferring the character roles of the manga/anime into modern counterparts. Jeremiah as fruit and vegetable section supervisor is hilarious as it plays exactly on the anime character.  The choice of security guards for Britainna’s store is amusing but the absolute best is Guren Nishiki. Seeing Kallen’s beloved nightmare, pride of the Black Knight weaponry, as a granny bike is priceless.

Manga Lelouch of the Rebellion inspires Lelouch of the Sales

My Review (Part 2)

I knew with a name like Barcode Geass: Lelouch of the Sales (Hanbai no Lelouch) this manga would be either an epic parody or blight on the drama of Code Geass. I knew it was the latter when the familiar Code Geass faces looked seconds away from being outmaneuvered by Lelouch’s Geass. The crown jewel is when Lelouch of the sales discovers the manga Lelouch of the Rebellion. Instantly there is the recognition this story is just like his therefore it’s the obvious answer to stopping Britannia. Brilliantly played as the fantastical Zero would otherwise be difficult to explain in this universe.

 

 

To the Reader

Fans of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (manga or anime) willing to step away from its intensity are the intended audience. Those unfamiliar with the original storyline won’t be as aware of all the nuances of this parody which make it so amusing. Comedy genre fans who have no interest in the original Code Geass story consider taking a chance on the humor in Bar Code Geass. Especially since the manga will take less than five minutes to read.

More chapters to come?

According to the Table of Contents, Barcode Geass: Hanbai no Lelouch is eight chapters with several other extras. The manga’s release of one chapter in 2011 either means it’s desperately in need of updates or no English translations are available of the other chapters. Hopefully the excitement over Lelouch of the Revival will get the creators moving on releasing more of this manga.

 

 

 

Final Rating: 8.4


Details

Name(s): Barcode Geass: Lelouch of the sales; Barcode Geass: Hanbai no Lelouch

Author(s):    Okouchi Ichiro, Taniguchi Goro

Artist(s): Katoo Nao

Chapter(s): 1

Genre: Parody; humor; adventure, shounen

Year: 2011

Status: Ongoing

Anime: No


Interested in the anime Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion? Get it from Amazon Today!

Cafe of Dreams

Unemployed college graduate Sunbae is job hunting when she meets, Na Bong Nam, a2016-09-20-1 young man working at the Cafe of Dreams. Sipping her first cup of hope she begins to rethink career plans with the help of the cafe employees. Sunbae’s heart is slowly makings its plans until a beautiful young woman returns to the cafe from abroad. Has Sunbae’s cup of luck gone empty or is this just the beginning to a far bigger journey?

 

My Review (Part 1)

Korean Tea HouseThe teahouses of the East remain a fascinating part of their culture. Reading a manhwa which surrounds one struck the interest of this reviewer. The translators have chosen to refer to the teahouse of this manhwa as a café. Teahouses are usually for the older men in Korea but this one is for meant to be a place for the young people aka the terminology café. Also, this café of dreams serves coffee which is kinda weird for a teahouse but it works best for the story!

Characters

2016-09-20-14Soo Ah Sunbae-College graduate who is downhearted over a lack of job prospects. Her future is changed when a young man invites her to the café of dreams. She is bolstered by the suggestions there but still struggles with self-esteem.

2016-09-20-9

Na Bong Nam– Worker at the café of dreams who makes each unique cup of tea. He is handsome with a charm not lost on Sunbae. Na Bong Nam appears to have a relationship with a former international volunteer.

 

2016-09-20-16Soon Bong– Has a stalkerish passion for Sunbae. He is in the same job scenario as his crush. The café of dreams becomes a place for him as well. Soon Bong sometimes speaks faster than he thinks but at the core is a well-meaning young man.

 

Recently returned from volunteering abroad she has an affection for Na Bong Nam.2016-09-20-19 Sunbae sees her as the perfect girl. She is very pretty and has a lot of passion for the work being done as an overseas volunteer.

 

 

 

2016-10-07-4Computer techie who connects tea-drinking customers to potential job opportunities. He is the counterpart to Na Bong Nam. He lacks the graceful confidence of his coworker even tripping over himself.

 

My Review (Part Two)

Sunbae is a college graduate searching for her first job. She spots Na Boom, who invites her to visit the Café of Dreams. His first recommendation is a cup of hope and a2016-09-20-4 meeting with his coworker opens Sunbae to the idea of a job outside of Korea. Internships abroad offer opportunities which add global to returning candidate resumes. Returning to the café of dreams Sunbae is followed by admirer Soon Bong. He’s got a passion for Sunbae. Sunbae is finding more than hope at the café. She’s starting to have feelings for Na Bong Nam. The return of a beautiful young woman to the café opens Sunbae to the choice to volunteer her time overseas. Meanwhile, she struggles to see this lady standing by her crush. Sunbae will need all her courage to find her path to a future career and her heart.

The Café of Dreams tackles a topic college graduates face every year: what happens 2016-09-20-22now? Sunbae has done the academic work, gained a degree, but now remains at a loss about where the future leads. Na Boom Nam’s invitation to a cup of hope in the Café of Dreams has huge potential to opening a manhwa of infinite possibilities. The humor in the computer techie who stumbles over to help Sunbae is there. The definite potential of a romantic relationship impeded by another beautiful woman is there. Every element is there! The difficulty is the author’s ability to weave them into a powerful narrative. Café of Dreams lacks the intricacy of endearing a character to the reader. This is not about length. There are oneshots which master the art of such a thing.

The Café of Dreams ending could be the opening to a beautiful future. Details skimmed 2016-09-20-24over by the author could have created a journey for the reader. One which would have filled the wonderings of many in the position of Sunbae. Even the possibility of a fantasy series where a cup of tea holds magic for the drinker to manipulate their future. Sunbae’s own dreams deserved to be explored. This manhwa should have been explored. Instead it leaves a reader pondering how such a sweet ending could have been so much more. The possibility remains open if the author were to release a sequel or further chapters exploring questions left unanswered.

 

 

To the Reader

Those seeking a webtoon tugging at the romantic heart strings would be better off with2016-09-20-12 Orange Marmalade. Slice of life fans would be interested in Sunbae’s realistic struggle on deciding just what to do when life transitions from academics to the real world struggles. Comedy fans might be amused by the antics of hopeful suitor, Soon Bong , in his quest for Sunbae’s affections. Those looking for a quick read will find it as Café of Dreams is a brief eight chapters.

 

Final Score: 5.2

 

Details

2016-09-20-1Name(s): Café of Dreams

Author(s): Seok-Woo

Artist(s): Seok-Woo

Chapter(s): 8

Year: 2008

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Slice of Life, Webtoon

Status: Complete

Anime:

Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Starting Life in Another World)

Self-described delinquent in the making Subaru Natsuki is leaving the convenience storemanga_volume_5_cover when he is transported to an unknown world. Attacked by the world’s thugs he is rescued by spirit user; the same spirit user who Subaru finds murdered. To save her he will need his new power ‘death by return.’ With every painful death he has the ability to change the past. The past which exists in memory fragments for Subaru. If he cannot complete his memories he loses all hope of saving Emelia from eternal death.

My Review (Part 1)

volume_1_coverRe: Zero Starting Life in Another World is a light novel converted to manga. I have not read the light novel so every part of this review is solely based on the manga. The manga which has been growing steadily in popularity catching the imagination of this reviewer. I asked myself ‘will death by return’ make this manga worth living?

 

The Characters2016-08-31-3

Natsuki (Nakki) Subaru: Self-described delinquent in the making with a sense of humor. He considers himself a vagabond in this unknown world always on a mission. Nakki is savvy with turning the tables on a situation, learning from each past life. He believes three deaths are well-worth a smile and Emelia’s name. Waking up in the past it is revealed he has a deep affection for Rem. However, Emelia is the one who he cares for the most.

2016-08-31-10

Spirit User & Puck

Emelia is a silver haired part elf spirit user with a fierce independent streak. She has a strong sense of justice even stopping to help Subaru when he’s being mugged. After her death, Subaru uses his power to find a way to stop her from dying.  Her spirit counterpart is Puck, a cat who talks with a sense of humor.

2016-09-09-8

Satella or Emelia?

Satella: Emelia’s potential counterpart(?). The feared witch of envy who is immortal. Those who see her face don’t live. However her form is rumored to be a silver haired part elf spirit user.

 

 

2016-09-01Felt is a mischievous girl who makes a living via thieving. She’s clever at raising the prices on her clients delighting in seeing them frustrated by her. Pop Rom is a long-standing friend of hers who she is equally fond of. Felt and Pop Rom make a good team as fighters; protecting each other

 

2016-09-09-6

Rem-san appears after the ‘first’ ending. She is very fond of Subaru doing everything possible to make his life easier. Rem willingly puts herself in danger to Subaru. She is a fierce fighter who refuses to back down even when the odds are against her.

 

 

My Review Part 2

2016-08-31-1Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu is a bizarre smoothie blend of action with  sci-fi time travel. Just like the mechanisms of time travel Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu is beyond immediate understanding. Nakki Subaru’s life of a delinquent in the making gets screwed when he leaves the convenience store to then find himself transported into an unknown world.

 

2016-08-17-1The idea of being dropped into a new world is not a unique one. If the manga strictly kept to a basic ‘need to find a way home’ Wizard of Oz journey would be feeling the pangs of disappointment. Luckily nothing is every simple in Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu where Subaru’s arrival in this world is overshadowed by immediately becoming the target of a robbery. His reluctant savior is a spirit user girl who isn’t pleased to be distracted from stopping a wily thief named Felt. The meeting is a beginning to Subaru which will end in him finding he now has the power of ‘death by return.’ Put bluntly, his death is a rewind allowing him to make changes with the past life’s events to change the future.  This newfound power is his only weapon to save Emelia’s life.

Nakki’s own power reminds one vaguely of Miranda of D. Gray-Man. Before channeling

Subaru returns with his new power

Subaru returns with his new power

her innocence she would live the same day over and over with all the townspeople completely unaware they were in a time loop. Nakki continually begins ‘again’ with no one else aware but himself of what’s happening. Because of this Nakki has the ability to make small changes to past situations to create a butterfly effect (kinda). For example, he knows he is attacked the first time so the second time he cuts off his attacker before they can strike. Thus changing what happens to himself. The problem is he has no idea what the precise events are from the time of arrival until the death of his spirit user. To save her life he has to 1) recover all the events he’s forgotten and 2) make changes to stop her death from happening again.

A new daily life begins

A new daily life begins

Readers then hit the manga’s described ‘climax’ of the first arc. The chapter after it takes a reader from the delight of the manga to someplace different.  The character of Subaru changes from the young delinquent in the making. Readers are facing a total jump into the past(?) with new characters cropping up constantly. Much of what caught this reviewer’s interest abruptly changes. Instead of a naïve humorous Subaru readers get a young man who almost seems to be the protagonist of a new manga. Gone was the thrill of seeing Subaru trapped in a death time loop. The manga is less than 20 chapters and ongoing so this reviewer will assume this turn of events will be explained better in the future.

2016-08-31-9

Subaru & Emelia

The Art

The style of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu is reminiscent of mangas like Mirai Nikki, Alive: The Final Evolution, and Le Chevalier D’eon’s creepy La Compte de Germaine. Subaru is the exception. He doesn’t have the beautiful elegance of Emelia. Nor does he give you the big eyed kawaii of Rem’s character. Subaru’s character design is an excellent unusual fit as it is more reminiscent of a self-described delinquent in the making over a hero with a magical power. Perfectly balancing how a part-elf magic user’s design is effortlessly lovely without being excessive.

Death comes for Subaru

Death comes for Subaru

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu shines at its character movements in action. Their bodies appear natural as they strike. Details like these are important to this reviewer. Nothing is more distracting in a panel then a character’s anatomy being at odds with their actions. This is key when a manga relies heavily on character’s engaged regularly in battle. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu does it well.

 

 

To the Reader

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu’s beginnings are heavily filled with action battles

Save Emelia from death by his death

Save Emelia from death by his death

which have everything from amputation to fist fights to magic user death battles. The entire manga is a trip in the fantasy genre. Romance is touched on but a full-out relationship between character’s is still in the works. Readers need to be cognizant this manga is not a simple read. The jumping between scenes, constant character additions, and time skips means following the story line takes a moment’s thought. Best to go with the flow when confused.

Final Score: 7.8

Death can’t stop this fantasy

If you enjoy Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu support it by purchasing the manga:

and give its light novel counterpart a readl:

Details

volume_1_coverName(s): Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Daiisshou – Outo no Ichinichi Hen Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Volume One – Capital City Chapter, Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu- Daiisshou – Outo no Ichinichi Hen, Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Daiisshou – Outo no Ichinichi-hen

Author(s):   NAGATSUKI Tappei

Artist(s):     MATSUE Daichi

Year: 2014

Genre: Fantasy; Romance; Drama; Action; Adventure; Comedy; Sci-Fi; Time Travel

Chapter(s): 16

Status: Ongoing

Anime: Yes

Light Novel: Yes

 

 

Bloody Sweet

 Power blogger and social outcast Shin Naerim is forced by her classmates tobloodysweet break the seals on a foreboding door. Alone in a remote church she wakes a vampire from his slumber. The meeting will spark a relationship which innocent beginnings may hide a sinister secret.

My Review (Part 1)

TappyToon SiteThe TappyToon webtoon site contacted my LaRuse News Twitter account asking about reviewing a work of theirs. I happily agreed and they recommended their most popular site webtoon “Bloody Sweet.” Before beginning a review I scope out more information to ensure I am not going to find myself in the midst of a yaoi, josei, or pwp. None of which I review for my site. This was where the TappyToon surprised me. Many of their webtoons begin free then require purchased tokens to continue on. I promote supporting manga authors by purchasing their works but am uncomfortable at promoting purchasing a chapter by chapter commitment. Feeling conflicted I have chosen to read and review ONLY those chapters freely available to my readers. Having explained that…enjoy the review.

 

2016-08-25 (7)

Characters

Shin Naerim makes dolls, writes novels, and is uber popular as an online blogger. In real life she is bullied by her classmates and is silent to most real people. She silently handles the cruel taunts of her classmates without seeking revenge. Shin’s true persona will be revealed in a single fateful meeting.

 

2016-08-25 (11)Song – former friend of Shin. She is popular for her cute looks. Song has confidence and is a leader among the girls. She takes delight in finding ways to make Shin’s life miserable.

Looks good for being undead

Looks good for being undead

 

Main male character- Kept hidden behind talismans in a creepy old church he is a handsome young man who was originally mistaken for being dead. He has a sense of humor and a liking for Shin’s blood.

 

 

The Art

Heterochromia!

Heterochromia!

Many webtoons have a particular style which Bloody Sweet embodies. The similarities in characters are shared in works like Orange Marmalade and Subtle Disaster. Bloody Sweet does have several unique character looks. For example, the main male character has complete heterochromia. One of his irises is red and the other yellow. I loved seeing this because 1) it’s a bit different and 2) I have incomplete heterochromia.

 

 

There is one character whose look bothered this reviewer. Son2016-08-25 (21)g shared an uncomfortable resemblance to certain blow up dolls. I asked for collaborating opinions and the consensus was the same. I would have loved to see her with a design similar to the rest of the characters.

 

My Review (Part 2)

Bloody Sweet Twist

Bloody Sweet Twist

The vampire and human scenario is not unique in the world of mangas, manhwas, and webtoons. To actually stand out an author must have some unique tidbit. Lee’s  is Shin’s family history of a mother who is a moodang (although the term in the summary is a shaman). The summary assumption would be this becomes a part of the drama making a not to so simple relationship even more complex, perhaps sinister.

 

Even a shaman mother would leave me skeptical about chancing Bloody Sweet. Maybe2016-08-25 this is why it’s not focused until chapter 2. The webtoon wants the reader to ‘know’ the unique being of Shin Naerim. Bloody Sweet pleasantly fools the reader by setting up a person one believes is the character before turning the assumptions upside by presenting the exact opposite. Shin Naerim is an online novel goddess and reality’s bullied misfit. I found myself loving this unconventional girl who embodied the double life of a lot of internet junkies today. She isn’t an obsessed fan either; but a ‘power’ blogger making it all the more fascinating someone so beloved online could be so victimized by her peers.

2016-08-25 (17)The accidental meeting between human and vampire in a cliche’ church ‘oops I shouldn’t have done that’ was above average. The humor was there. The quirky ‘extra’ was there. Even a definite smack to the face for tasting blood without asking was there. Bloody Sweet’s only problem with the meeting was it just was not hugely original. I felt deja vu disappointment. Could there have been a more creative meeting than this one? Definitely. Does that make the webtoon less of an enjoyable potential read? No. Bloody Sweet has that something to draw potential readers back to its pages. Unfortunately, readers will have to decide how much this draw is going to cost them. Chapter three onwards requires ‘tokens’ to unlock this webtoon’s unfolding drama.

Note: Tappytoon offers regular token specials for different actions (e.g. one can gain tokens by liking them on Facebook or Twitter). This gives readers a chance to keep on reading for making use of the sites they already love.

To the Reader2016-08-25 (4)

Bloody Sweet is perfect for those who have a passion for the relationship between vampire and human. I’m talking to all you fans of Vampire Knight, Orange Marmalade, and such. I also highly recommend it to lovers of the supernatural genre and fantasy. There is drama mixed in with comedy so readers will have an added bonus in the two.

Final Score 7.8

A webtoon to sink your fangs into.

Details

bloodysweetName: Bloody Sweet

Author: Lee Narae

Artist: Lee Narae

Genre: webtoon; fantasy; romance; supernatural; comedy

Complete: No

Anime: No but would love to see it!

Fukushuu Kyoushitsu (Revenge Classroom)

Ayana has been burned, beaten, and pushed into traffic by her school’s bullying. Driven insane from the realization it will never end she plots to return her hell to each of her classmates. With each new victim comes consequences which will leave casualties in their wake. Ayana’s revenge will not be stopped until the final price has been paid.

My Review (Part 1)
School is starting for many of my readers and some will be facing bullying on a daily basis. In grade

school I faced ridicule for having a body different than my classmates. Though the long-time boyfriend thinks what was said was ridiculous it does not change how it affected my view of myself for years afterwards. Revenge Classroom stuck in my mind until I sat down to experience it. Before I get into the review I am warning readers this manga contains rape, references to self-harm, disturbing imagery, and has been described as ‘f***ed up.

The Characters
Ayana Fujisawa: Before the bullying Ayana had a

kind, sociable personality, and cared deeply for her friends. She initially endured the beatings, burns, and harassment with a stoic resignation believing it could change. After the pivotal push into traffic Ayana grows increasingly unstable. She is psychotic with a manipulative personality reveling in violence. Ayana does have moments where she appears to display a sense of remorse and guilt but over time they turn into twisted reasoning. She never loses the passive victim mentality when attacks are happening and foregoes self-defense. The girl is so many contradictions it is downright terrifying.

Ai Nomura: After being manipulated into Ayana’s first plot she grows to see her as a tragic-heroine. She is sociably awkward admiring the ‘popular’ girls from afar. Ai is a follower who latches onto Ayana’s strength offering herself as a tool in the girl’s plots. Some readers may see her as having a female love interest in Ayana. Realistically it’s more of a sick fan girl who adores her hero.

Ren: Sadistic POS who calls Ayana his ‘toy.’ He is

regarded as a friend by many of the class’s boys but has no true feelings of friendship for anyone. Ren controls the class from the shadows manipulating his choices through threats. He ‘protects’ Ayana by only allowing abuse from the other boys when he is present. This boy is f***ed up in more ways than one can comprehend.

Mari:Unlikely ally and former tormentor of Ayana. She admits to her jealousy playing a role in bullying Ayana. She rescues her past victim but doesn’t want friendship. Her goal is revenge.

 

Mao: Female leader of the girl’s bullying of Ayana. She hates her with undisclosed passion and shows it. Mao faces rejection with anger and leads by demanding others follow. Any opposition is met with severe consequences which her flunkies help her carry out. She is one sick SOB.

Daisuke: Leader of the male bullies he only answers

People like Daisuke make me sick. I will never understand them.

to Ren. He takes enjoyment from making Ayana’s life a daily hell of beatings and harassment. When she tells  him ‘he should have died’ he loses control and rapes Ayana. There is no remorse in Daisuke.

The Art

The side of Ayana you do  not want to meet

The depiction of Ayana in color on the manga made her appear something unique. She does have several unique features in the manga. When particularly ruthless or deranged her eyes appear to have cat-like pupils. Overall though her hair is really the defining feature appearing stringy and kinda emo(?). If it were not for those two features she would be  like the rest of the manga characters.

Almost all the manga characters are reminiscent of

Manga character Deja vu

so many other mangas I have read. They have nothing particularly wrong about them and are well drawn. My problem is they are the looks which my brain goes ‘hey! isn’t that the girl from …….?’  Not a problem for those new to reading mangas but distracting when you see it so often. They are well done but hardly unique. Even the blood scenes are a bit meh in design. Again not a problem for those unused to the horror genre but I have a fondness for it which makes it a challenge to not compare it to the ones which stand out.

My Review (Part 2)

It’s still to suspicious!

Revenge Classroom fascinated me with its description Then I began reading it and found a LOT of holes in the beginning victim story lines. Read Death Note and you get spoiled with Raito/L’s indepth plans which make sure to close every loophole. Ayana’s plots are very basic relying to much on trusting her manipulated partners. One confession could have derailed her carefully laid plans. If each chapter had continued with a victim punishment relying solely on her it would have become a bland read.

Revenge Classroom rescued itself from averageness when Ayana’s plans began to have unintended

What are you doing Emi? She’s not on the roof!

consequences. There is a fascinating beauty in seeing humankind’s response changing what one person assumed would be their end game. This is not saying there are no issues with this. I am still unsure of exactly how and why Emi was climbing a drain pipe to somehow stop Yuuko from her fate. It was a bit like….um….what…explanation please. The fact that somehow so much of what was happening was ignored by any decent police work was also a bit troubling. Some of Ayana’s plot happenings don’t quite make sense. The results make the manga fast-paced. I love that. My brain not so much it wants to know more of the lead up (another side effect from Death Note).

The manga is still ongoing so the final results have

yet to make themselves known. I enjoy seeing the alliances building on something different than friendship. Ayana lost her respect for that a long time ago so it makes sense a kind action would not put the brakes on her plan. Her plots are sickening. Some might say she should have only cherry-picked those who actively bullied her. I agree with Ayana those who ignored he bullying or rarely

took a stance are also to blame. All it took in one bullying instance was a single person standing up to the bullies to stop them. If no one cared enough to reach out a helping hand then they aided the bullies in believing they have a right to act with cruelty.

From an emotional standpoint this manga saddened me a great deal. Ayana’s actions are wrong. No one

Bullying has no beautiful ending

should do any of what she does no matter how a human being hurt them. The saddest part is this was a girl who was full of life and kindness. Had bullying never happened I am positive she would never have done this. Revenge Classroom felt like a very f***ed up warning. Bullying can lead to self-harm even suicide. Then there are those rare individuals whose mind just snaps. They become the bully who lose all sense of reason. What they do doesn’t solve the problem and innocents will face consequences. Every person who becomes a casualty has a family or friends whose life will never be the same. It’s enough to make you want to give up on the belief any good exists in humanity. It doesn’t have to be like that. For goodness sake, be the one person who stands up for someone like Ayana before sh*t goes down.  You get me? You got me? Good

To the Reader
I consider Revenge Classroom a mature read. I don’t

This image stays with me. No one there to save her.

label it mature for the violence because most manga readers, unless romance junkies, have come across brutal violence before. Revenge Classroom’s maturity is for suicide, rape, and overall serious subject matter.  This manga took the reviewer to a sad place which is best left untouched. Maybe this is only a personal experience, maybe not, just be aware it’s not only a horror manga but a tragedy as well.

Readers who enjoy horror will have a lot to

experience in Revenge Classroom. The suspense is a definite part in this as one doesn’t know what will happen as a result of Ayana’s actions. Interestingly this is clearly a school life manga with the whole premise involving classmates. There is almost zero comedy in the manga. Romance could potentially be said to exist but I found it difficult to spot any which could be considered a good thing. To sum it up: if you are looking for a happy break from reality in a school life genre then read 24 Colors, Orange Marmalade, or Ouran High School Host Club because you won’t find it in Revenge Classroom.

Final Score: 7.5
I have no words to describe it

*Manga readers! Help the writers/artists/creators continue their work by purchasing Revenge Classroom:

 

Details

Name(s): Revenge Classroom; 复仇教室; 復讐教室; Fukushuu Kyoushitsu
Author(s): Yamazaki Karasu
Artist(s):Kaname Ryu
Year: 2013
Chapter(s) 16 as of 8/12/2016
Genre: Tragedy, School Life, Suspense, Drama, Psychological
Status: Ongoing
Anime: No (if there is I couldn’t find it)

Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoshitsu)

Assassination Classroom

Class E is the Assassination Classroom. Here the
lowest students of the school have a secret mission: kill their sensei before he destroys the earth.

My Review (Part 1)
Gintama’s parody of Korosensei as Ginkorosensei
I was creeping on the Japanese best-seller list when a manga caught my eye. Surrounded by ridiculously popular titles like One Piece
and Attack on Titan, Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoshitsu) drew a blank. Over 8.6 million copies sold in 2015 alone, a best-seller, and I had never heard of it.
What made this manga so incredibly popular? And did this finally explain that
moment in Gintama? What was I getting myself into?
The Art
Korosensei: the happiest looking moon destroyer in all manga

Korosensei: the happiest looking moon destroyer in all manga

The cover art for Assassination Classroom took me by surprise. Instead of dark intensity; I found comedy. Korosensei looks like a balloon with a happyface transplanted onto an octopus’s body. For a being capable of destroying themoon I would have expected sharp edges, deep shading, mysterious eyes notsomething so humorous. The decision to make Korosensei the way he looks was thefirst introduction to the refreshing world of Assassination Classroom. The manga takes humor to a different place where a being capable of worldwide destruction is also a unique sensei who counters assassination attempts with manicures.

Nagisa’s character appearance is another of my

favorite things from Assassination Classroom. I love the
big eyes (I’m a sucker for great eyes), the hair with an actual reasoning
behind it, and how his look matches so naturally with who he is. His angelic smiles are so deviously distracting! Even the deadliest assassins can be forgiven for falling into his charm.

Now comes the most significant problem I hold with

Students of Class E

Assassination Classroom’s character designs. The majority of Class E student’s look so incredibly similar. They run the line of falling into the ‘same face shape’ just slightly different hair rut. The manga’s length did give them a chance to become recognizable but at first glance they all blend together with few exceptions. The blandness is an immense disappointment when compared to a creative character look like Korosensei.

The Characters
Nagisa: the
student who makes the greatest insights into the enigma of Korosensei. Nagisa
is used to being ridiculed for being in Class E and accepted it until the year
Korosensei takes over Class E. Nagisa is loyal to his beliefs. He doesn’t lose
them throughout the manga although his assassination education unleashes a
hidden side of his character.
Karma Akabane: Incredibly
quick-witted with a

brilliant mind and ruthless killing sense he is the first
student to cause actual damage to Koro-sensei. Karma is a master manipulator
with the ability to spot the lurking darkness in a person. He was removed to
class E as punishment for violent offenses. Among all the Class E students, he
is closest to Nagisa having known him before becoming a Class E student.

Bitch-sensei (Irina
Jelavic)
– Extremely confident in her powerful sex appeal, Irina is a top
rate assassin who is tasked to kill Korosensei. She is an excellent actress but
her true self is prone to being petty and easily frustrated. She had no initial
intentions of being a real teacher but slowly grows to care for the students of
Class E.

 

 

Karasuma Tadaomi: bridge between the world

governments and Class E he takes
the role of PE teacher to turn the students into assassins. He is intelligent,
level-headed, and capable of facing high-stress situations without breaking a
sweat. The class admires him greatly and strives to follow his example.

 

 

Korosensei is an enigma in the manga. What he is and why he
wanted to become a teacher for Class E is a large part of what drives the
manga. He is off the wall intelligent, creative, and humorous even when
fighting off serious assassination attempts. Nagisa finds he has a lot of
surprising weaknesses as well. Example: When he tries to look cool, his
weaknesses show; he is surprisingly quick to panic; and boobs (a dangerous
weakness for many men).
My Review (Part 2)
Assassination Classroom is more than a mere manga on
ordinary students attempting to save the world from unordinary destruction. The
charm of the manga lies in the way it combines a struggle with a

journey. The
struggle is more than the students work

to become top-notch assassins. Class E
is literally the loathed bottom feeders of the school whose existence is meant
to make the ‘normal’ students work harder to avoid having to join their ranks.
They face daily persecution for not being ‘good enough.’ Korosensei in his
ridiculous way starts a change in these forgotten ones. His efforts to make a
difference isn’t always understood by the students. He wants them to succeed in
more than an assassination. From raising their academic rankings to being sport
standouts, he fights alongside them. Some of the battles are humorous, others
make you want to cry, but all teach no student has to be what one a-hole
principal schemes for them.

The part which never fails to stand out is just how
incredible a character Korosensei is in the manga. He is so inhuman and deadly.
Yet has the most ridiculous hilarious weaknesses it stuns the reader just how
one character with a weakness for porn can outfox the world’s military forces.
He brings out the best of his students taking them from rejects to death served
with a smile. Deadly plots lie in humongous puddings, while porn stashes are
hidden assassination plots. The topsy turvy keeps one guessing while never
forgetting the world is at stake. How it will end is the reader’s guess but the
manga is so page-turning one won’t want to miss a panel before reaching the
final conclusion.
To the Reader
Assassination Classroom is clearly of the school life genre.
You will find many of the school life scenarios: exams, sport festivals,
student rivalries etc. The adventure in those scenarios along with the drama

Love the manga? Watch the anime!

keep it from sinking into a standard school story. And the humor…the humor is
everywhere! Some of it is the immature ‘porn jokes’ type but much of it comes
from odd ironies and the characters themselves. For those who worry it will all
be one big joke there are many moments which bring emotions to the surface.
It’s not hard to see personal life experiences in the feelings these characters’
struggle with. Feelings which occasionally do fall into the genre of romance but don’t take
away from the feeling of action and suspense flowing through this excellent
manga.

Final Score: 9.4
Make it your end-of-summer manga must.

 

 

Details
Names(s):
暗殺教室 ; Assassination Classroom ; فصل الأغتيال ; 암살교실 ; Classe do Assassinato; Ansatsu
Kyōshitsu

Author(s):
Matsui Yuusei

Artist(s):
Matsui Yuusei
Year:
2012
Genre(s):
Humor, Suspense, Drama, School Life, Sci-fi, Action
Chapter(s):
184
Status:
Complete
Anime: Yes

Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)

Awkward loner Yukiteru keeps a cell phone diary of his daily life. His close friends areMirai-nikki-01-2 the imaginary Deus and Muru Muru who turn out to be the real keepers of space and time. Now he is at the center of their deadly game where there can be only one winner. To survive he will need the help of deranged stalker Yuno. Together the two must save space and time by murdering all the future diary participants leaving the winner ruler of this strange world.

 

Review (Part 1)
Death games are not new to mangas so Future

Sweet Schoolgirl Yuno Amidst Her Latest Victims

Diaryś creative cell phone diary is what made the manga first stand out. The odd relationship between imaginary friend´s being actual gods did make readers wonder just how Yukiteru got to such a lonely place. Little focus is given because the manga immediately jumps into action with Yuno´s appearance. The innocent Yuno does horror proud by proving the popular sweet girl seated at the head of the class is a psychopath in disguise. Outside appearances mean little in Mirai Nikki. Even little boys can be creative murders if a win is at stake.

The manga writers have a deep grasp of the psychology behind most character´s which make

Actions Always Speak Louder than Words in Mirai Nikki

readers reconsider the belief evil vs good comes only in black vs white. Who decides what is ´the greater good by becoming the next god´ is not the heart of the manga. Jealousy, rage, and good intentions form the tangled web of a storyline in Mirai Nikki.

The Characters

Yukiteru is a shy awkward loner. He records the day´s events in his diary but doesn´t take part in them. His diary becomes a future diary after his ´ímaginary´ friend Deus turns out to be the real god of Time vs. Space. Yukiteru has low self-esteem and views himself as weak compared to others around him. Yuno´s obsessive strength is both his biggest benefit and harshest criticism to himself.

 

 

Gasai Yuno is a beautiful well-rounded student secretly obsessed with Yukiteru. Hergasai-yuno-2 entire life revolves around Yukiteru´s existence. Yuno doesn´t understand the importance of human life unless it is Yukiteru´s. She doesn´t kill for pleasure; it´s all about saving Yukiteru no matter the cost.

 

Keigo Kurusu (the 4th) has the investigation diary. He is interested in solving crimes not becoming the next claimant to the ´throne of God.´ 4th proclaims he will protect the 1st (Yukiteru). He follows his ethics which define whether or not he holds to an allegiance. He has a unique relationship with the 9th.

mirai-nikki-615353-1

 

 

Minene Uryuu (the 9th) holds the escape diary. She is infamous as a terrorist an holds a deep grudge for her parent´s murders. The 9th changes throughout the manga showing more emotion over time. She has a heart but does not often share it.

Review (Part 2)
I struggled with Mirai Nikki when

Except if you have Yuno then your known identity isn´t much of a checkmate

the god Deus revealed the rules of the game immediately. Figuring out what the boundaries are is part of the fun of a good manga (and anime). Worse is when the importance of ´keeping one´s identity a secret´ immediately falls apart. Yukiteru´s existence should have had an arrow pointing straight at him. The 9th´s claim to have found him by tracking his change in behavior is woefully scant. Even the 4th figures it out almost immediately. If Yuno were not there to save Yukiteru´s lame self the manga would have been over before it began.

The manga´s fast pace does help to redeem itself. I attribute most of this to Yuno whoseYuno's Insanity bloodthirsty stalker personality drives the plot to new heights. Having been victim to stalking myself they can be downright terrifying without have a diary informing them of your every breath. Yukiteru´s relationship with Yuno is both horrifying and fascinating. She wants to keep him to herself. If it means killing anyone who clashes with the idea then it´s as simple as one two three. Her brilliance in planning takes the plot into deeper places then a blatant battle. This manga requires some thinking to fully comprehend.

Plot twists are big in Mirai Nikki. Nothing is ever in

Time Leap Plot Twist?

cement when a cell phone entry of ´game over´ can be avoided with quick finesse. Deus´s demise adds another element to the game making it more than being the last one standing. No winner. No world left to fight in. Not to mention, unlike the Hunger Games exception, there can only be one winner. No matter how much love exists someone will have to be the sacrifice for humanity to keep on existing.

The Art
Mirai Nikki is a well-drawn manga which does stand out. The characters have looks to match their personalities. This means they are more than the same body with different hair being a defining factor. The eyes of manga characters are my greatest passion in their drawings and Mirai Nikki´s characters are filled with expression. They look beautiful as well which is always a bonus.

Beheading Blood Spatter a Bit Bland

Would I call this the best looking manga in the world? No. In the horror genre the best blood scenes are intimately intense. We are talking full detail all out Tokyo Ghoul style. Is it the prettiest? No. Bride of the Water God is my take on that. Overall though, well-done and worthy of appreciation for fans of manga art.

Final Recommendation

Dead Ends aren´t Alwasy the End in Mirai Nikki

Mirai Nikki is a horror manga making it perfect for those in love with the genre. There is immense horror in people being murdered by a pretty girl who wears blood like it´s a daily routine. The suspense is key in Mirai Nikki. No one knows who is the next bloody attacker and what exactly is their diary´s special trait until it´s almost to late. With an escape diary user in the mix the suspense of how a ´certain thing´ scenario is going to play out is forever a game of luck. Action fans will not be disappointed. There are no epic Bleach sword fights but bloody battles do abound. As for romance, I could say there is some but it might just be more of a Stockholm Syndrome then Orange Marmalade affection.

Overall Score: 8.2
Worth the read for those curious. Probable must for diehard Mirai Nikki anime fans.

*The manga community needs your help! Purchase Mirai Nikki to support the manga’s creators.

Anime fans the same to you! Buy Mirai Nikki on DVD or Blu-Ray!

 

Details

Name(s): The Future Diary, Future Diary, Mirai Nikki


Author(s): ESUNO Sakae

Artist(s): ESUNO Sakae

Year: 2006

Chapter(s): 59

Genre(s): Horror; Suspense; Action; Drama; Sci-Fi

Complete: Sort of. The Mirai Nikki is listed as complete but a secondary manga exists with a final final(?) ending

Anime: Yes

As the God of Death Dictates

Sixteen year old Ayumi has one month left to live.

Knowing it she finally has the courage to confess her love to long-time crush, Musashi. Now she´s in love but the grim reaper sent to take her away has other plans. He´s obsessed with this unusual girl and no human boy is going to stand in the way. Can Ayumi´s love last or will her heart be stolen away by Shiro? Will thirty days be her last chance at happiness?

My Review (Part 1)

Grim-reaper tells Ayumi the bad news

Six months ago a good family friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Medically most pancreatic patients pass away in less than six months; rarely do they live a year. The horrifying idea of counting down your final thirty days is terrifying. Ayumi´s own accidental discovery of knowing you are living on limited time struck home.

I thought this manga would merely be a girl living life

to the fullest in thirty short days. As the God of Death Dictates completely surprised me. Her story was proof no life is ever so simple. You need to have more than courage to keep an open heart and still be yourself. Ayumi is proof a person´s self can be powerful enough to change fate.

The Characters

Ayumi Maki is a love-struck sixteen year old. She is naturally open-hearted, compassionate, and feels for others. When a grim reaper tells her about the thirty days she has left, Ayumi makes a change becoming more outspoken in her affections.

Musashi Hiroe is a classic teenage boy. He doesn´t give off the clearest of signals and struggles to understand Ayumi. Musashi is often jealous to the point of being hurtful. Genuinely caring for Ayumi he tries to ´solve´ the grim reaper problem. When his first method fails he continues to promise he will protect her from harm.

 

Grim Reaper (Shiro) claims to be emotionless over his job. Yet he cries over taking the soul of a cat. He becomes dangerously obsessed over Ayumi who brings out the curiousity in him for human feelings. Shiro can be extremely childish. He wants his way. When Ayumi stands up to him, Shiro is forced to consider what it means to feel for another.

The Art
Ayumi´s looks in the first chapters reminded me of a

Ayumi is awkward here

drag queen just beginning. The overly large lashes made the eyes comical and odd. Her face was awkward and her body boxy. The ´pretty´ men around her made her looks stand out for all the wrong reasons. Then something changes a bit. Ayumi gets a bit toned down. She becomes far more beautiful with far less.

I love the light beams. The soft shading makes me happy.

The manga´s overall feel is one of a romance. I love the shading of the background. There is a softness to it. Light is such a central part of this story it seems only natural it be that way. I do wish the artist had taken a bit more time on Shiro´s clothes. He is such a pretty face but I get distracted by Near type pajamas.

My Review Part 2
I enjoyed this manga so much because it had a

Jealous Shiro threatens to kill Musashi if Ayumi doesn´t comply

storyline more than a girl living life to the fullest in thirty days. You had three very different character types locked together over one girl who first seemed so average. I liked the romance. I loved that Ayumi didn´t get locked into a freaky love triangle. She got distracted but stood strong even when her man acted like a d-bag.

My wish for this manga would be it had expanded a

Who are you grim reaper pajama boy? We want more!

bit. The was the author´s first two part manga which made me very proud to see. You really got a storyline in those two volumes which some mangas fail to do in thirty volumes. I just wished it could have given us a bit more on Shiro. He is so central and gets rushed towards the end. You find yourself wondering more about how his journey happened.

To the Reader

Romance!

Romance lovers open your heart to As the God of Death Dictates. This is a manga which has love at its heart. There is a definite romance and even a love triangle at times. The manga is relatively short but what you get is a full love story. I do not know if Ayumi´s love will last a lifetime. She is only sixteen but what is happening at that moment is worth risking a read.

 

Where do we go when we die?
Ayumi may find out

Supernatural lovers might be surprised to find I recommend this to them as well. I have a fascination in the way mangas view death. This author´s idea is one which takes a turn from the usual view of death I see in manga.

Final Score: 7.9



Details

Name(s): Kamisama no Iu Toori; As the God of Death Dictates; Как велит Бог Смерти; 神様の言うとおり; 神的预言好准
Author(s): Mimori Ao
Artist(s): Mimori Ao
Year: 2002
Genre: Romance, Drama, Supernatural, School Life
Chapters: 8
Status: Complete
Anime: No

Samurai Champloo

Former waitress Fuu has enlisted the help of two body

guards on her search for ´The Samurai who Smells of Sunflowers.´ Mugen is a free spirited mercenary with a champloo fighting style. Jin, a deadly samurai, seeking a reason to fight. Together they are outrunning the law in a wild journey of hilarious adventures and death battles.

My Review (Part 1)

No compensation. No plan for finding this samurai.
How did you get these bodyguards to stay?

Samurai Champloo came about in an unusual order. The anime was created before the manga but the manga was released first. Samurai Champloo’s beginning almost matches the anime’s first episode. Perfect for me since I just watched the series. My mental critique of the anime´s episode one sums up chapter one.The beginning throws the reader into exciting sword scenes but lacks on details about the manga. Fuu somehow ropes the two into being her bodyguards without ever giving a clear picture of what she is searching for. It’s difficult to understand just why two fighters would agree to put their lives on the line to find a ‘Samurai who smells of sunflowers.’

The Art
Samurai Champloo exemplifies many excellent manga

styles of the 2000s. The characters are well-drawn in

proportion. The artist has the skill to give movement to a figure without appearing static. You could go on about the many things done ‘right’ in the drawings. The problem isn’t in the skill. Samurai Champloo is well drawn. The issue is how cliche the drawings are.

 

I´m seeing a blend of Uryuu & Komui & Etc

Jin is the worst victim of this artistic conundrum. Hislook is standard at best. The addition of glasses may have been an attempt to help him stand-out but give him more of a Komui feel (D Gray Man) then anything unique. His look feels half-finished. Maybe a longer ponytail or better bangs or slight fashion change could draw him from fading into bland.

Mugen is the one character who rises above the usual.

He cannot be summed up as a single character

Mugen wins for artist looks in Samurai Champloo

reference because his look is his own. There is a refreshing breeze about him. His wooden clogs, narrow features, crazed hair, and motley mix of fashion feels imaginative in Samurai Champloo. The artist put Mugen’s essence into his look and it worked.

Samurai Champloo does have a unique twist to its´ art. In chapter 9 the artist´s brother takes over in Samurai Champloo. Comparing the two I prefer the original artist. The brother has obvious skill in imitating his work. My issue is it comes off more hurried with less detail in the fight scenes. Although I do think the woman are much prettier in the final arc then before.

The Characters
 

My Review (Part 2)
The fascination of Samurai Champloo lies in its’ main

All time Favorite Character wanted poster

characters rather than suspenseful storyline adventures. To many minor characters with to little explanation leads to more impressive fight scenes than plot lines. I read the manga twice (the second time on mangareader.net) where an editor’s notes gave me a fascinating perspective on the meaning of the characters.

The world they live in is a motley mix of Japanese

That awkward moment when you realize you´ve just gotten Japanese
history and culuture totally wrong.

eras with modern elements laced in. Historically it is hardly textbook accurate. The manga is not trying to be. Japan’s history is a humorous element which takes Samurai Champloo to an interesting place. They make nonsensical out of the historical similar to moments from Gintama’s manga.

The characters remind me of a ‘Gone With the Wind’

Mugen questions Jin´s reserved decision to hold off on useless
violence.

example. One character symbolizes the values of the

past, one the current time, and one the future of the manga’s world.Jin is the traditional samurai facing the end of Japan’s samurai era. Jin’s fighting style is reminiscent of tradition. He is the ‘serious’ one, the man facing a crisis of modern era with traditional samurai. Fuu has a more obvious humor than Jin. She is a sign of the times. There are moments where a fiery independent ‘modern value’ woman emerges. Simultaneously she has a feminine traditional ‘damsel in distress’ role. Fuu gets frustrated with Jin but her pain-in-the-ass is Mugen.

Mugen is the one who makes Samurai Champloo rise above a standard Shojen manga. He is the future. No

loyalties to traditional samurai values. He’s a mercenary who is not above murdering for a meal.

Hostage situations? Forget that.

Mugen’s ways are the humor in Samurai Champloo. Jin and Fuu find themselves in bad situations because of Mugen’s random ways. He tries gambling, loses all their money, and pays off his debt with Fuu’s hard work. If a damsel-in-distress is rescued by a random guy he doesn’t thank them. Attacks them for stealing his ‘money opportunity.’ Mugen kept me laughing and guessing. I found myself wishing the manga was devoted entirely to him. Fuu and Jin are add-ons in my enjoyment of Samurai Champloo.

I read multiple manga site versions of Samurai Champloo because it´s ending(?) makes no sense. MangaPark declared it ongoing yet Mangareader listed it as complete. The manga itself has a ´the end´ page but no ending. This might just be because the maker animation Studio, Manglobe, responsible for Samurai Champloo closed in 2015. Maybe a new studio will pick up the rights to the series. No plans for it yet but I really hope they do. Samurai Champloo is sorely in need of a true ending.

Support Samurai Champloo by purchasing the manga

or Checkout the Anime


To the Reader
Samurai Champloo personifies two genres: action and

comedy. Mugen’s completely random style works well to offset Jin’s traditional swordsmanship. You get the best of both. If fist beating is more your taste there is plenty of it. Samurai Champloo’s second draw is comedy. There is the occasional ‘sexual’ humor but it is not the only reason this manga amuses you. Example: Mugen sees Fuu crying. He promises to make the guy pay IF Fuu pays. Mugen even has a chart in ryo amounts how much a kick, punch, and kill will set you back.

Samurai Champloo is only ten chapters. Watching the anime then reading the manga gives me a nasty

Do Check Out the Anime!

suspicion why it is. The manga´s great start fallsapart into disjointed single adventure chapters. Samurai Champloo´s anime is where the complete journey unfolds. The manga gets derailed and left to straggle its way to a complete??!!! ending. ¨Neither can live while the other survives¨ sums up the relationship perfectly. Creators tried working both. They ended with a weak manga whose potential got stunted. Hurts to admit the truth but it had to be said.

Final Score: 5.4

Details

Name(s): Samurai Champloo
Author(s): Watanabe Shinichiro
Artist(s): Gotsubo Masaru
Year: 2004
Genre: Action; Adventure; Comedy; Shonen
Chapters: 10
Status: Complete(?)
Anime: YES