Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Onani Master Kurosawa" Manga Review


A quick Google search of what Onani Master might translate to might veer you away from this manga but I strongly encourage you first read my review. What this manga has in store for you is a short but amazing story of redemption.

Story: 9/10
What the title will not tell you is that this manga is a story about redemption for social outcast Kakeru Kurosawa. He (in the beginning) spends his free time taking a “load” off in the women’s restrooms because he feels like it. Weird right? In his head he is in complete control and he doesn’t think he needs any true friends to survive. To be honest Kurosawa is a pretty shitty person at first glance which is exactly why this redemption story is the best I have ever witnessed. As the plot progresses, he little by little begins forming true friendships with classmates Keiji Nagaoka, Magister Takigawa, and many more people while being brought down by Kitahara (another social outcast character). Kitahara who also feels detatched from society more or less makes Kurosawa do certian actions that once he atones for changes and matures him into a very respectable male lead. While the path to redemption only takes 4 volumes (30 chapters), I find it fitting to what it is trying to accomplish. It goes from his daily life to revenge to redemption in such a flowing manner that you will want more once you finish. You start out with shitty Kurosawa, see him get better as a person, falls back to shitty person, then has an epiphany that changes himself completely. It is very hard to describe how well the story is without giving important plot points away so just know that this manga is a lot more than some guy who gets off in the women’s bathroom.

Art: 6.5/10
The artwork for the manga is very much rough sketches with over exaggerated boldness on Kurosawa to show how dark he is in the beginning of the manga. It’s not drawn poorly; it’s just a very original looking style that doesn’t try to “wow” you with amazing vistas. Cheerful characters are drawn lightly and have their surroundings match their moods. The other characters in the manga that are of ill-intent have their facial expressions match their moods quite well. Overall I have been spoiled by great looking manga such as Fairy Tail and Skip Beat so when comparing to this one it just doesn’t leave a lasting impression.

Characters: 9/10
The characters of this manga are a collection of lighthearted and generally good people while also including some who think they are misguided and lost causes. The interactions between the social outcasts (Kurosawa and Kitahara) and the “good” guys (Nagaoka and the rest of his gang) really make the redemption story very enjoyable to watch. You see Nagaoka trying to his heart’s content to include Kurosawa in every event even though he gets the same response every time. I never felt like any of the main characters were generic or not needed to progress the story.

Overall 8.2/10
No matter what my scoring may stray you towards I want you to try this manga out. It starts off with a Death Note vibe but changes and gets better and more interesting as it progresses. It is by far the best story about a social outcast maturing into a fine adult that I have ever experienced. It is very short and can be enjoyed in a day or a week.
 A very good manga that shows true character development over time. Do not stray away due to the title; if you are bored one afternoon sit down and read this.

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