FInal Review: Maoh Juvenile Remix

Maoh covers

-Maoh: Juvenile Remix

-Kotaro Isaka and Megumi Osuga

-Viz Media

The whole way through this series I said that it was kind of disappointing but had the capacity to become absolutely awesome. Reading the series you get the sense that something absolutely crazy is about to go down. However, the fact that the madness doesn’t go down until the final volume is bad enough, but then it all falls just short of what, as a reader, I really wanted to see.

From the very beginning of the series the impression that something really good could be getting built up is seen and that is actually what got me wanting to continue reading the series. Throughout the series there are a couple of ‘holy-shit’ moments, but the impression continued that something big is still coming. About halfway through, everything becomes a lot darker as the story shifts between main character and we are introduced to the underworld of Nekota city. However, even the full possibilities of this element of the story aren’t followed up to a great level and soon it too becomes a letdown.

**SPOILERS – Skip to final paragraph for recommendations**

The final volume kicks off with Frauline’s plans to eliminate the threat of both Inukai and Junya. Their snipers take up position to shoot Inukai at his rally and the assassins and cannibals hired by the son of their CO prepair to track down their targets (Junya’s friends).  However, our Junya isn’t just going to sit back and let this happen, and calls in all the assassins he’s met throughout the series. A ‘freak’ earthquake causes the snippers to miss their shot before the pusher end them. Back at Frauline’s bowling alley their hired killers return unable to find their targets, when low and behold there they are bowling with Anderson. Before they are able to get to them Semi appears and has a nice little rampage working his way through each of them, leaving just the COs son alive. In comes he Suicider and on his target list is Semi’s left over. News of his son’s suicide reaches the CO who quickly arrives at the bowling alley, but realizing what is happening tries to leave in a rush, but the pusher arrives for this third kill of the day pushing him in front of his own car. In just a matter of minutes the threat of Frauline is no more.

So all that remains is eliminating Inukai right? Well how about a ten year time skip instead and wait until he becomes the Prime Minister. WHAT? Oh but wait, Junya is now organizing a confrontation with Inukai. Werll Okay maybe some serious shit is going to go down now. But no, not really. All that really happens is that it reveals that the two kids of the Pusher have the power to cause earthquakes (‘shocking’) and Inukai sees Junya standing in the middle of the stadium after the rest of the audience runs away during an earthquake caused by the Pushers kids. And that’s it.

*End of Spoilers*

Overall, I was quite pissed off by the end of the series that it spent ten volumes building up something that never happened. The last volume begins so intense and awesome, and then suddenly we get to the concluding chapter and nothing fucking happens. I really must commend the mangaka on doing a fantastic job of using ten volumes to build up something that wasn’t going to happen. So would I recommend this series? If you can get it o the cheap then buy it, otherwise don’t bother. Don’t bother spending money that could buy better series’. Don’t bother going out of your way looking for this. Don’t bother reading something that ends with such a ‘fuck you’ to the readers. I really enjoyed this series in the four or five volumes before that final chapter, but then, it happened. Or rather, nothing happened. DO not waste your time on Maoh: Juvenile Remix.

Turtle

Check Maoh out for yourself at:

http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781421540399/?a_aid=turtlemanga

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Reflection: Doubt vol. 1

Doubt volume 1

I never heard of Doubt before I spotted it in a bookstore while on holiday in England last week. The description on the back sounded pretty good so I decided I would pick it up.

The story begins with a group of five teenagers meeting for the first time after meeting playing an online game. For the most part everyone is getting along grand, with exemption of a few small scrapes. The group decides to go to Karaoke where they continue to get to know each other.

However, everything turns when the main character Yuu goes to the bathroom. Whilst in the bathroom he is met by a person wearing rabbit mask who knocks him unconscious. When Yuu comes through he finds himself in a dark room with another of the teens he had met through the game. After a little looking around they discover the body of one of the girls he met hanging from a wall. Once regrouped with all of his friend, they realise they are locked in a building with no escape route a forced to play the game ‘Doubt’ which they had all met through. The game requires the group to interrogate each other to discover who the murderer in the group is. They have to kill their suspect and if they are wrong one of them will be killed again.

The story is a very interesting read. Immediately after I started reading I was trying to solve the mystery myself. It forces the reader into the story to try and figure out who the ‘wolf’ is among them.  The story is complemented very well with absolutely fantastic artwork. The illustrations are very graphic and detailed.

While reading I am reminded a lot of Btooom!, which has a fairly similar idea behind it. Both stories deal with people being forced into playing a real life version of an online video game. Although Doubt takes place on a far smaller scale and is more of a mental game opposed to a strategy game like Btooom!. I don’t think I can say that I like one over the other because although they sound quite similar, they are actually very different.

There’s only two volumes in the series, both being fairly large volumes. If you enjoy series similar to Btooom or Battle Royale I would recommend this to you, and although the volumes are a little more expensive than other series, there is only two so it won’t break the bank to own the series.  

Turtle

Check out Doubt for yourself: http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9780316245302/?a_aid=turtlemanga

Reflection: Bakuman. Vol. 17

Image

Finally starting to get close to the end of this series. Really excited to see how it’s all going to end over the next three volumes. Before I get to that, let’s talk a little about volume 17 though.

 

Synopsis:

The main story line in this volume follows Muto Ashirogi’s rivalry with Tohru Nanamine. As we saw towards the end of volume 16 Nanamine was back and working behind the scenes with some veteran mangaka. In this volume we see what exactly he is up to. Nanamine has set up his own business, which develops manga storyboards for veteran mangaka to get them to return to Shonen Jump. That may seem alright, but basically he’s up to his old tricks again. Only this time he is pumping in more money in to it and on a far larger scale. *Sidenote: for anyone not already in the know, Nanamine previous had a series in Jump which he wrote with the assistance of 50 people over the internet. This time it really seems to be working with several manga being approved by Jump before they find out that Nanmine is behind it and what exactly is going on.

Nanamine reveals to Mashiro and Akito his new business structure and vows that this time he will defeat them. After hearing all about what he is up to the rest of Team Fukuda become determined to ensure that Nanamine will not be published and they will be rid of him for good. They put all their efforts into developing the best stories possible (all except Hiramaru of course) to defeat him in Jumps ranking once again.

 

My opinion of this volume:

As much as I love this series, I think the story in this volume has been by far the worst I have read. I lost interest in reading a few times and as a result it took me longer than usual to get through it. The story is just very repetitive from Ashirogi’s last encounter with Nanamine and all of their, for lack of a better word, battles with Nizuma. The whole story just seemed to be dragged out, the same as before and really there were no surprises. In my opinion this would have been better as a short or even a side story while Muto Ashirogi strive to claim first in the rankings after Nizuma ended his series. There was no mention of this besides Takahama saying in the last volume that he will be number one. The writer’s never referred back to this and it seems that no one is even trying to challenge Takahama despite the fact that all of Team Fukuda was working to claim first just weeks before to best Nizuma. I guess for the first time in the series everyone is content to finish as a runner-up. I hope volume 18 is a great improvement and the returns to the main storyline of the series and another head to head challenge with Nizuma looks promising.

 

Rating:

This volume really has been a shortcoming in an otherwise fantastic series. Don’t let that deter you though. Pick up the series and give it a read, it really is a series everyone will enjoy.

 

Turtle