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

Catch up: Maoh Juvenile Remix

Maoh juvenile Remix

This is now the third time I’ve had to post this because wordpress messed up the publishing. Sorry guys.

 

Since  my last posting about Maoh: Juvenile Remix I have actually read volumes 6, 7 and 8. That leaves just volumes 9 and 10 until the series in completed. Since I didn’t get a reflection up on these three volumes I thought I would post a short summary of what’s been going on in the series. This post is full of spoilers, so if you don’t want to read them, leave now.

 

Volume six kicks off with Ando finally starting to seek out where he can confront Inukai and have their final battle. The first half of the volume shows a bit more of the relationship between Ando and Junya (his little brother) hinting that he may actually become an important character soon (he does). As Ando continues his preparation for his showdown with Inukai, the bartender decides that it is time for Ando to be killed so he can’t cause any more problems for the Grasshoppers. An epic battle commences as the two attempt to use their powers to kill the other. The volume ends as it appears that Ando has defeated and killed the bartender at last.

 

He didn’t. Volume seven sees the public rally finally starting and Ando is there to put an end to Inukai’s reign at last.

He doesn’t. The bartender returns and kills Ando before he has the chance to use his ventriloquism. Yeah that’s right, they brought back one of the biggest assholes in the series, from the dead, so he can kill of the main character.  After Ando’s death the story shifts focus to Junya (told you he would eventually become relevant). Junya attempts to seek out the truth of what his brother was doing and what he belived in so much he gave up his life for. He tracks down Semi and questions him and his boss. He gets a few answers, but not as much as he really needs.

 

In volume eight Junya continues his search for answers to what happened to his brother. He discovers a link between Ando and the bartender that he decides needs investigating. He pretends to be interested in joining the Grasshoppers so that he can arrange a meeting with the bartender. Armed with a baseball bat, Junya arrives at the meeting point with the bartender, only to see him get hit by a bus  before he can ask any questions. Junya spots a main having pushed the bartender and decides to follow him. (the asshole who returned from the dead before and killed the main character in the series seriously just got hit by a bus and killed, as a result of an attack from an assassin (and I’m not joking here) called ‘The Pusher’. what a slap in the fucking face to the readers). After following ‘The Pusher’ home, Junya befriends him and his family who help him to use his own power like Ando did. What’s his power you might be asking? He can predict the result of a game of chance, meaning he always wins in rock-paper-scissors and coin flips. I can see this being a little more useful than Ando’s ventriloquism, but not by much.

 

 

All and all, this series is becoming more and more frustrating as I read it. But I think that’s actually got me wanting to read on to the end. Expect a reflection on volume 9 soon and the final series review after that.

Manga Collection – Part 1 (Return of the Turtle)

I’ve fallen away from my blog in recent months, and for those who read it regularly, I’m sorry. I really miss writing them myself so I am going to try my best to keep it going a bit. In one of my previous blogs I mentioned that I will do a collection list of my manga, so I think that will be as good a place as any to get back in the zone. I’m actually looking forward to this because I’ll get to look over what I have.

One Piece – Eiichiro Oda:
Kick things off with the only of the ‘big three’ series’ that I own. To date I own volumes 1-13, which is the entire of the East Blue arc and the start of Baroque Works. I started reading One Piece in about October of last year and been slowly working my way through the series. The second box set (volumes 24-46) is due to be released in November, so I’ll catch up by then and buy that.

Abandon the Old in Tokyo – Yoshihiro Tatsumi:
I’ve written a couple blogs about this collection, and if you’ve read them you will probably know that I wasn’t too impressed with some of the stories. I bought the collection off of Amazon UK when I was just starting to read manga after googling series for an older age group. Abandon the Old in Tokyo was suggested so I bought it. If you’re a sort of poetic person who enjoys looking as the hidden meaning behind stories, you might enjoy the collection. If you enjoy stories about men having sex with dogs, you too will enjoy this collection of one-shots… Moving steadily onwards.

Magi – Shinobu Ohtaka:
I only recently acquired the first volume of Magi while on a recent weekend trip up to Belfast. I’d heard a lot about the series on Facebook and YouTube so thought I would give it a try. I have to say, I really did enjoy this volume and I can’t wait to pick up some more of it. If you haven’t heard of magi yet, it is a retelling of the story of Aladdin, and the artwork is great. I would highly recommend this series to anyone. Volume 9 has just been released in English so It’s not too far into the story that anyone can catch up. In Japan volume 21 is the most recent available, so it will be a worthy read for the foreseeable future.

Maoh: Juvenile Remix – Megumi Osuga:
This is another series which I have posted several reflections on in the past. Last night I finished reading volume 8, and I cannot wait to pick up the last two volumes to finish the series. (A final review will be posted afterwards). As I mentioned in some of the reflections the series does start out very slowly and builds momentum as it goes along. In volume 6 the story really gets rolling and has me gripped. The series deals a lot with morals and questioning the norm of society. It’s a good read for anyone interested in reading stories about social division as well as action seekers, with an endless array of assassins appearing as the story moves forward.

Attack on Titan – Hajime Isayama:
I was a little late on the Attack on Titan band wagon, as I tend to be with most series. I have up to volume four right now, and intend on buying more. The story is fantastic, but I really don’t like the artwork. The artwork seems to be a major issue judging from other posts and videos I’ve seen in regards to the manga. However, I’ve been assured the artwork gets better in the newer volumes, so I’m going to hold out in hopes that it does.

Btooom! – Junya Inoue:
Btooom! is one of very few anime’s that I have actually watched, and it had me gripped from episode one. The same goes for the manga. I have already read all of the available chapters online and only recently started buying the volumes to reread. I’m up to volume four, but know that I will have more soon. The concept is very similar to Battle Royale (another series I need to get my hands on in the near future).

Pokemon Adventures – Hidenori Kusaka and Mato:
It’s Pokemon, do I really need to say anything else. I loved the anime as a kid. I loved the trading cards. I still love playing the games. Once I started reading manga, I had to own Pokemon Adventures. I only have volume one right know because for some reason every shop has volumes 3-7, but you can’t get volume 2 anywhere. It’s in my next order to be delivered in the near future, and I hope to get up to volume 7 then, completing both the Red and Yellow arcs.

FLCL – Hajime Ueda, Story by Gainax:
Everyone has the series that makes them go ‘What the fuck am I reading’. FLCL is usually that. It’s actually the series my friends forced me to watch to convince me to start watching Anime. It kind of worked I guess. I only got the first volume yesterday and read it all in one sitting. The second and final volume will arrive shortly. I think the description really sums up how odd this series is “-from beyond the stars drops an impish defender sent forth to stop alien robots from destroying the Earth. Where do the robots come from? Well, from Naota’s forehead for starters.”

Apocalypse Meow – Motofumi Kobayashi:
I spotted this series in a used book shop yesterday and knew I just had to own it. Partially because it looks awesome, and also because they were selling in for less than a quarter the price it is on Amazon UK. I haven’t had a chance to give them a read yet, but I will soon and I will get back to you about it when I do. Basically the series is about the Vietnam War, but the human characters have been replaced my animals.

That’s the end of my first shelf, so I think I will leave it there for today. I will post about the other shelf in the near future, so look out for that. Let me know if you have read any of the series I’ve mentioned here and let me know what you thought of it. As I said at the start, I am really happy to be back to the blogging community, and look forward to writing more and talking with some of you in the future.

Turtle
(Back to kick some ass)

Reflection: Maoh: Juvenile Remix, volume 5

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For anyone who hasn’t heard about his series or read my previous posts about it, Maoh: Juvenile Remix is a series about a city which is struggling to come to terms with modernity. In the worst possible way. Basically, an American company teamed up with the city’s mayor has forced people from their homes and businesses to shut down so that they can build what they call the ‘New Urban Centre’. The citizens are left feeling the blunt as hundreds are made unemployed as they watch their livelihoods be ripped apart. Feeding off the anger of the people an organisation called ‘the Grasshoppers’ has risen up lead by a young man called Inukai. Inukai aims to destroy the project at any means. Unable to accept the actions of the Grasshoppers, the series’ main character Ando becomes conflicted as he cannot justify the actions of either side.

 

Synopsis:

We kick volume 5 off with members of grasshopper lighting the elderly couple who Anderson has been working for house on fire. A mob gathers to watch Anderson and the couple die, only to see him walk out of the flames carrying the man. Ando and Junya appear on the scene and after some confrontation with the mob they enter the burning house to rescue the woman. Ando uses his ventriloquism power to turn the mob against itself, giving them time to escape.

Meanwhile, Semi’s job of protecting the Mayor becomes more challenging as countless assassins have been sent to kill him. Semi tries his best to protect the mayor, killing his way through his hotel, but in the end it is all for nothing. Another assassin has been waiting for the mayor in his room and using a power of his own convinces the mayor to kill himself by jumping from the top floor of the hotel. Semi comes face to face with this unknown ‘suicider’ and has to fight to resist illusions that have been set onto him by this man.

Following the fire Ando accepts that he can no longer sit back watch as innocent people are put in harm’s way and do nothing. He decrees that he will defeat Inukai using his ability. A short time skip then occurs and he rejoin Ando a month later on the trail of Inukai and planning how he will confront him. Just as he is about to give up Ando discovers that Inukai will be at a Grasshopper rally in six days and decides that this will be when their battle will begin.

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My Opinion:

I knew this series had some good potential. The first four volumes were really nothing special, but everything is starting to kick off now, and I can’t wait to see how Ando is going to confront Inukai at the rally. The story lines are all starting to be drawn in together with Ando and Semi once crossing paths once again. Junya has finally had an impact on the story, up until now he was just kind of whining and annoying. The illustrations in this volume are amazing, especially the fight scenes between Semi and the other assassins. Also, the character designs of the people in the mob at the fire was very good too. All in all, I was very happy with volume five and I’m looking forward to the next one.

 

Turtle

Reflection: Maoh: Juvenile Remix, vol. 4

Maoh Juvenile Remix is one of maybe eight series I’m reading right now, and as I work my way through them I can’t believe how fast my waiting list is growing. Hoping to put in a new order for some manga soon, but that will hardly make a dent in the list of what I want to read.

 

Synopsis:

                Volume four of Maoh: Juvenile Remix kicks off with Ando being dragged off by bartender to watch Inukai make a speech to all the Grasshoppers. His speech is broadcast on the internet and watched by people all over the city. Inukai again identifies the Mayor and the Anderson Groups plans for the new urban centre as destroying their city. He calls on all his supporters to unite together and put an end to the development once and for all. Ando attempts to use his ventriloquism to stop Inukai and the grasshoppers, and briefly it looks like he may succeed. However, once he realises just how well his speech has been received, we see that it isn’t going to be that simple.

                Volume four also sees the return of Semi, an assassin who had previously appeared to kill Ando. After Inukai’s speech, the mayor had become a target for murder and as a result Semi was hired to serve as his body guard. Simply a body guard is a very boring role for Semi to play as he is told not to kill anyone who is not a professional killer. Some of the scenes where he finds people sneaking around to get the mayor are entertaining, but very tame compared to what we have already seen he can do.

                Another target following the speech in Ando’s new friend Anderson, who is the son of the President of the Anderson Group. Anderson repeatedly gets attacked at school, even by some of the other students he had befriended just in the previous volume. Again Ando attempts to use his ventriloquism to protect Anderson, but he ends up straining himself and starts to feel the side effects of his ability. Anderson, however, refuses to back down and hide from his attackers, and vows to continue going to school until everyone recognises the differences between him and his father.

 

My Opinion:

Two points I think I’ll like to talk about with this volume. First off, I really like the contrast between the two targets of the Grasshoppers in this volume. The mayor living in fear that someone is after him and constantly hiding behind his bodyguard. While on the other hand Anderson faces up to the enemy and accepts his fate, refusing to back down or to accept help. I really like some of the things that Anderson says in this volumes, about not running away when he did nothing wrong and how he is different from his father. Anderson is a very philosophical character in the series since he appeared and I just really like him.

                The second point I want to address is the issue of what is going on with Junya? Ando repeatedly mentions in his side dialogue that he will tell his brother everything that’s going on, but still hasn’t. However, while everyone else at their school and the majority of the city’s population is under the influence of Inukai, Junya never pays any heed to it. I really want to know why he isn’t joining with the rest of the Grasshoppers. Does he feel the same as his brother about Inukai and also recognises something’s wrong? Or is it that he just doesn’t care? In the four volumes I can’t think of a single time that Junya actually mentions Inukai or the Grasshoppers. Just the odd point of ‘Did you see what happened on the news?’ In my opinion, I think that Junya knows everything, about Inukai, the Grasshoppers, the Anderson Group, and Ando’s ventriloquism. He’s just trying to remain low and support his brother without being in the way. That’s just my thought though, I don’t really know to be honest.

 

Rating:

Check out the series. It portrays the struggle between modernisation and traditions quite good as well as addressing whether or not violence can be justified. It is still a shonen Manga, so the story remains a little simple and to be honest I would like to see a version aimed at a more mature audience which would go deeper and be a lot darker. However, as it stands, Maoh: Juvenile Remix is a very enjoyable Read.

 

Turtle

Reflection: Maoh Juvenile Remix, Volume 3

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I picked up volumes 3, 4 and 5 of this series a couple weeks and only getting around to reading it now.

 

Synopsis:

A lot happens in volume three. It begins with the hostage situation at the petrol station where volume 2 left off. Ando and Inukai come face to face and they struggle to each have the situation end they way that they intend. Following the hostage situation Inukai and Ando have a meeting and Inukai tells Ando that he believes that it is his destiny to change the world, and that Ando’s destined to try and stop him. A few new characters are also introduced in this volume. Anderson, the son of Mr. Anderson of the Anderson group (I’ll say Anderson one more time for good measure here) joins Ando’s class while his father works in Japan. Anderson has no interest in his father’s corporation and is much more interested in becoming friends with Ando and plans to open an English tutoring school after finishing school. Another new character introduced towards the end of the volume is the Hornet girl. To say she’s weird is a bit of an understatement. Her sole purpose is to hunt down and kill the grasshoppers, as well as anyone else who gets in her way.

 

My Opinion:

I’m starting to get a little bored of the series. More and more characters are being introduced and the story is all over the place. There has been so much build up in the first few volumes and nothing really has happened. So many characters keep returning, but none have really been developed. We know Junya is Ando’s brother, but nothing else really. Characters come and go and nothing really happens. There’s so many characters that enter the story then disappear and just leaves you trying to figure out what’s happening.

 

Rating:

I’m through three volumes of a total of ten. The story might improve and something actually happening. I have up to volume 5 here so I’ll keep reading but I can’t see myself buying anymore of the series as long as it keeps going the way it is. Give it a shot if you want. The concept is very good, but the execution has really held it back in my own opinion.

 

Turtle

Reflection: Maoh: Juvenile Remix, Vol. 1+2

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I recently picked up the first two volumes of this series on a whim in a comic book shop. Never heard of the series at all and don’t really know what drew me to it, but thought I’d give it a go. Quite a decent story and I’ve already got a couple more volumes that I’ll have to read over in the near future.

 

Synopsis:

Maoh Juvenile Remix is an adaptation of a Japanese short novel by Kotaro Isaka. This adaptation was written and illustrated by Megumi Osuga for Shonen Sunday. The complete series has been published by Viz in ten volumes.

The setting for this manga is the city of Nekota which is being threatened by modernisation and widespread crime. The main antagonist is a young man by the name of Inukai who leads a team of vigilantes to put an end to the crime and monopolisation of the city. His group will apparently stop at nothing to achieve their aims, really being nothing short of a terrorist organization.

The main character, Ando, is a high school student who has the ability to make others say whatever he is thinking. Like Inukai and the grasshoppers, Ando opposes the way his hometown is being transformed from the quiet little city it always was. However, he also sees the actions of the grasshoppers as being over the top and refuses to condone to their actions. The series follows his attempts to protect his city from both big business and vigilante group.  

 

My Opinion:

I think this series really has potential and as I’ve mentioned above I wasted no time in buying more copies. The story is quite interesting in how the main villain of the series is acting to achieve the same aims as the main character, and it is the means of achieving these aims that prevents them from cooperating with each other.

The first two volumes for the most part have just been building up the story. A few small incidents occur during them, but you just know that there are bigger things to come. I am really interested to see how Ando can manage to use his ability for the greater good. It’s not really a gift that you would think would be of too much assistance in changing the world such as Lelouch’s geass in Code Geass. The fact that it isn’t exactly the best ability that has appeared in manga  makes it all that more interesting in my opinion.

 

Rating:

Check this series out. It’s got all the good stuff you want from manga; good vs. evil, evil vs. eviler, terrorism and assassins to name a few. The length of the series is also ideal, it’s not so long that you’re going to spend years collecting the volumes, but not so short that you won’t build an attachment to the characters. Honestly, it’s far from the best series I’ve seen recently, but that by no means is to say that’s not worth checking out.

 

Turtle