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.

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