Tag Archives: Shōnen manga

One-Shot for the Weekend – Mario (マリオ)

MarioMario (マリオ)

Manga-ka: Kishimoto Masashi

Genre: Action, Drama, Shounen, Romance

Mario is a half-Japanese, half Italian mercenary  who prioritizes money above everything else. He gets assigned to work together with Saori, another hitman who hates men and refuses to talk to them.

Published as a one-shot in 2013 with Jump SQ .

———

Mario 1It’s pretty much the end of the weekend so it’s coming pretty late, but here’s our recommended one-shot! I’m currently undergoing a Naruto manga marathon, so I decided to choose one of Kishimoto Masashi’s one-shots – Mario. He’s mentioned it before in one of those author rants’ pages in Naruto, where he expressed that Mario was probably one of the best stories that he’d ever come up with. So with no further ado, I jumped into it the moment I saw the one-shot.

Mario 3

I didn’t know what to expect from it at all before reading Mario – didn’t read the summary or anything. If I unattached it from its Jump SQ label and the fact that the manga-ka is one of the most successful shounen manga-ka to date, I would honestly think it’s a seinen one-shot. There’s a more subdued feel to it compared to the usual in-yo-face shounen action.

Mario gives off a very jazzy feel throughout the whole one-shot. From the yakuza/mafia setting, the black suits and black dresses, the character interactions and just everything overall, there is this general feeling of coolness. The kind of story that depicts a romanticized version of the mafia. This whole ‘jazzy’ feel is really what gives of the seinen feel, and in fact is a bit of a weakness for those who are more used to the ba da bing ba da BOOM aspect of shounen Mario 2manga. There’s no sudden crescendo of action or ground breaking-ly embarrassing romantic confessions – everything seems pretty subdued with a mature over tone.

In other words, it can seem a bit dull.

Not saying that it’s bad or anything, but Mario really seems more like a story that can’t develop in a one-shot since it’s the type that would usually build up on the relationships between the characters; and these relationships can’t be addressed and comprehended in a one-shot. Still, quite an okay read for a jazzy weekend.

Rating: 3.4/5.0

Mario 5

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One-Shot for Last Weekend – X-Tai Shinsho

xtai1X-Tai Shinsho 

Mangaka: Ezawa

Genre: Action, Comedy, Historical, Shounen, Supernatural

Sugita Genpaku made a contract with a demon in exchange for the ability to cure any disease.
But if he doesn’t find someone to treat within the time limit, his soul will be taken!

Published online on Gangan Online in 2011 by Square Enix.

xtai3Okay, I admit, it’s kind of odd that I’m writing a one-shot post for last week considering the coming weekend is just around the corner. But, still, I don’t like leaving an odd bob of a weekend out while we’re active. The one-shot I’m bringing you to attention is X-Tai Shinsho, it’s really similar to another manga series I’ve written about before in a mushroom-manga post called Kaitai Shinsho Zero. It’s whole concept is almost identical in a way, a super-doctor which cures people of extra-ordinary illnesses. I had wanted this one-shot’s story to be more in lined with a Black Jack kind of doctor story. Like a doctor who is curing the weak and sick in a more humane manner than a ball-busting, demon killing-fest like Kaitai Shinsho Zero; but that was not to be, since the protagonist in X-Tai Shinsho also kinda went that route.

xtai2

The thing that really caught my interest was the fact that the protagonist would die if he doesn’t cure a person with a deadly illness within a time-limit, it was like, wow Shounen manga really hates their protagonists don’t they. I always find that they always have some seriously depressing past but I suppose that’s how you build a extremely epic story? The manga-ka’s drawing style is also extremely pleasing on the eye, really similar to works from Comic Zero-Sum/Avarus/Gene(I’d fit GanGan Online into this group really). The one-shot was written in the way in which most Shounen manga one-shots are written – to allow a continuation to another extremely long serialisation. I don’t think this one-shot was extremely mind-blowing but I still really like the concept and the fact that the manga-ka chose to set it in a historical era; and having a light-hearted/little haughty protagonist is always a plus(keeps things less serious).

xtai4

Rating: 3/5

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One-Shot for a Weekday – Toujuushi

Toujuushi, Bestiarius
(闘獣士, ベスティアリウス)

Manga-ka: Kakizaki Masasumi

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Historical, Shounen, Tragedy

A.D 70, the Roman Empire had nearly overtaken all human civilisation. The imperial empire soon ventured across the lands of the orcs and Albion, the land of Wyverns. As one Roman soldier is defeated by a great Wyvern, his encounter with the being changes the life of his son forever.

Published by Shogakukan in Shonen Sunday, 2011. Split into part 1 & part 2.

——-

Okay, making up for last weekend’s one-shot post. I didn’t really know what to expect when I began reading this one-shot. This was totally out of my range  I mean, yes, it is shounen manga but it’s art was also very different since its sort of old school and seinen-y(lol) with that impeccable eye for detail (maybe like manga like Berserk?).

Anyway, this was a very nice read. You’ll probably know where the story will head but it reads a bit like an epic piece (I mean the term ‘epic’ as oppose to meaning ‘mindblowingly awesome’ that’s used colloquially). It sort of follows the epic hero plotline which is why it may feel so familiar. What I really liked about it was the clever of marriage between history and old folkloric fantasy which made it seem so real. It can almost convince you that Wyverns do exist and they were just slaughtered to extinction by the Romans. It reminds me of stories like King Arthur or Gawain and the Green Knight for example. This one-shot promises a bit of adventure and is very heart-warming as we see a human and intelligent being share an incredibly close bond that one might only imagine between a father and son.

Rating: 3.9/5

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One-Shot for the Weekend: Ability Shop

Ability Shop | あびりてぃ しょっぷ

Manga-ka: Tashiro Tetsuya

Genre: Fantasy,  Mystery,  Romance,  Shounen,  Tragedy

Toshiki is a below average student and often the target of ridicule. After he accidentally runs into a shop sign and breaks it, he enters the shop and finds out it will sell him abilities.. But these abilities don’t come cheap.

Published on GanGan Online in 2008 as a one-shot by Square Enix.

——

I’m surprising myself by choosing so many shounen manga one-shots these couple of weeks. That continues this week with a simple story about greed.

The story itself is what one may call predictable; it’s about a boy being bullied and wanting to improve himself then goes too far and suffers the consequences. The idea and theme is very much about human nature which is particularly why I chose it.It’s a morality story and there are quite a number of stories of the same kind using the ‘shop – selling – something – funky’ idea(sorry, no idea what else to call it).

The story opted to be dark in the later stages of the story and though it didn’t exactly attain that aura it wanted, at the end of the day it got the message across – That we should not always take advantage of what is around us, and that we should trust ourselves to strive for better because from one end of life or another, we’ll not be alone.

Have a good weekend.

Rating: 3.5/5

You can read the Japanese version for free on GanGan Online here!

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One-Shot for the Weekend: The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident

Alternative titles: 深山鶯邸事件 | Miyama Uguisu Yashika Jiken | Miyama Uguisu Tei Jiken | The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident

Manga-ka: Katou Kazue

Genre: Action, Fantasy, One Shot, Shounen, Supernatural

The one-shot pilot of Ao no Exorcist. Monaka, the heiress to a prestigious family, is staying with her sadistic and controlling uncle after the death of her parents. Her life is given a twist upon the arrival of an unsual exorcist claiming the mansion is being haunted be a demon.

Published as a one-shot in Jump SQ  in 2008.

—–

We destroyed a record last week by not publishing a one-shot but ‘real’ life called. I read this without prior knowledge of Ao no Exorcist, I haven’t read the serialisation or watched the anime so I sort of fail in being all trendy in the anime world. So anyway, I don’t think that many people out there know of Ao no Exorcist’s origins since it is of a different name so I shall remedy that.

The story’s setting is really your average Shounen manga. You got the bad dude with a hostage and then your hero. What really stood out for me was the story/flashback of ‘the nameless demon.‘ It gave the story a deeper aspect which I thought made it great as a prologue. It was simple but touching with it’s themes of care and kindness, maybe you would shed a tear. It was also kind of refreshing to have a more western interpretation of demons in the story.

I have no idea what happens in Ao no Exorcist but if you’re a fan, I recommend visiting Ao no Exorcist’s roots as it may be thought-provoking or even allow you to look at the serialisation in a new light. I always welcome the idea of knowing how a story developed from it’s original stimulus. Oh, why do shounen manga heroes always begin as a loser?

Rating: 3.7/5

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Toradora Vol 1

Toradora!

Author: Yuyuko Takemiya

Artist: Zekkyo

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School Life, Shounen

Status: Ongoing

Ryuji Takasu has learned the hard way that appearances can be deceiving. Despite his inwardly sweet personality, his unintentionally sharp gaze and aggressive features give him the air of a delinquent thug, putting his chances at making friends, let alone a girlfriend, next to zero.

It’s Ryuji’s first day in junior high school and it seems as if things are looking up. He gets to sit in between his only friend, Yusaku, and, more importantly, the girl he’s secretly crushing on, Minori Kushieda. But just when he thinks the stars are aligned in his favor, he unwittingly crosses the most feared girl in school, Taiga Aisaku, making her onto his arch enemy. To top it off, Taiga has moved in right next door to Ryuji and happens to be Minori’s best friend! Can this school year possibly get any worse?!

Seven Seas

———–—-

I watched Toradora! a few days back and it seems inevitable for me to compare both form’s versions. In fact, I could basically call my little review here a comparison between both! Anyways, Toradora –  it’s about time I read a shounen manga which has love as it’s main theme. Either there aren’t that many or I just didn’t try looking for one, the latter being the more accurate. Well, I’ve never read that much shounen manga to begin with anyway.

The story follows two very misunderstood characters with very self-contradicting names and how they try win their crushes’ hearts. We also see them trying to battle their community imposed social positions within the school-o-sphere which is really quite entertaining! The overall plot-line follows a rather predictable(or if you’d like to use a fancier word, ‘classic’) plot-line and is what I call ‘the shounen way of getting couples together.’ By leading the winning pair into the unoptional hilarious scenarios which undoubtably, always work. Continue reading

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Manga-Talk: Manga Forever After

“It’s been going on since, like, forever!”

An extremely common statement, especially when in reference to anime like One Piece and Naruto. I myself have spent the last week catching up with Detective Conan by Aoyama Gosho and have finally reached the 758th chapter. I never really got into it before – probably since I had to read it in my second language, which suffice to say I’m not that great at. Even if it is my mother tongue.

Anyway. Conan.

It’s serialised in Weekly Shōnen Sunday with about 760++ chapters since 1994. At first I was like, oh, yeah, that’s a rather long time.

Then I think.

Wait.

Nineteen ninety four.

From 2011 onward, that is seventeen friggin’ YEARS.

Continue reading

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