Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

The Law of Ueki Plus Review

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The Law of Ueki was one of my favorite manga titles back when I had been reading it. The ending had not been totally satisfying, but it definitely had a good run. I was certainly thrilled to hear that it got a proper sequel. Not one of those spinoffs where you wonder what happened like with Beelzebub, but a sequel that would take itself seriously and contain a lot of action. It is certainly not as good as the original series, but it is still a good title and it’s nice to see Ueki back again. This sequel was as good as I had hoped it would be.

Ueki’s life has returned to normal after the events of the last film. He is back to being an ordinary human, but that doesn’t stop him from helping people out like the good ole days. When his best friend is attacked by a mysterious foe, Ueki launches into battle. It is a valiant effort, but the die had been cast. All of the inhabitants of Earth minus Ueki have lost their memories. Ueki must now venture into a new world to win a big tournament and get everyone’s memories back!

It is a race against time and I have always liked the tournament angle so it was a good move for the series. Law of Ueki Plus is 5 volumes long and the tournament takes up most of the series. It is paced pretty well although the ending is certainly rushed. The tournament also didn’t get a proper conclusion, which was a little sad. It is not entirely unexpected since that actually does happen a lot, but it is always sad to see.

Ueki is still a very likable main character. He is very trusting and always ready to lend a helping hand. He can easily be considered one of the most heroic leads in manga. That being said, it can be tough to see him talk so big when he is typically outmatched in this series. He has the ability to stretch his mop. It is a really terrible ability and it makes the plot hax s little more evident than usual. How can Ueki hope to match opponents who have super strength and speed at their disposal? Ueki is back to being a normal guy besides the mop right so how is he actually enduring these hits? It definitely stretches your imagination quite a bit.

To the manga’s credit, they do give Ueki a subplot where he wants to get stronger so that he can back up his words and protect his friends. It is a noble effort to be sure, but it is still pretty dicey at first. Ueki actually mentions that power doesn’t really matter at one point. He changes his mind after being defeated in battle, but based on the events from the first series, he should definitely remember why being strong is important. So, he is very heroic, but he simply can’t back up his promises for a good chunk of the series, which is sad. Nonetheless, it’s hard for this guy not to instantly become one of your favorite main characters when he utters so many hardcore lines. “I’ll definitely find a way!”m

Nagara is one of the supporting characters in the series although he is not much of a fighter….or is he? Nagara is mainly just used for hype and he never actually helps since he wants Ueki and the other friends to level up on their own. Nagara has a healing ability at his disposal, which is pretty neat. That being said, he is lucky that he is physically super human as well or he could have gotten speedblitzed. He is decent I suppose, but not very interesting. I certainly could have done without him. If Nagara had gotten his own fight, that would have really helped his chances.

Haiji is one of Ueki’s teammates for the tournament. He has a dishwasher that he can throw at people and he is also able to shoot blasts at water by the end. The ability isn’t great, but it is a start. Again, he is fairly generic and not in a good way. Haiji doesn’t like to act as nice as he is to preserve his tough rep and he is always squabbling with another one of the members. His sob story is also a bit much considering how heroic he wanted to be. He is a loyal ally, but not one that you will end up being a big fan of.

Sora is the final member of the crew and he really likes eating. When he eats a burger, he is able to “double.” This means that he can split in two or double his speed. Those are just a few examples of what he can do. Naturally, this is easily the best ability from the whole group. It is an ability that you can actually take seriously! Personality wise, Sora isn’t likable either. Seeing a pattern? Aside from Ueji, who is an established character anyway, none of the characters are that good. I think that it is a sign of the author running out of ideas. Sora likes to pretend that he doesn’t know what is going on sometimes and he spends a lot of time just trolling everyone. He finally gets serious near the end and then we figure out that he isn’t even used to fighting. He does get some good fights of course, but I would have preferred another personality for his character.

Byaku is one of the antagonists, but he really just has a hard time sharing his feelings. There is a big plot twist in why he wants to win the tournament and let’s just say that it probably won’t help you become a fan. He was actually my favorite villain in the series even if it’s by default to an extent. His ability to manipulate his hair was certainly formidable and it was one of the best powers in the series.
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Minus is the final boss of the series and he makes for a climactic finish. His design is mostly good although I could have done without the lipstick. As far as his personality goes, that’s another story altogether. His reasoning for wanting all of the memories to go away isn’t great and bringing along one of Ueki’s friends was pretty pointless. Villains do love their mindgames at times, but I need a better reason than that. He has a really cool energy blade that is not only practical for battles, but a must have if you are to stay relevant. One of his first decisions is to take out Ueki’s arms and it’s a solid battle strategy. His speed is also pretty unreal as he took out two of the heroes before they even knew that he had moved. He’s pretty high tier and it’s hard to see how Ueki was able to give him a fight at all. That being said, this is Law of Ueki Plus. The series where Ueki went from being a normal human to a guy with LS reactions after being asleep for a while. The power levels are certainly ditched from time to time, but it does make for some great scenes. Minus may not have been an interesting villain and his comic relief moment at the beginning was a little off putting, but he tries to be cool.

The villain who really stole the show was Spark. Now that was a great villain! I’d also go as far as to say that he is the strongest one in the series. He essentially took out the whole cast of the series without breaking a sweat. It was just his bad luck that he had to go up against an enraged Ueki. Spark has super speed at his disposal as long as he blows into his whistle. It may seem like an odd gimmick, but it certainly works. Without plot hax, there’s really not a single character in this series who can hope to defeat this guy. I’ve already mentioned that the series does have a lot of power level inconsistencies, but this fight definitely took the cake. There’s no way that Ueki should have been able to have outsped him so much here. It was an incredible scene since we hadn’t gotten to see Ueki this hardcore since the original series, but the author should have just gone all the way and given him a true power up. There was a power up in this scene, but it should have had no effect on his speed. That being said, this fight is the highlight of the series and you won’t want to miss it. It may be the longest one as well!

All right, the characters section was certainly pretty negative for the most part, but the main character was still good and we had a great villain, which helps a lot. You may have thought that the manga was not very good based on that, but I can assure you that it is still a fun series. For starters, the action scenes are a lot of fun. We get a lot of them as the series goes on and I am always a fan of a good action scene. I do wish that the heroes had better abilities though since the villains really should win if we disregard plot hax. I feel like the series really held itself back by weakening the heroes so much. Give Ueki his old powers back and the heroes will be in a great position. This hurt the potential of the series for Earth shattering fights, but as I mentioned earlier, we still got quite a few fun ones over the course of this adventure and I was satisfied.

Considering that this is a sequel, fans may also be saddened by the fact that the old cast doesn’t get to appear aside from some brief cameos. They may have lost their memories, but it would have been great to have seen them try to help out at the very least. This is barely a negative though and simply another path that the series could have taken. It would have been well worth the author’s time to have done this as it would have been great seeing the old cast come in to help out. They weren’t very tough either to be honest, but it would still have been fun.

It was a quick journey, but it really hit all the right notes. There was no fanservice to be found here and the series never got excessive in any aspect. The villains mean business and they deliver some big hits to the heroes, but it never goes too far. You have to give a lot of credit to the artist here. The series isn’t always very consistent, but some scenes look downright amazing. When Ueki returned to the battlefield, it’s hard not to cheer with such a great splash page. The fights look good and the writing is also very good. This is a series that is easy to pick up and read all the way through without a break. What keeps it from an 8 are really the character issues from earlier and how short it is. With some more intense battles and an extra volume or two, I’m confident that this would get an 8. So, don’t let the 7 stars fool you, this is still an excellent title to check out.
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Overall, Law of Ueki Plus is a pretty fun sequel. It is easily one of the best manga sequels that I have read. It loses to DBZ, Duelist, and Gigamix, but it probably beats almost everything else. The cast was pretty unimpressive and the heroes were given pretty bad powers for the most part, but we had very good artwork and action scenes to counteract that. This series ended really quickly so it probably would have been able to address most of my critiques with more time, but this was just how the ball bounced. Law of Ueki still ended the franchise on a high note and I definitely recommend this to fans of the original and to anyone who wants a good action title to check out. Also, if you’re looking for a main character to root for, Ueki is your man! Who else uses a mop to tie up someone who can run faster than a Bullet Train?

Overall 7/10

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