Neru: Rise of the Martial Artist Review

It’s time to take a look at the next in the line of Shonen Jump cancelled titles. Neru always looked fun when it started although it was completely overshadowed by Red Hood. I don’t recall seeing almost any discussion for this one while Red Hood was always on the webs. That said, the series is quite solid. I can unfortunately see why it ended up getting slammed but the title had a lot of promise and ultimately could have made it to the next level. That just wasn’t in the cards this time though.

The series starts off by introducing us to our lead Neru. He is a guy who is completely obsessed with martial arts and trains nonstop at all times. As a result he hasn’t made very many friends…in fact Mikio is his only friend. Still, that doesn’t really bother him because he’s never really thought about it before. Neru is just satisfied improving his craft but one day a mysterious girl beats him up and invites Neru to join her martial arts school. He will have to pass some exams though but now he finally has something to work towards. Can Neru actually make it in?

When it comes to the Jump main characters you’ve usually got 3 kinds. The inept ones, moderately talented, and the genius fighters. Neru is certainly in the latter category as he starts out as one of the most powerful characters in the series and ends on that note as well. The series was over before it could really introduce a whole lot of characters who could defeat him so as a result Neru ends up slaughtering most of his opponents with ease. Metaphorically btw, as he doesn’t destroy his opponents like that.

Right away one of the strengths of the series is the action scenes. I like the martial art battles and considering that this is a new series, I thought it looked really well polished. My only issue is that a few of the characters have very similar designs which can make things a bit tricky. The actual artwork is on point though so I definitely have no issues on that front. The series is also fast paced so things happen right away. If it had kept up that pacing throughout the series I think it may still be going but unfortunately things slow down a whole lot near the middle. It’s not as noticeable when reading all the chapters through but it does mean that weekly I’m sure these chapters were rather low ranked.

You can really divide the 18 chapters into a few different parts. Of course you start off with the introductions as Neru loses to the heroine Akebi and then meets his match against her brother Jokuro who is one of the most skilled fighters in the whole school. The fact that Neru is self taught and keeping up with these guys is really impressive. It’s a solid start as we get the hype of preparing for entering the school and also have two intro fights right off the bat. You couldn’t ask for much more than from the intro so I thought this was executed really well.

After that, Neru has to pass the test to get into the school. I think this will always worry people since they say you don’t want to do exams early on in a manga anymore. Fortunately this is very short though plus the exam has a combat element. So Neru gets to do the paperwork in about 1 chapter and then we get the battle chapter where even the advanced ninja class is no match for him. It’s a bit slower but still works out well. Now Neru is part of the school so it definitely changes up what you would expect from the series going forward. I’m not even sure what I would expect, it could go for a happier tone like Prince of Tennis where the characters have friendly battles or we could have some evil schools and combatants who show up to make things complicated.

Once Neru gets into the school we start to meet up with a bunch of the new characters including the character who seemed primed to be the real main heroine. With how quick the series ends though it’s hard to say who should really be considered the heroine. Either way the mini arc here involves a hazing from the upper classmen. Neru and Kaname have to compete to find an arrow and the winner gets to live in the dorm while the other has to camp outside for a while. Naturally Neru isn’t the kind of guy who worries about such things so he’s willing to let Kaname get the win but they have some nice teamwork moments here. It’s not as exciting as the intro but it’s really to develop the characters more.

Then we enter the climax which is that Neru needs to find a match so that he can try and rank up. Unfortunately nobody wants to fight him until the psycho Enkoji shows up. This worries Neru’s roommate Ryuzen who has resigned from fighting due in part to a sob story with Enkoji. Neru has to convince this guy to fight again so they can have the match. This part can drag a bit since you likely don’t care about Ryuzen at all yet and you just want to get to the fight. Once we get to the fight it’s pretty hype though. Then of course we get the inevitable 5 year time skip since the series was cancelled.

So I had a good time with this series. It really ends in a flash but you get to have a good time throughout the series. It has solid action and a good cast of characters. There’s no time for any of the characters to be great or anything but they had a good amount of potential. From the cancelled series I’ve read recently I would definitely put this as one of the more impressive ones. We also don’t really see a lot of series about martial arts so it would have been fun to have seen this one last in the end. It’s also borrowing a lot of elements from the God of High School which of course was a really fun series that really went all out by the end. You have the mysterious grandfather who disappeared one day, the fact that Neru uses a martial arts style that revolves around his legs, etc. I could see this series going down that route although minus the gods and aliens. There was a lot here.

That said, the grandpa plot never ends up going anywhere since the series ended so fast so you don’t need to worry about that. In fact, there are no true villains in the series so far since we’re still in the school phase when it ends. I mean Enkoji’s effectively a villain because of how crazy he is but technically the guy is just another classmate so I wouldn’t count that. It’s why I’m not even positive if this would be the kind of series with big villains and everything or if it would be treated more like a sport series about martial arts. It’s just too early to call there although I assume it would involve true villains and end of the world stakes soon.

Personally I think the series ended up being cancelled because of the lull in action near the end when Neru is trying to set up a match. I don’t think people really cared a whole lot about the setup and why Ryuzen quit. I know I didn’t care a whole lot. Not something I would cancel the series over of course but if all the other titles were beating it up at the time then of course being cancelled would make sense in the end. So to avoid cancellation what I would have done is have the first match start right away. Don’t have people dodging Neru in terms of battle and give him a few solo wins before he has to go into doubles.

After all, I don’t see how everyone could dodge him. The series never actually goes into the rules of this but this is a martial arts school. Everyone is so scared of the new kid that Neru can’t get any challengers? To me that just speaks very poorly of the school itself if the students are that scared. Also, if you need to fight in order to advance then I imagine that there should be mandatory fights. I don’t get if it’s a 3 year type school that you can accelerate and you still have to go through most of the time or if fights just directly skip everything. Perhaps the martial arts part is just a small part of the school. Either way we could use more answers but I understand why the series wouldn’t want to waste time on exposition.

In that case it should have just kept the fights going and that would have worked really well. I think that’s the best bet the author could have done to have kept this going. It might not be fun for the author to have to move fast and keep the action going at first but you really gotta do it that way instead of going more for the plot and character elements. At the very least I’d say it’s safer to be really action packed at the start and work from there. Now lets talk about the characters.

As mentioned, Neru’s a fun main character. He’s very invested in his goal of being a martial artist in part so he can find his grandfather. It’s a noble goal and he’s a nice guy who stands up for the weak. He’s a very solid fighter and I’m glad that he doesn’t fall for tricks very easily. He was able to adapt to each of the ninja’s moves very easily and that really helped him stand out here. I wouldn’t say there’s anything unique about him just yet but all of his character traits are good so I definitely have no complaints.

Then you have Akebi who shows up in the opening chapters but vanishes until the end otherwise. She would have been a fun character though. She would have served in the mentor role for a while although it seemed like Neru was close to surpassing her early on so this may not have been a role she’d have stayed in for long. She doesn’t enter tournaments like the other characters so I’m assuming we would get some kind of backstory behind that eventually. She’s definitely a fun character and would have been a good member of the main cast.

Jokuro is the next guy up and we don’t get to see a lot of him but he does get the opening fight which will have to do. I like his confidence and he seems like another fun character here. He also seems to have a bit of a friendly rivalry with his sister Akebi which would have been a fun dynamic. Having Jokuro be one of the strongest fighters was a good idea because he’s a likable character so that would make for a positive obstacle in Neru’s path.

Shoze seems like he was being built up as the rival in the series. He’s a first year student like Neru who was in the exams but the tricky thing is that Neru seems to have already been stronger than him from the start. So maybe saying they would be rivals is a stretch but everyone else is impressed with the guy in the series so it still seems that way. I guess it would depend on if Neru would be a rival to the masters like Jokuro or if he would be a rival to Shoze. It all depends on how fast Neru ended up improving so I suppose that could go either way. I’m not a big fan of Shoze though, the kind of guy who will look the other way when someone is getting beaten up so he can succeed. It’s perhaps not unexpected for this guy but it’s not something that will help me like him.

I should give Mikio a quick mention but he’s Neru’s friend from the old school so I suspect that he would not end up doing much at all in the coming chapters. Nice enough guy even if he is too quick to spill all of his secrets about Neru to Akebi though. I see where his priorities are now and Neru can’t really trust him. Toriichi seems to be the replacement as he’s also a super nice guy who’s rather meek and mild mannered. I don’t see this going over well for him at a martial arts school though so I question why he is even here. Maybe his family forced him to come? That would at least make some sense I suppose.

Next up is Kaname, one of the heroines in the series. So she is the sister of one of the “Big 3” fighters in the school. Her family are all made up of fighters but they say that she shouldn’t be fighting along with them because she’s a girl. It’s definitely a very classic kind of character arc and she needs to learn to fight really well to show them that she is ready for the battle field. Her personality is very tsundere type with Neru. She can’t fight super well yet from what we can see but with her determination I’m sure she would go far. I liked her character even if we didn’t get to see her a whole lot yet. Even if I probably wouldn’t be on board with the romance, I could see her having a solid dynamic with lots of good banter in there.

Finally we get to the fighters from the last battle. There’s Ryuzen who doesn’t like fighting anymore and the reason feels unique but doesn’t help him a lot. Basically if Ryuzen takes any damage he has a hard time withholding his urge to kill and so he’s decided that it would just be safer if he didn’t fight at all. If he can’t control himself of course that is correct but he might as well not attend the martial arts school in that case. His decision to stay tells me that it is possible to graduate without fighting though which is definitely interesting. I didn’t end up liking Ryuzen even by the end though. The guy’s rather mean to Neru for no good reason and he takes forever to do anything. He was even letting the villains double team Neru while he was busy getting ready.

Enkoji is the only villain as mentioned before and I wonder how he was not expelled. He basically confirms that he intentionally injures his opponents to scar them so he can match their scars with self inflicting wounds. He really injured Ryuzen’s partner quite badly and is happy about it. He has no problem saying all of this in front of everyone by the way. Does the school just tolerate anything? It appears that way of course. Enkoji’s whole character is that he’s insane and likes dishing out pain so I can’t say that there is anything interesting about him. You’re waiting for the heroes to beat him up and that’s about it.

So for the most part we’ve got a good cast here. I imagine we would start to meet a lot more and of course there are other students that I did not mention. They would likely get more of a role going forward as well with all the fights coming up. The series may not have made it as long as the author would have hoped but it does succeed in telling a complete story. The series did a good job of having everything wrap up cleanly. The grandpa plot is ignored but we get to see how Neru’s path ended and see that the world is just not too out there this time. Based on the timeskip the world around the heroes is really quite normal and everyone’s just having a good time. No end of the world plots or anything but I wouldn’t say this definitively means that the series was going down that route since the series was ending here anyway.

Overall, Neru: Rise of the Martial Artist is just a fun series. You’ll have a good time reading through it because the characters are pleasant and the story is good. It had a lot of potential. I don’t think it was ever going to be one of the all stars but it definitely would have been another solid installment to the Jump lineup. Hopefully the author is successful in their next endeavor and I would like to get another martial artist series at some point in the future. There’s really a lot you can do with that. If you’re looking for a series to sit down with and spend an hour or two, this is certainly a good option.

Overall 7/10

The Hunters Guild: Red Hood Review

Red Hood was a really big deal when it first came out. People got really hyped after the first chapter but then the hype slowly started to disappear. By the time it was cancelled at 18 chapters, a lot of people were disappointed but it seemed to have already fallen off the top. Well, I’ve finally checked it out and the manga had some fun ideas but is really held back by the art. Manga’s such a visual medium where if the art is bad I think it will be extremely difficult to succeed. Effectively the manga is starting itself off at a disadvantage. It’s not a bad title by the end but I can certainly see why it was cancelled. It goes without saying that this review will have complete spoilers so if you have not read the chapters yet, you will want to do so before checking this review out.

The manga starts off by explaining that the hunters have exterminated all dragons off the face of the Earth. Now they aim to destroy all of the werewolves next. We then cut to the main character Velou who is a kid that just wants to protect his village. Unfortunately Werewolves are quite powerful, can shapeshift, and even regenerate. There’s no way Velou can win on his own so the village spends all of their money to call in a hunter to help. Her name is Grimm and while she appears to be a small child herself, she has never failed a mission before.

This intro mission lasts for almost half the series with around 7 so it’s a bit longer than you would expect. Usually in something like this you have 1 or 2 chapters for the intro and then you keep it moving. This slower pacing is different but not necessarily bad. We get to see what a big threat the wolves are to the average person and there’s a lot of lore thrown right at you this way. You get to really learn about the world and that’s never a bad thing.

You also get some Promised Neverland vibes here. Velou looks just like Emma from that series even down to the hairstyle and with Wolves lurking around every corner, the series is going for a bit of a horror theme. You can’t trust anyone and despair is right around the corner. It could also just be that the art gives this effect as the drawings never look complete and everything’s so convoluted. Regardless we even meet some of the big villains from the Red List and at the end of the intro Velou decides to become a hunter. The exam lasts the rest of the series with the exception of the final 3 chapters where we hit the climax. So as you can see, the series didn’t have a whole lot of time to do much here.

Lets break this down into sections though as I’m jumping around a lot here. For starters, I’m not a big fan of Velou being such a little kid. To me that rarely ends up working because for a series like this you need the main character to be able to fight. While Grimm could have looked better (More on that later) she can at least fight and has 100 different tools. The other fighters we see can all fight as well, Velou is the only exception. The series is going for a World Trigger vibe where Velou has to get used to being the strategist but I don’t think that works very often. It can be hard to root for a main character who can’t actively fight himself and has to hide behind his friends. Velou does have a gun but tends to miss his shots at point blank.

Velou means well and has a lot of the usual hero dialogue but there’s nothing that really draws you to the character. I don’t see a lot that would end up making him very interesting and so this doesn’t help his case in the long run. As for Grimm, she’s the real character that got a lot of attention at first. Her story is that she is cursed to be trapped in the body of a child and can only go back to her adult form for 3 hours a day. Sort of like an All Might situation there. Thing is, while she gets a ton of hype, she doesn’t look great. She lets her guard down against villains multiple times and is completely helpless against the Red List. Grimm doesn’t even get a true final fight at the end.

In this case, it would have been better for her to have just not fought yet. It would be like Kakashi meeting his match immediately in Naruto. This is more like Rukia losing in episode 1 of Bleach which was still sketchy when it happened. Grimm has a lot of confidence in herself though and loves to fight so you can probably guess that I enjoyed her character quite a bit. I just think she should have looked stronger.

I’ll give the series credit for being aware of this though. This is actually turned into a bit of a sub plot as a character realizes that Grimm isn’t looking so good. It turns out that there is some reality warping in effect so that is a very reasonable in-universe explanation as to what’s going on here. Trust me, I’ll definitely talk about the reality warping coming up since that’s a big factor here.

One character we meet during the exams later on is a guy called “Bonkers”. Bonkers is you classic strong guy with a bad attitude who doesn’t even care about entering the exams. He has a tragic backstory and has just given up. Fortunately Velou is able to talk him out of it so he can learn how to be a team player. This is so successful that Bonkers is the one giving a speech in the next chapter. I could see him being a decent character as time goes on but for now there isn’t a whole lot that is interesting about him.

There are tons of trainees introduced in the long exam arc but most of them won’t leave a big impression on you just yet. There just isn’t time to really learn about them. You have Tylty who doesn’t trust people anymore and wants to win the exam on his terms. You have an older scientist who wants to prove that his inventions will be useful in combat. Then there’s a girl who believes in being very practical so she will betray you or stay on the team depending on which option makes more sense. She’s not going to choose an option just because it’s the right thing to do. It seems like most of these characters were meant to become main characters eventually so it’s a shame that the series ended before they could return.

Then you have Debonair who is one of the more experienced hunters. She’s actually teamed up with Grimm on the field back in the day so she knows her stuff. She was cursed to always have a high body temperature so she uses that in her attacks. It’s a creative way to take control of her curse so I’ll give her credit there. She was definitely one of the more enjoyable characters here. She adds a lot of energy to the series and always just jumps into action. She doesn’t hesitate to attack anyone whether they are friend or foe.

Then we have some villains in here like Cinderella. She is one of the highest ranking villains of the Red List and I’m very interested in how she turned evil in this continuity. Of course as the series goes on we see that her faction may be the good ones. I’ll break down the two sides later on. Cinderella is a lot of fun though and would have been a solid reoccurring villain if this series had kept on going. She has a partner in Lycaon, the king of the beasts. This guy is huge and immensely powerful so even though these two villains appeared almost immediately, I wonder if they were planned to be end game type bosses.

Aside from a few minions, the only other big villain we met was the mysterious mayor. It was a pretty big twist to have this guy end up being with the villains. I’ll talk about his goals in a second but it’s a very interesting direction to place this guy in. He looks good. His last second character 180 I can ignore since it was the last chapter and that’s likely the only reason this happened. Otherwise I doubt that would have happened at all.

Before getting into that I’ll quickly talk about the 3 arcs. So the pre arc where we were introduced to the main characters is the weakest one. It’s hard to get all that engaged in reading about this village filled with expendable characters when the 3 wolves attack. It also lasts pretty long even though Grimm should have just ended all of the werewolves in an instant. Of course she was testing Velou but she also did promise to save everyone. A bunch of people really could have died every minute that she was messing around instead of helping out. The only really solid part of the arc was the ending when Cinderella showed up to style on everyone. It was also an interesting way to get Velou to join the her since he only relented since there was no longer a village to save. It was the fact that Grimm failed the mission which ended up making him join. Not the greatest reason to get in on the action.

For the exam arc, well it’s a cool concept for a test but it is just too soon. So you’ve got a bunch of random characters who have to put aside their difference to win the test. If the main character could fight that would work better but since he can’t, it just doesn’t work as well. The whole exam also makes no sense because there’s no way a bunch of random cadets could hope to beat the top 2 hunters. Even if they are holding back so they don’t murder the kids, I don’t buy for a second that the heroes were able to outsmart them every time. It ended up being a complete loss for the hunters as they couldn’t capture a single cadet. That’s going beyond lucky to just being unreasonable.

Then we enter the final 3 chapters with reality warping and such. It’s hard to get super engaged here either since it’s all happening so fast. We get a super gun that can destroy everything and an onslaught of twists. The plot twists are interesting and put the series on what would have been a very interesting path but we don’t get to explore it. Throw in the cheesy ending and that doesn’t help matters a whole lot. At least we did get some action though.

So, what is going on here? It turns out that the entire world has been destroyed many times. See, humans and werewolves have been locked in war with each other for millions of years. The issue is that the werewolves cannot be destroyed because any human can turn into one randomly, without warning or reason. So the only way to destroy the werewolves is to destroy the human population. Apparently the hunters have tried this before and destroyed all the humans but then everything got reset each time. See, there is a powerful high above being working on this…The Readers. Yes, in this series the reader is a concept.

So the characters are all locked in a twisted fate of never being able to escape. Then you have the Red Hood who is in charge of writing in the master book, events of what is to come. Whatever is written ultimately ends up happening and so he writes good and bad events to occur. Villages getting burned down? The guy wrote all of that. So destiny has complete control over everyone because their results were already written in.

This is where the Red Line comes in. Their group is made up of other powerful fighters who don’t want to be trapped by Destiny. So their goal is to take down the hunter alliance and seize control of the book. That way they can stop anyone from writing in it and people can make their own choices. Based on that intel, I would argue the Red List are the good guys right? Yes, but then you remember the first chapters and how they’re going around burning down villages and eating people. So…they lost all credibility in an instant.

This is clearly a series where both sides are going to be evil. Well, this is where the Mayor steps in as a third faction. He pretends to be a part of the Red List but has his own goals. He wants to destroy the book entirely and end reality. I should mention as part of the Red Hunter’s duties, they write in the book to appeal to the readers. Well, the Mayor believes that writing to appease a bunch of violent gods isn’t a good thing to do. Humans are not puppets and so he plans to end all of reality. To that end he created Velou, who isn’t truly real. Velou is an anti destiny, sentient bomb. Just by existing he causes the characters to break away from their script and regain free will.

If the Mayor can get Velou near the book for a long enough period of time, then the book will blow up and the Mayor will have gotten his wish. In the meantime the Mayor stole two pages of the book so he can fill them with anything to change destiny. It’s a very overpowered ability that’s for sure. The series ends with him turning good as he’s blown up and the heroes are all finally freed from destiny to do their own thing. As the series was cancelled, the readers are gone so nobody can dictate how their series will go. It’s very meta that’s for sure.

Some interesting concepts there but I think it would put the series in a hole rather quickly. Once you get this meta and are breaking the fourth wall all the time, it’s hard to tell more stories. Once the characters know that they are characters and that everything’s a manga, it just seems like it would be hard to actually tell any stories. There were some hinting about proper scripts and characters acting in line early on in the series so I think this was originally meant to play some kind of role and it wasn’t just because the series was cancelled. I’m guessing the twists wouldn’t have happened so quickly otherwise though.

Personally I think the series was cancelled in large part because the art’s just not that good. It’s very cluttered and it can be hard to tell that is happening half the time. There’s one scene where a hero kisses a villain just to annoy her but you don’t even realize that happened for a few panels because the art’s so bad. It seemed more like a hug initially. Forget about the fights, it becomes 10 times harder to follow along once that happens. It doesn’t help that each of the werewolves are huge. Even experienced artists can have a hard time with big opponents, much less a new series artist. Should have stuck to street fights even though those don’t look great here either.

The series could have been saved if the art was better. I also would have pushed back the exam and shortened the intro. Have the characters go straight into another mission first and learn about the world. Maybe the test could happen as part of arc 3 or arc 4. That would also give Velou some time to get better as it’s hard to see him being ready to be a hunter this early on. I’d also say it’s probably best to get rid of the meta aspect of the series since I don’t think it works in a serious context. That said, if it’s the main point of the series then I won’t ask to remove it since that would change the core story. Velou being an anti destiny bomb was interesting at least. If he had been a main character who could fight I also think that would have been an upgrade.

I won’t say the series is bad though. It’s certainly not something I would be very interested in reading again but it does avoid fanservice (Due in part to the art being so bad so even all of the exaggerated designs and costumes don’t register) well and there’s no real wince worthy moments here. In an anime version we’d have to see how the Werewolves are drawn. Having them as opponents would have been very dangerous for the series as a whole unless it was stylized. At 18 chapters the series is just gone in the blink of an eye so I’d say you might as well check it out. It’s a decent adventure but one that was more positive for potential than what it actually did on the screen.

The writing was good and there were some good tactical elements in here. Since the series was definitely going for the strategic kind of main character, I think it would have pulled this off well enough. The plans in the manga were good although I call major hax on the cops and robbers plan. There’s just no way that would work against the hunters so hopefully the future plans would be better. It’s an entertaining read, there are just enough issues where it’s hard to see this ever surpassing a 7 at best. There isn’t a true hook that would have ever kept this going for very long.

Overall, Red Hood could have been the next big thing if it played its cards right. A Shonen Jump action story about fairy tales and folklore could have really been something. We get quite a few references to Little Red Riding Hood of course and with Cinderella as a villain, I’m sure the series had a lot of ideas. Of course the tragic part of being cancelled is that you will never get to see those moments. It’s considerably better than some of the cancelled manga that I’ve read but that does seem a bit like a back handed complement when you think about it. We’ll see which cancelled manga is next but in the meantime I would definitely recommend checking this out. At least you can see what all the hype was about.

Overall 6/10

Build King Review

Build King is a very interesting manga because of how out there it is. You aren’t likely to find a title quite like this one even if you search very hard. The concept is just way too unique and to its credit, the series goes all the way with it. It does have a very…verrrry rocky beginning though so I can see why it was cancelled. By the time things get going, it just feels like it must have been too late in the polls. A shame though since the series was just hitting its groove.

Well, we’re introduced to this world which is a place where people aside to be builders and carpenters. The world is filled with house monsters and the strongest ones of legend are known as the Build Kings. They are so mighty that nothing can stop them and they even pose a threat to the planet. The two main characters are Tonkachi and Renga. They live on a remote island inhabited by monsters and build houses to protect the innocent creatures. Your skills at building houses are directly proportionate to your rank and ability. Renga is a skilled builder and has done well on the island but his big brother Tonkachi seems to have no skill for it.

Every building Tonkachi builds shatters in an instant. But he does have abnormally high levels of strength and has a hammer which zaps his life force in exchange for boosting this power even further. Tonkachi says that if he can’t build houses then he will build peace by stopping the monsters himself. This has worked out well enough for the heroes but they are ready to leave the island and really test their mettle. Fortunately a guy named Nana shows up on a runaway house one day and that’s their ticket out of here. If the two characters can pass the building equivalent of the Hunter’s Exam, they will finally be pros and can do what they want. It will allow them to locate their mysterious master: Shovel, who told them to come find him once they had gotten stronger.

Right away you can tell Shovel is a very old school kind of master. He reminds me of Piccolo with how he just ditched these kids on an island of monsters and told them to figure it out. Considering that he never came back, the guy really did leave them to their own devices. He doesn’t appear again until the very last chapter or two of the series but admittedly it is a very epic way to end things off. Of course since the series was cancelled they had to rush it but otherwise I’m betting he wouldn’t have appeared for a very long time. He has style though that’s for sure.

So of course I mentioned how the series has a bit of a rough beginning right? Well, it all comes down to the fact that it’s trying to be more of a crazy comedic adventure at first. Think early Toriko or classic Dragon Ball. Thing is, I wouldn’t say I was a fan of either of those. Toriko didn’t get really good until the fight scenes occurred. I just think comedy isn’t this author’s strong suit. There is a whole lot of crude humor and crude humor type jokes. It’s not funny and won’t even get a smile out of you.

The artwork is great for fights. This guy has years of experience so that makes sense. The final chapters of this series? They look amazing. It’s like he never left and all the characters have quality designs. The issue is for comedy the author loves his exaggerated faces but it can get old quick. Comedy just wasn’t working for this series and that’s likely why it was canned so soon. I can tell you right now what I would have done differently is build this up as an action series from the jump. Put more emphasis on Tonkachi and his vitality hammer. Explain the different vitalities and building energies.

It seems to me like the author wanted to develop a really unique power level system here and I say go for it. It was well thought out and there’s a lot you can do with that. The building fights are as unique as they get. I feel like it would be a big burden on the author to have to draw this weekly but it would look great. Ironically I would say the human battles are the highlight but the buildings are the selling point so you have to keep them. Just make that one switch to being action oriented and this could have worked.

Lets go back to the story though with Nana and that runaway house. Nana’s one of those characters who is technically tough but I can’t take him seriously. How could you with that as an entrance right? I’ll give him this though, he does have the funniest scene in the series when he gives his introduction twice since the main characters were spacing out. Now that’s a humor style that worked really well. If the author had more gags like that I think it would have worked out really well.

The series is at a bit of a disadvantage with these two main characters too. The issue is that none of them are all that good. Renga is the skilled one who starts out at a higher floor than Tonkachi but quickly hits his limit. He’s supposed to be the good builder but is effectively out of luck early on in the series. Without the ability to fight physically you kind of expected that he wouldn’t be doing so well by the end though. It’s not a surprise but that’s likely of little comfort to him.

As for Tonkachi, well he’s not a very smart character. He reminds me of a Tarzan type character. He can hit things with his hammer but that’s the extent of it. He’s not very smart and will compromise on his ideals for a gag like when he sells out 2 by 4. This character just didn’t click with me and isn’t my kind of lead. Not to take away from his skills of course. His hammer is the real deal and I like how the effects depend based on which side he hits you with. It’s a unique weapon and he has good abilities but as a character I just didn’t care for him.

So the heroes end up landing on a little island that is rife with bandits and vampires. It’s an interesting little island and the heroes finally get a little exposure to the great outdoors. The first adventure lasts through the first 10 chapters so almost half the series is here. The heroes have to fix an upside down house and ultimately Tonkachi can do this by smashing it a bunch of times. It’s certainly not an action arc and we’re still in the adventure phase. You can probably tell that the author is a big fan of the environment because a lot of this adventure is just seeing the impressive greenery and landscapes. The buildings look really solid as well.

I can’t stress enough how good the art is. This is the work of a veteran, but that doesn’t help the story. The main heroine Cork has the worst debut appearance I’ve ever seen for the main girl. Her first appearance is her hanging upside down and forgetting that she wasn’t wearing pants. What kind of intro is that? It’s just artificial fanservice here and Cork never gets to do anything in the series. It’s not a stretch to say that there is no point to her character. She doesn’t do anything after this island either so I shouldn’t even call her the main heroine I suppose.

From there we start the tournament where a bunch of new characters appear. So many in fact that you are unlikely to remember most of them. It’s impressive to be sure and if the series had lasted then this is a great way to expand the case. Since it didn’t though, you just can’t retain all of that info. Taurus is the strong guy but Tonkachi immediately humiliates him in strength so you won’t be taking him seriously after that. If you’re that much weaker than the main character right off the bat then that’s it. (He tries his best punch on Tonkachi and the lead doesn’t even feel anything)

Shizuka gets some hype at least. He’s trying to be the really stoic rival character who doesn’t let anything faze him. He is tough so I’ll give him that and I like how he’s focused on clearing the exam even when characters are messing up the planet all around him. The guy has dedication so I have to give him that. The test proctor Smith is also not too bad. I mean he gets drunk easy and isn’t a good role model but he is memorable.

Then we get a whole bunch of villains that attack the tournament and more heroes jump in so it gets crazy. While you might not remember most of the characters, I do like how largescale this all gets. We enter Toriko type territory right away. Not in terms of feats but just with how much action there is. Again, if the action had come sooner that could have helped a lot. The tournament/exam is easily the best arc here and keeps on going to the end. The various events were fun enough but things really got going once the villains started attacking. That’s when your attention will really be on every page.

The leader of the villains is a guy named Bill. The name might not stand out but as a character he is the real deal. His quantum vigor ability seems really broken with how he’s in multiple realities. It’s hard to see how the heroes would beat him but that’s likely not something that would have occurred for a very long time anyway. As it is, we only get to see him for a chapter or two but he leaves a good impression. He reminds me a bit of Midora.

As for the buildings, I feel like the series does cheat a bit here. The first buildings we see look like normal buildings so it makes for fun and creepy visuals when they start walking around. Later on the more powerful ones just straight up look like robots. It’s cool of course but feels like it’s going against the point of seeing buildings fighting each other. As mentioned we also get a lot of human fights which is basically just Toriko 2.0. When those are the best fights around, it makes you wonder if the series should have just ditched the buildings if they weren’t going to be used a whole lot anyway. Just play itself up as a Shonen action series with exams like Hunter X Hunter and this could have gone far.

Having a slow beginning is just putting yourself at a disadvantage when you need good ratings right off the bat. By the time the setup is completed, it’s just too late. I’ve often thought it might be worth it for an author to release 8-10 chapters online first or more for free on a different site that take place before the official chapter 1. That way you can skip some of the exposition and world building and jump right into the action. It would be risky but then big time fans can always look them up and it might allow you to hit the ground running. It’s possible the magazine wouldn’t allow this but it would be interesting if it worked.

I would say one thing Build King does have going for it is that it’s an easy read. Even with the slow beginning, the art is good enough where you can read through the series quickly. I don’t think it would have been quite as much fun weekly, but at least this way you are blasting through the weaker chapters very quickly to the point where they are gone in an instant. That’s definitely the way to go about things.

My final complement to the series is that despite all of its weaknesses, it’s clear that there was a ton of potential with the whole buildings setup. The world itself was interesting to find out about. How would giant, sentient buildings change the world as we know it? Just answering that question alone could take 10+ volumes as we see the world. You start to get those answers as the series goes on and it’s all very surreal. Imagine living inside of a house that could eat you at any moment? It’s going for a Pokemon vibe with the relationship between humans and their buildings but with the evil ones running around I’m sure there would be tragedies in the future. The mysteries of the Build Kings doesn’t get to be explored and so you leave with as many questions as answers.

Overall, Build King had a very slow start. The first half just doesn’t grab you. There isn’t a lot going on and the character cast is really weak. Fortunately the exam really starts to help the series find its footing. The battles are great and nonstop once they start happening. The extra chapters for the volume release may not remove the cliffhangers but it means more chapters of action and world building which is always good. Plus it covers some more of the crazy battles which was the best part of the series. This second half of hype is enough to give the series an extra star and ultimately I give it a positive rating. It’d be nice to see the series revived at some point now that it has a focus but I suppose it was all just a little too late.

Overall 6/10

Hungry Joker Review

Before Tabata created the all star manga title Black Clover, he had another manga which was quickly cancelled known as Hungry Joker. It was a very ambitious project with more of an “A Certain Magical Index” element to it as all powers are based on relics from different religions, cultures, and special events. There’s a lot that could have been done with this, but alas the series was cancelled really quickly.

The series starts off by introducing us to Haiji who is a genius. He has complete amnesia except he remembers waking up amidst a lot of fire and everyone was dead as well as glowing in an odd color. His only clue is an Apple that had one bite in it. He now works on crazy experiments with the apple along with his sidekick Toriiooji. (That’s a hard name to remember) She’s not crazy about this but a job’s a job so she puts up with it. Unfortunately Haiji can barely even be bothered to remember her name half the time which is rough. One day, a new corpse appears while glowing and just as Haiji starts to investigate this, he is attacked by a mysterious being who may not be of this world. Haiji is barely able to fight him off with his apple.

The villains belong to a group named Mavro and they hint/imply they are gods or possibly aliens from another planet. They don’t think humans deserve to use these supernatural powers and are going around the world to steal the relics. Haiji will have to work with the hero group known as White Joker in order to stop them but he’s not exactly a team player. Will he learn how to work well with this group or will they simply be overwhelmed by the villains?

Now why does this apple have powers? Well, it is explained that this is the apple that Isaac Newton drank the juice from when he learned about the science knowledge that made him famous. In this world, we learn that he only learned this knowledge because he drank from the apple. The apple itself is a divine relic and only the chosen are able to live through such an experience. If a normal person bites into such an object then he/she will die without a doubt. Well, fortunately Haiji is a chosen one and since he ate quite a lot of the apple, he is able to manipulate gravity. This ability is temporary so he has to take a bite out of the apple whenever he wants to use his powers more. It means that he is at a bit of a disadvantage in a long fight though so he has to try and take care of business quickly.

The pre arc was handled well. It was a good introduction to the characters and it even had some horror vibes to it. Hungry Joker’s first chapters all take place at night which helps for the atmosphere and the hospital scene with the nurse turning into a monster is like something straight out of D Gray Man. I don’t think you will be forgetting that anytime soon. Throw in the artwork which can be a bit rough at times and you have all the elements of a horror manga in here. That said, this manga is far from being a horror title but it has the kind of visuals that would give you pause. Once the plot starts to get going though it’s much more of a classic Shonen.

The first main arc has the heroes travel to a museum as one of the legendary artifacts is on display there. It appears to be a trap but Haiji points out that they can’t afford to be cautious on this. This is the arc where we first learn about White Joker and get quite a bit of information on the world at large. You could say it sets up a lot of what would be important for the future if the series had kept on going a bit more. We get some good fights and meet new characters so it’s a fun way to kick things off. The arc has a good mix of humor and action as it introduces Alan and Mira.

Alan’s a fairly unique character as he acts very gruff and tough like any good rival but on the inside he is extremely scared of everything. The guy is timid but can’t show it and I like this character type. Usually characters act like Shaggy Rogers with how afraid they are and everyone can notice this immediately. The fact that Alan hides this so well is incredibly impressive. Not many characters would be able to pull that off. I liked him right away.

As for Mira, she doesn’t get quite as much to do but she’s nice enough. She’s the brains of the group as she plans things through while Alan just acts. She’s always cheerful and adds a lot of energy to every scene. Mira isn’t really a big fighter like the others but she’s good as a support player and gives a lot of the info dumps in the series. She’s also key to getting Haiji to join the group.

In the next arc, the group heads to a village where a witch has seemingly thrown up a smokescreen around the place. Naturally this is a job for White Joker. This time Haiji is accompanied by one of the senior members known as Vivi. You can quickly see her as the inspiration for Noelle Silva as their personalities and abilities are rather similar. Vivi’s a lot of fun and has to be one of the most powerful members. She has super speed, strength, and every kind of ability you could want. She can blow her lid quite easily but considering how Haiji can be rather rude, you can see how this would occur. There isn’t actually a witch in this arc and it ends up having more of an emotional climax but it’s a decent follow up. The first adventure was more fun but this one introduced Vivi so it had more fun scenes.

The dungeon exploring feels like classic Black Clover but the villain is the weakest one in the series. His name is Dodomekis and effectively he wants to build a harem of maids. That’s one of the worst villain motivations you can have so you’ll be rolling your eyes at this guy when he’s on screen and will just be waiting for him to be taken out already.

Nils is the other big character introduced in this arc but I didn’t like him. He’s one of those characters who is always depressed and super nervous. He lets the townsfolk get to him and so he hasn’t really had a fun time. Things just don’t go well for him and his origin story is quite tragic. You feel bad for him but I don’t feel like he would really do anything for the team dynamic. He definitely won’t be having any solid banter or anything like that.

As we approach the end of the series, the heroes head to Austria next. After learning the truth behind Haiji’s origins, the heroes hope to learn more about his blood using the next artifact. This time they travel with another member of White Joker known as Lise. He’s a doctor who uses questionable methods to get his patients to loosen up. I can’t say I found him to be all that solid. He’s another support type rather than primarily being a fighter so the Joker org seems to have quite a few of those. Naturally the adventure is quickly turned into a battle as Mavro sends in their next fighter. This time Toriiooji has to step up to help out.

The villain here is decent. He calls himself god so we don’t get to learn his true name but he does seem quite formidable and leaves more of an impact compared to the previous villains. His laser abilities are useful and the fight goes on for quite a bit. It’s more of a low key arc compared to the others but the artwork is always great for fight scenes and that carries this adventure well enough.

So after this we just jump to the end of the series. The villains suddenly launch attacks on every country in the world, the heroes all get super forms that they obtained off screen, we get a big time skip, etc. You can tell that the series was cancelled by this point so the author was having a bit of fun. The “Hungry Joker” term is even used as the super form that everyone obtains. I can’t complain though, it was a really epic way to end things off. There are of course a lot of open plot lines and such still going on as the series ends, but it ends with a bang. Now lets talk about some of the other characters.

As a main character Haiji is decent. He really isn’t all that interesting though. As a scientist he is usually very absent minded when it comes to talking to the other characters. He’s only focused on discoveries and learning about his past which can make him appear rather selfish at times. Haiji’s not a very hot headed main character nor is he a comedic one or a nervous type. In a way I would say he’s one of the most unique Shonen Jump main characters. The closest personality to him I can think of is Muhyo from Muhyo and Roji. I think Haiji would have improved with more time but he just isn’t very interesting here.

His sidekick Toriiooji is also not great but she doesn’t get powers until we’re at the very end of the series which is an unfortunate coincidence for her. I’m confident she would have had more to do now that she could fight but it was just too little too late. By that point the series was already ending. She’s a loyal ally and will always do what she can but she just didn’t get any real big moments here.

Kild is the first villain to show up and fight Haiji. This was a good way to introduce these evil gods and it was a good fight. The downside of being the first villain is of course that this fighter is having a tough time against a main character who hasn’t fought before. Since Haiji is a genius I suppose you can let that slide a bit but the fight was rather even. Kild would have won I’m sure but the fight was abruptly ended. I liked Kild as a villain, he’s easily the most memorable one at the very least and I liked his confidence.

Rosary is one of the big villains but she doesn’t really get to fight much until the end. I like her confidence though and she certainly had a high position within the villain group. As such you can say that she definitely had ability far beyond most. Meanwhile Ragins is okay as a villain but there isn’t a lot to him. He puts up a good fight against the heroes and talks about destruction and all that but you will forget him really quickly. He’s not the kind of villain that leaves an impact on you and so he fades into obscurity right away.

Nasyasu is the leader of the villains and it turns out that he is Haiji’s brother so of course there is a lot of drama there. I liked him well enough. We don’t know a ton about his goals beyond the guy just being ultra evil but he has a good design and solid teleportation abilities. I could see a lot of good potential with battle scenes for him. I’m sure we’d also meet more villains if the series had kept on going.

It’s definitely a shame that the series was cancelled so quickly. It’s definitely one of the stronger titles that I’ve read among the cancelled lineup. The characters were good, the stories were fun, and the action scenes were epic. You can see so many elements from Black Clover in here so I’m glad the author was able to utilize these concepts again in a different franchise. So what would I have done to keep the series from being cancelled? Well, it’s tough since I didn’t think the series did a bad job leading up to everything.

The series was very episodic from the start so it seems like that may have been the issue given how quickly it ended. I guess what I would do different is after the museum arc, we cut straight to the first big war battle arc against the villains. Have them attack different parts of the world which allows us to meet more members from White Joker. This could help show how useful the group is and also introduce more characters to keep the readers engaged. The leaders of White Joker seem very suspicious but they don’t show up until the series is ending. Have them appear earlier and hopefully you hook readers that way. It’s no guarantee but I think it’s a good start. Those are my ideas.

As mentioned, the art is great here. The fight scenes are epic and they’re also quite long. The series wasn’t afraid to have big battles right out of the gate and that was a good move. The abilities are also fun as there is so much you can do with elemental attacks like gravity or concepts like sound. The heroes would have a lot of room to grow their abilities so the power management of the series was in a good place. It’s also just a fun read, you’ll be dashing through the series from chapter to chapter. There’s a lot of replay value to be had here. If we’re lucky then maybe some of these characters will show up in Black Clover as part of a crossover or something.

Overall, Hungry Joker is a series that I would definitely recommend. At the end of the day it’s a really good action story and a title that you won’t be forgetting any time soon. The art is good and while Haiji isn’t really a main character that I can get behind, the supporting cast is good enough to carry him. The series had a lot of potential so it’s sad to see it go but at least the author ends it in a way where maybe we could get a sequel someday. At the very least there are still a lot of open plots left out there.

Overall 7/10

Moriking Review

It’s time for the next big Jump manga…or at least it could have been in a different timeline. Alas, I can see why this one didn’t last very long. It’s a comedic manga that tries to have some action elements but ends up succeeding at neither. I’ve certainly read way funnier titles in Jump like Reborn! and have read numerous better action ones. The issue with trying to be two things is that you will often fail at both and so Moriking didn’t stand much of a chance from the start.

The story starts with a kid named Shota getting all excited because he’s finally getting a bug of his own. Shota is obsessed with insects of any kind. His sister Shoko is not very excited about this but she does her best to be as supportive as possible. Well, the insect hatches…into a grown up dude named Moriking. He explains that he is one of the King candidates to rule the insect kingdom. Others will appear to fight him for the throne. He still has the same life expectancy as a normal beetle though and will die when Autumn ends. Shota is psyched to have such a cool beetle while Shoko has a hard time believing this. None of this seems natural. Cue the comedy shenanigans!

This is a comedy first and foremost. We do get some action scenes as the series goes on but you still won’t be mixing up the genres. Trust me on this, it’s still clear what the focus here is throughout. The series is 35 chapters long and I would say around 30 of those are comedy chapters. So having 5 action ones wouldn’t change the main genre for me. Unfortunately the series just isn’t that funny which is a really big issue for a comedy manga. In fact, you could say that it’s an absolutely massive issue.

The issue here is that the comedy is very limited. The main gag is the fact that Moriking is a bug and yet nobody seems to care. He goes to school, helps the police, etc. All the while he still keeps some beetle characteristics. The only one who seems to care is Shoko who constantly yells about this. She’s always asking everyone why they’re just playing along. She is the straight man to every joke and this same template of “Moriking does something crazy. Nobody reacts. Shoko yells about nobody reacting” over and over and over again. This is really the extent of the series humor for 90% of its runtime.

Unfortunately that has always been one of my least favorite styles of humor. A reaction to a non reaction just isn’t very funny to me. I like quick dialogue, meta humor, cool homages, etc. This humor just doesn’t do much for me. Ah well, a series can still be good without being funny right? Well…yes but this one doesn’t quite make it. The other humor it uses is that Moriking is always stripping. As a bug he doesn’t want to be stifled by clothes after all and the main villain feels the same way.

Every page censors them by having a leaf block them or steam and things like that but it gets old quickly. In Fairy Tail the gag with Gray works rather well in part because he doesn’t know why it happens and Fairy Tail’s dialogue and writing is just leagues beyond Moriking. In Moriking it feels like they’re just trying to get a cheap laugh and it is not working. The cast isn’t quite strong enough in this short series to get by it either.

Now there is something good I can say about the series. The art is very good. Each page is very clear and the characters have dynamic designs that really stand out. I can give a lot of praise in this arena and the action scenes are also on point. This is important because towards the end of the series we get a lot of homages to famous jump moments like Ichigo using Bankai and Goku’s Spirit Bomb against Kid Buu. The artist here is able to recreate the scenes really well so you immediately know what the reference is. That is something Moriking does well.

Likewise, I can also say that the action scenes are handled well when they happen. The first “arc” of Moriking is really about day to day adventures as each King appears one by one. Only the final king gets a serious fight where we have Morking give it his all. In that battle the stakes are very real and so is the battle. You’ll be very satisfied with how it all plays out. Then in the final arc as we take this global, we see some more battles which are also drawn really well. I’m fully convinced that the series would have been immensely better had it gone for an action angle from the start.

As for the cast, well two of the main characters are kids who can’t fight and that doesn’t bode well. That’s a bit more natural for a comedy manga but even then they feel too you. You have Shota as the lead and he’s just a little kid who always wanted a bug. He cries when he doesn’t get his way and is easily impressed by everything. There just isn’t anything to really like about him. He gets in the way more than he actually helps. If he could assist Moriking in any way that would be different, but he can’t.

Shoko is an improvement but not a big one. She is obsessed with getting a boyfriend but despite being the most popular and beautiful girl in school (Or so she says) Shoko has not had any luck yet. Worse is the fact that everyone thinks she is dating Moriking now. Shoko’s whole role in the series is to panic during every chapter which means you won’t be getting a lot of great scenes out of her. She holds herself back more times than not. By the end of the series she is a bit more accepting of Moriking but even then you can bet that she will be panicking a lot.

How about Moriking himself? Well, he’s certainly better than the kids but I still wouldn’t say he is great. He has good ambitions on being the king and helping the Earth stay peaceful but he doesn’t know his own limits. He faints from having a single glass of water and fails his only case as a detective. Of course this is all for gags and all that but it still doesn’t help his character. He has some good serious moments but I wouldn’t say he is a very memorable main character or one that I would like all that much as long as the series went down this route. He’s super oblivious and doesn’t realize why clothes are important, etc. These are a combination of character traits that don’t work very well for him.

At the very least, he is strong though. Moriking is able to defeat just about anyone who gets in his way. Then we have the first King, Oka who is a praying mantis. The character names get a bit confusing as we have an Oka, Oki, Oga, etc. Why do the names have to be so similar? Well, Oka is the nicest member of the Kings so as you can guess she is the weakest. She can barely fight and turns good almost immediately since she realizes that she has no shot at becoming the king. I guess she’s not bad, but there isn’t a whole lot to her personality. Being nice is really the only character that she has.

We then meet a weak bug named Ko who worked for the mysterious final king but got booted out of there. He can’t fight and he’s always really nervous but Moriking allows this guy to serve as his retainer. It was a nice gesture by Moriking but don’t expect this guy to be very helpful at all. He monitors the Moricave and helps out around the house but that’s pretty much the extent of what he does. It’s handy that he has super speed but he never really uses it. The guy is just way too nervous for me to find him likable.

Next up is Sakura, the next door neighbor. She’s a human like Shota but her thing is that she has a king for a pet as well in Oki. She’s nice enough and wants to be a good friend to Shota. There is some mild hintings at a future romance here but both of these kids are way too young for that so it’s not a real concern. She’s okay I guess but again, no real reason to remember or like her much. She’s less annoying than Shota but that’s about it.

As for her bug Oki, well that guy’s fun. He’s the first serious rival that Moriking gets and they appear evenly matched initially. Once Oki turns good right away the power dynamic changes though and Moriking is shown to be far stronger. You kind of knew this would happen eventually though so it’s not a huge surprise. It’s just sad that Oki starts to be more of a comic relief character who is kicked around by everybody. He’s afraid of ghosts and gets slapped around in his final arc fight. Too bad since I thought he had a lot of potential. By default he’s one of the better characters in the series but it isn’t saying a whole lot.

Then you have Mio the hornet who is the next member of the King candidates. She is ultra popular and part of her ability is that everyone pretty much wants to serve her. It’s like she was born to be a queen and in fact she was. I like her enthusiasm and everything but while she was serious for a few pages, she is immediately crushed by Moriking over and over again to the point where her attempts at victory as reduced to one panel gags. She is just completely out of her league which is just too bad. Still, I would say she is easily better than some of the other characters.

Then we have the best character in the series: Oga. So he’s the main villain of the first arc. He’s a villain who is very confident in both his abilities and his dream to make the world a better place. In that respect he’s given far more credit and props than any of the other villains in the series. He’s not some random gag character and his entire climax fight against Moriking is played very seriously. His abilities are the real deal and he still appears as a strong fighter when he returns later on in the series. He may have been humbled but he put up a good fight first. The battle with their various Zoro references was fun.

Finally, there’s the final boss of the final arc. Hercules is a villain who is extremely powerful to the point where Moriking was even getting wrecked. While most of the final arc ended up being a joke, at least this guy was given a proper send off. It’s also telling that he could have beaten Moriking almost immediately but ended up holding back long enough for the speech to buy Moriking some time to turn the tables. He had a good design and while he didn’t have enough time to develop much of a personality, at least he was someone you wouldn’t soon forget.

That covers the cast here and as you can see, it was one of the weaker ones. I’ve really talked about why the series was probably cancelled in my eyes, so what would I have done differently to stop it? Well, I think you have to go with the action a bit sooner. The comedy was not working so once the first king appeared as a joke, I would have made the others more serious. Lean into the part where each King gets 2 minions a little more and have them fight. I feel like this aspect was dropped immediately.

The series was at its best when Moriking and the others had to storm the villain’s base. Now that was a fun part and we got a lot of action scenes which is always good. If the whole series was like that then it would have hit the ground running. I would age up the kids a bit so they could potentially fight down the road. They could gain insect abilities or something like that. If the ratings were better then the final arc involving the world tournament could have been stretched out so instead of it just being around 7 chapters, it could have been a full arc. A big tournament like this should not be rushed so much.

With those changes/improvements I think Moriking would have been in a really good spot. I would have found it to be a lot more interesting at least. Slice of life gag manga just aren’t as fun as full adventures with a concrete storyline behind them. At the most I’ll say that the ending was okay in some ways. It involves memory aspects that I don’t like and one part makes no sense, but I can give it props in one way. Lets just say it involves the whole lifespan of how these characters will all die in about a month or so. That seemed a bit drastic especially if you want this to be a long running manga so it’s good to remove that as soon as possible.

Manga like this can be the saddest to read though because it had potential. At least with titles like Go Go Monster, Black Bird, or Black Butler, they never had a chance from early on. With Moriking, you can see flashes of excellence now and again. When the series is taking itself serious it is quite good. Moriking shows that it can unironically be a solid battle manga. Having excellent artwork is the first step to this and then battles are next. As you can see in the next screenshot, you can have serious moments of planning and things like that. It’s just that every time we get close to a moment like this, it turns into a gag and ruins everything. I may be singing a different tune if the series was good at writing gags, but it just wasn’t.

Overall, Moriking may have had some potential, but it didn’t live up to it. It just wasn’t funny and as a comedy manga that’s a huge strike against the series. The action scenes were good but they were few and far between. You can find romance manga with better developed characters and funnier humor. All of these strikes against the series proved to be fatal. I wouldn’t call this a good manga and while it does enough to not be negative, it ends up staying right in the middle. The crazy thing is if the manga had ended with the first king arc, you’d never have known it was cancelled. It would have had a normal ending. I knew something was up when a whole new villain group and tournament was announced with 7 chapters left though. That was a huge red flag and I feel like by that point the author must have had some idea that things weren’t going well. Starting a new arc like that was bold. I would advise skipping this manga in the end. It’s a fairly painless read, it’s not like it will stick out in a bad way or anything. If you have a few hours you can just go for it, but there are so many better manga to read. I’d advise you to find one of those titles and check that out instead.

Overall 5/10

Hard-Boiled Cop and Dolphin Review

It’s hard to forget any of the promotional images for this series when it was first starting out. Who wouldn’t have fun with a manga about a tough dolphin right? It didn’t last super long but then again, 40+ chapters is fairly good for a modern Jump title that’s cancelled, feels like they usually don’t last quite so long nowadays. It allows the series to explore its premise fairly well at least.

The series starts off with Samejima taking down a crook but he took big risks in doing so and gets demoted. I have to agree with the demotion to be honest since pointing a gun at someone who has a hostage is going beyond just being a bit reckless. So Samejima is sent to a small island in the middle of nowhere that’s a bit off. One of their leutenants is a buff dolphin, there’s a kid here who was rescued from a cult but kept her super powers, and there are sea animal hybrids going around and causing trouble. Will Samejima’s police training be enough to keep him safe?

It is interesting how to the rest of the world, there are no such things as supernatural creatures and all that. Samejima knew about the cult kidnapping for example but like everyone else he just thought they were crazy. Since the island is so far away from everything (Not even a cell signal in sight) it also makes sense that people wouldn’t learn about these events. I thought the author did a good job of crafting this scenario carefully in such a way where nobody would suspect anything. This was good execution.

Initially you have intro type stories that aren’t really connected but let you get used to the cast. For example we have a one shot story with a few guys riding a car without a license and they basically antagonize the cops until they get shut down by Samejima and Orpheus (The Dolphin). Granted I’m not sure if the main character is right about it not being legal to film a cop on public property. I mean, it’s a made up island so you could say the rules are a bit different but I think it was still a part of Japan. Might be overthinking it though and either way these guys were crooks for speeding, driving without a license and then nearly running someone over.

Another intro case that would end up being important for later was the first confrontation with more of a supernatural fighter. Granted, it has a comedic end but you have a guy who is part octopus that is blowing a lot of buildings up in the town. Every part of him is explosive and so trying to hack him to bits isn’t a great way to try and take him down. Orpheus and Samejima have to reluctantly use some teamwork here.

The villain just wanted pollution to stop but blowing up towns isn’t quite the way to go about it. This was also the introduction to Chako’s (the kid) wish granting abilities which are quite powerful. Whenever a series introduces a power that activates just by thinking about it, well you can bet that this character will be a real powerhouse. She’s just young enough where it isn’t dangerous at this point but all you would need is one time skip for her to either be the world’s greatest hero or most dangerous villain.

The series is mostly good about not having much fanservice but it is definitely present which is unfortunate. There’s a whole chapter about everyone trying to take advantage of the main heroine Umi including even Samejima. What’s even the point of that chapter? It’s certainly a good way to lose momentum and her gimmick of having the shirt rip whenever she salutes will make you cringe. Again, the series isn’t too constant with this or anything but it really limits the overall potential of the title.

The first real arc starts with two powerful hybrid bounty hunters known as Kaji and Hanma showing up. They are here to kidnap Chako on behalf of the cult. As these two both have powers, Samejima will have to step up if he wants to protect her. It was a solid mini arc and had the first true fights of the series. There was some good back and forth here and if this was added sooner in the story I think the series could have launched with a really solid start right off the gate. By the end of the mini arc you have these bounty hunters turning good though which is a bit too quick if you ask me but I can give it a pass since it means they can show up as heroic rivals later on.

Next up was a more serious case where people keep dying near the local dolphin pool. The victims are always missing an arm as well. The cops are naturally called in and this arc taps into the mystery angle a bit as you have some a main suspect in the coach and have to decide if he is the murderer or if it’s someone else. With super powered animal fighters on the loose it’s hard to rule anything out. It’s a bit of a step down from the last arc but it isn’t bad. It introduces some pretty important characters and does further the cult plot by the end. The ending twists get a little too convoluted for its own good though to the point where it’s hard to buy the twists at one point. The coach looks bad no matter how you slice it.

There’s a quick mini arc about the characters moving into a mansion where a rich guy tries to throw them out. It’s a way to go back into the comedy realm a bit with some other short stories before the final arc of the series. So there are 7 legendary artifacts in the world apparently and the cult wants to secure these items at any cost to the point where they have called up all of their big members including the main villain himself. The girl who turned traitor in the last arc is there and so the main characters unite to enter the underwater cave. We also get introduced to a whole new group of fighters known as Squad 7 who are apparently the most skilled police officers around. They’re more like the FBI or CIA. Can the heroes stop this cult once and for all?

This arc felt like the biggest one and while I have a feeling it would have played out a lot differently if it wasn’t cancelled, I thought the author was able to wrap everything up really well. At most the giant dolphin made of water at the end may have felt a little out of the blue but all in all it was a fun way to end the series. While it had a rocky start, I did think the series quickly got better the more it went along. This is an example of a series that is better when it was focusing on action rather than comedy. The series just wasn’t very funny which isn’t a good thing for a comedic based title.

Before going into it further, lets take a look at the cast. As the main character Samejima is decent. He’s a hot head who always just dives into a problem and I like to see that kind of enthusiasm. He may not have any super powers but he can still fight with the best of them. The series is part comedy after all so it’s not all that unlikely to even see him trading blows with the more powerful villains. The fact that he doesn’t follow protocol comes in handy more than a few times. While the other cops are unable to move due to other departments showing up, he doesn’t care and just dives in. He does tend to suffer from some of the jokes like being too distracted by Umi though.

Umi is a nice enough main heroine but the series really just uses her as the token fanservice character most of the time. She really doesn’t have a lot of plot importance beyond that and ends up being the only main character who can’t fight at all. That’s a shame because it also leaves her out of all the big story arcs. I’d have liked for the series to have given her some kind of ability to fight with the others. Well, Umi means well at least, not like she’s a bad character or anything.

Chako is the main kid that all of the villains are after so she gets a big role. That said, she’s a very young kid so it’s not like she can really fight or anything like that. Her wishing abilities are really just a way for the plot to go on. Not much to say about her as a character due to this. I will say that her powers can seem a bit inconsistent at times but since it is used seriously at times and as a gag at others, I guess that is to be expected. By the end of the series we do learn the full story behind her kidnapping though.

Orpheus is a big character and really the selling point for a lot of people. That said, I thought Samejima was a lot more interesting. Orpheus’ main character is that he wants Chako to see him as the main parental figure but she’s taken to Samejima so he is always jealous. That is a large chunk of his scenes in the comedy stories. When it comes to the action parts he does have some good fights though and even a tragic backstory. Much like Korosensei from Assassination Classroom, I much prefer him before his transformation into a dolphin.

Still, he’s okay, just not a standout character to me. He does have super strength and a good fist technique so that’s handy in the battles. Next is Seira, a mermaid girl who appears in a few stories. Initially she seems like someone who’s just a little careless with how she comes close to marrying a normal human who would surely drown underwater. As the series goes on we learn more about her though and she even plays a bit of a critical role by the end. She was solid by that point.

Kaji is one of the early villains who turned good. There isn’t a ton to him beyond potential since he didn’t do a lot but he made for a good villain. At the end of the day he’s a villain with an honor code and it wasn’t hard to turn him. The guy has a distinct character design too. He has a partner in Hanma who is a solid fighter as well but he doesn’t do much in comparison.

Yukari is one of the main characters from the dolphin pool murder case and her character arc goes in a very unexpected direction. She ends up being one of the best villains for sure. She uses the arm artifact well and has one of the best feats in the series when she splits the ocean in two so everyone can walk to the cave. As a villain she has a lot of confidence and doesn’t even get intimidated by Poseidon himself. Now that’s some serious ability on her part.

Jura was her colleague but unfortunately as a hero she doesn’t get any power ups so there isn’t really anything she can do to help out here. It would have been nice if the series could have done something to allow them to have a proper fight. Jura’s a fun character though, she’s up beat and always ready to tackle the next obstacle. She stuck up for Yukari and was a really good friend throughout.

As the leader of the cult, Kamuro gets a big role by the end. I can’t say I’m a fan though. He’s one of those guys who is a comic relief perv as a “good guy” and while he gets serious when he is evil, it’s hard to know if his personality is still on the up and up as a result. Was it all an act? The guy is also a bit out of his depth with these relics as he is surprised at how the first one looks. His backstory is certainly very tragic but I don’t really understand how he went off the deep end.

The idea was that he would infiltrate the villains and then take down the organization from the inside. Instead he effectively just became the leader and kept it moving. His goal at the end is really not good and one of those classic “I’ll destroy almost everything but it’s for good reasons” Ultimately since he became evil because his willpower wasn’t strong enough, I was never going to be a big fan of Kamuro.

Okiura is effectively Kamuro’s right hand woman. She finds out a lot of intel and helps him that way but she isn’t much of a fighter so she doesn’t leave an impact. She’s helpful to the villain cause but there isn’t a whole lot to say about her. I think if the series had kept going we likely would have seen her play a bigger role or at least that’s the vibe I got.

Tome shows up really late in the series but she immediately becomes a fun character. As the leader of Squad 7 she is quite powerful in combat. She has an underwater martial art style that seems to be heavily based off of Attack on Titan. It’s how the whole squad fights too so it’s like the survey corps. They use water pressure to zip all over the place as they strike at their enemies. Tome is the most powerful of the group though and it shows. She gets a few fights in the arc and would have been a fun supporting character for future events.

We meet Chako’s Mom in the flashbacks to the origin of the dolphin cop and how this all happened. Her name’s Yae. Yae was a nice character thrown into a tough situation but I do feel like she kept on making the wrong calls. Getting involved in the cult, having a kid while at the cult only made the situation worse. Eventually it was too much for her and she split. Now there’s a bit more context to that but I’d say she got in over her head and this ended up costing her as well as Chako quite a lot. There was also starting to be a bit of a triangle between her, Kamuro, and the Dolphin which wasn’t really needed.

Finally we have Poseidon who would have almost certainly been the end game boss. He can possess Chako and it seems like each relic would have made him stronger. When he possesses Chako she can actually fight rather well so I can only imagine how strong he would be in his own body. The series has a bit of fun at his expense though like when he gets his powers zapped by the cave though. Not his best look and doesn’t exactly make him someone to be feared as the big villain. Always a tough part when trying to balance the serious action and more comedic elements for a series like this.

So, what would I have done differently to keep this from being cancelled? Well, as I mentioned, the series started off a bit slow and didn’t get really good until the action started to come in. That was over halfway through the series I would say. What I’d have done is have the villains attack a lot sooner. Maybe have them send in normal hitmen at first which would give Samejima a good reason to be able to keep up at first and as he learns more about the island we start to see those tough meta humans. It would be a slow ascent up the power levels.

Now, I guess the author wanted to make a comedy manga initially but the novelty of just having the cop be a dolphin isn’t enough. Throw in Chako and you’ve got a Yotsuba vibe going but it’s hard to keep all of those elements together. The initial stories that were stand alone just weren’t all that funny as I mentioned. If you tone down the fanservice or the characters acting iffy then you would have some potential but even the stories without any of that could be a bit dull. Like Chako breaking a vase and then the characters scramble to find the truth. The humor style seems to be the absurd type where something crazy happens and most characters take it in stride while Samejima panics. Not the most effective way to go about this.

So the short answer for me is to throw in the plot a lot earlier along with the fights. The author was able to easily transition this into a full action series which was a lot of fun. I can only imagine that going in that direction right from the jump would have done a whole lot to improve the series. At the end of the day I would still call this a pretty good title but of course I have the benefit of being able to marathon through it. I’m sure it feels a lot different going through it weekly. I would say to maybe remove Chako but that would change the whole core of the series and for my anti cancellation plans I try to not suggest anything that would make the series completely different.

The art is very solid as you would expect. I would go as far as to say it’s excellent. The action scenes have a lot of detail and the character designs are each distinctive. It just strengthens the case of why the series is at its strongest with the action. It allows you to read the series real easily without a doubt since it’s all so clear. Definitely a strong aspect for the series. While I didn’t find it funny most of the time, the writing for the series parts were good. The idea of having a cult as the villain organization is interesting. You don’t really see that a whole lot.

Overall, The Hard Boiled Cop and Dolphin is a good title that will quickly be forgotten amidst a sea of titles that are just better. I would call it a fun series and one I would recommend to anyone but I’m not shocked that it was cancelled. Naturally I wish it could have just kept going and maybe been the next big thing though. As long as a series is good (6 or higher) then I’d like it to crack 50 volumes and continue to surpass its limits. There may not have been any witty banter/solid buddycop dynamics with the Dolphin (It sounds way more natural than using his real name) and Samejima but the action would cover for that no doubt.

Overall 7/10

One Piece: World Seeker Review

I remember World Seeker was getting a lot of hype when it was first announced but it seems like the hype died out when it came out. I just happened to run across it at a Gamestop and figured that was a good time to see if it was any good. Fortunately this is another great title to add to the One Piece collection. The franchise has really done well in that arena. While most of the other games were big beat em up titles, this one’s more of an open world action/adventure game. It works out really well and feels like a Breath of the Wild type experience.

The game starts out with a very cinematic approach as the credits roll while we see Luffy getting ready to be executed by the government. Fortunately he is able to get out of there just in time but the whole crew has been split up. They were lured to the island with treasure but it turns out to all have been a trap by Isaac and the World Government. Luffy and friends need to get off the island but the Sunny won’t be repaired for a few days so there is no escape. Additionally, there may be something more to this situation other than a simple trap as famous pirates, admirals, and many other figures are all converging on the island. It’s time for Luffy to help Jeanne save her island and prove that even a pirate can be a hero.

Right off the bat you’re thrown into the rather large island and then have to make your way from place to place for the missions. The hub world is quite large to the point where you will be using the quick travel mechanic a whole lot. It’s not as big as Breath of the Wild, but the size is impressive enough where it’s worth noting. They did a really good job there. There is a whole lot to do in the various areas as well with side missions everywhere and a whole lot of treasure chests. This is good because the main campaign is really not that long. I cleared it in around 8 hours which feels short for this kind of big open world adventure.

Throw in the replay value like grabbing all of the PS4 trophies and the deal looks a lot better though. It’ll take a while to get up to rank 100 and take down all of the quests which helps put in a lot of extra value here. The game uses Luffy’s rubber abilities well as you can swing from place to place almost like Spider-Man and all of his classic moves are in the game. I would have liked some kind of flying option though as some mountains are just too high to jump onto so you have to go the long way around the valley.

I suppose it shows that even Luffy has some limits but I wouldn’t have minded the game helping me out a bit there. Just give me a bit of a boost so I don’t have to do the leg work, that’s all I wanted. As for the combat, it’s definitely really solid. There’s a bit more variety here than your average beat em up so you can have fun with your combos. That said, I would make the case that some tactics are simply better than others. For example, against the robots, just use your fire fist because it’s a guaranteed 1 hit KO. I used that technique for 90% of my battles simply because it was so efficient.

There are two weaknesses that the game has though. The first is that there are a ton of loading times. Any time you want to quick travel somewhere you have to sit through a full loading screen which is quite long. Keep in mind that you will be using quick travel dozens of times since it is always significantly faster than running the full distance. The missions will usually have you crossing large portions of the map so walking just wouldn’t make as much sense. The loading times just seemed excessive though and something that could have been improved.

Then there’s the story which is ambitious but felt really choppy at times. There are no smooth transitions between lines so the screen will go black and then they’ll say the next thing. It’s really noticeable while playing through the game. Also, there is almost no voice acting here which feels a bit lazy for a PS4 title. Most of the time they’ll just grunt or say 1 word. It was cool to see all of the characters showing up on the island but half of them don’t get to do anything. Sanji’s family show up for a transaction for example and then dash off. The admirals appear to get in their fight and then run off.

The amount of times a villain is about to beat Luffy but is told to let him go is crazy. I feel like Luffy could take some of these guys at this point in time too. Gone are the days where he had to run off just because an admiral was around. When we do get a cutscene they’re fun like seeing Zoro take on Isaac. We just needed more of that and the story doesn’t necessarily have to be longer. Just cut out some of the mandatory side missions and you’re good. I see what the intent behind the side missions was. It was to introduce us to all of the islanders so it’s emotional when they come together in the climax. I get the logic there but personally I’d have liked to have seen more of the actual Strawhats taking names. Even Law vanishes early on although he apparently got his own DLC pack so I suppose you would need to play that to see what’s going on with him.

As for the graphics, those are definitely really good as you would expect. The game looks sharp and feels like a PS4 title. It helps that the island is just a lot of fun to look at and the city was developed well too. Then you have the soundtrack which is actually really solid but they don’t play the tunes very often. You might hear a theme that sounds great but then it never appears in the game again. This is the kind of soundtrack you’ll want to look up on Youtube afterwards to see if you can find all of the cool tunes.

Overall, One Piece: World Seeker is definitely a winner in my book. The story could have been a lot stronger to be honest but it would make for a fun movie. Just needed to focus up a bit more. I appreciate that the game went with an original story though and the execution on the open world concept was really solid. Open world can absolutely be a blast when it’s like this. In a lot of ways it does remind me of Breath of the Wild, just with Luffy as the main character. If I had any more nitpicks on that I would like Luffy to be a little faster when moving around so I didn’t have to rely on quick travel so much but the speed isn’t bad either. I’m also glad there is a quick travel since that’s an absolute must have feature for any open world game.

Overall 8/10

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Review

It’s time to take a look at the newest My Hero Academia movie. This one was certainly getting a lot of hype with the whole fugitive Deku angle and that we would be having a more global threat. Now would be the time to see heroes from the rest of the world get involved and see what they’re made of. It’s definitely a great film and I would put it above the first one, but it loses to the second. I do think all of the promotion for the film was really misleading though so if you were hoping for a global adventure about the main 3, this isn’t exactly how it plays out.

The movie starts out very suddenly with the villains unleashing a bomb which decimates all people with quirks inside of the city. It’s a focused trigger bomb that forcibly unleashes a person’s quirk past their own personal limits. The organization name is Humarise and they are led by Flect, a man who follows the doomsday prophecy that quirks will be the end of the world. The pro heroes from around the world converge on all of the bases but are unable to find the bombs. Until they can be located, nobody is safe and so the heroes stay at their positions across the globe.

Deku meets up with a kid named Rody who is a petty thief for hire. For some reason the government is after Rody though and when Deku assists, a mass murder charge is put on him. Deku and Rody will need to figure out the conspiracy behind this and also why the suitcase Rody is holding is so valuable to the villains. There must be a reason why this stuff is so valuable after all. Will the heroes be able to save the day or is that game over?

There’s a lot to love here so lets just go over the promotion both in and out of universe first. So a lot of the promotion here has been about Deku, Todoroki, and Bakugo as the three musketeers and the artwork always showed the three of them jumping out of a ship in stealth gear. The new costumes are cool but are only around for about 5 minutes. Todoroki and Bakugo also miss most of the movie as they only show up for the occasional fight. This is really a film about Deku and Rody at its core as Deku shows him what it means to be a true hero.

The whole “Deku on the run” angle is also one that doesn’t matter for most of the film. It’s a plot element that’s technically present but only barely. Finally the movie seemed to be putting a lot of emphasis on how Class 1A was spread out across the planet so we’d see them in action as well as the foreign pro heroes. Well, none of them really get to do anything. We get very brief scenes with them on the side but it never amounts to more than a 30 second fight scene tops.

In general the plot was too ambitious for a quick film. If the movie was 2 and a half hours then I think it really could have pulled off the global aspect, but as it is, they were just extra. The film even shows off all of the hero teams twice, once in the intro scene and then during the credits but as each team would never become important, it just seems misleading. Thing is, this is inside the film itself so rather than misleading it feels like maybe more was planned but it just didn’t make it to the end product. Either they ran out of time or in early testing phases of the script it seemed like the movie would be too long. I don’t know, it probably is impossible to know but the whole global part got such a big push at the beginning of the movie that it pulls off.

So in short, this may not be the movie you were expecting but it’s a great movie in its own right. Going back to the opening scene, I like how quickly it starts off. It’s easily the best intro scene in an MHA film as we get to see the heroes absolutely decimating the villains and tearing through the bases. It’s like having an intro scene that’s a climax to an off screen arc. I thought this was a really good way to start things off and to set the tone early.

The scene also looks great and I can confidently say this is the best MHA’s animation has looked to date. All 3 films have looked great (I rewatched fights from the first two films to compare) and it’s not surprising since Bones is top notch. Even so, this film takes it up a whole new level. In particular my favorite fight was Bakugo against the laughing maniac in the climax. There were a lot of really good speed movements there and I like when a hero has to try and weave in a bunch of dodges until they eventually land the counter blow that is needed to win the match. It was a really intense back and forth fight as well.

Other standouts are basically every other action scene, the effects used for Flect’s reflection abilities and seeing Deku glide around the city in 3D. The film made the most of the 3D environment here and it was definitely nice to see. Deku’s ability lends itself well to aerial combat so you can have fights of him dodging Beros’ laser fast arrows while making the animation look really good. Dodging scenes can be almost as intense as fighting ones when you handle it well like this. The animation alone already puts this film in a good light.

Then you have the soundtrack which has some fun remixes from the TV show. The only track that really falls flat is the lyrical song during the montage with Rody. It was just a bit too boring if you ask me. Even for a montage that’s peaceful like this, you really need to have some kind of added effect like a guitar solo in the middle to rev up the tempo. I wasn’t a fan of the emotional song from the last MHA film either so the lyrical songs may be the franchise’s only weakness at the moment. Everything else is fitting for the fight.

As for the original character Rody, he’s very unlikable at the start and gradually gets better. I still wouldn’t say I like him much by the end but he isn’t painful by that point at least. I definitely don’t buy him being able to outmaneuver Deku during the opening scenes though. My main issue with Deku is that he definitely still lacks confidence and the whole confrontation with Rody puts that into full view. (Really should have just opened the case and looked into everything a lot sooner) I was really expecting the film to explain that he has some kind of agility quirk similar to Koichi. That would at least explain how he could outrun Deku. Don’t get me wrong, I would have a hard time believing it either way but it’s better than a human outrunning Deku.

His actual quirk has got to be one of the most situational ones out there with no real use most of the time. It makes for a logical way to end part of the climax though. So I won’t give Rody a thumbs up but as far as film OCs go, he wasn’t that bad. Beyond that it’s the villains who make up most of the OCs which is really a given for any big action title since you can’t/usually wouldn’t use manga villains. The leader Flect has one of those backstories that boils down to him being a quitter early on.

As a character he’s rather one note but I do find his design to be really unique. He’s also got a very good power with the whole reflection thing. Basically he can reflect any attack that is sent his way. He also has a charismatic personality evidently as he got so many people to join his cult and turn on the quirk users. Even a lot of people with actual quirks which shows how far he has brainwashed everyone. He’s definitely not as cool as Nine but he probably beats the guy from the first film. I’ll give Flect props for being willing to fight on the front lines and also to have the reaction times needed to prep for Deku instead of purely relying on his quirk like when the guy activates the lasers.

He has a few minions at the ready as well. The main standout is Beros who is shockingly similar to Nagant. She can fire off arrows and other weapons at incredible speeds and it makes her a tough fighter to take out. Even Deku and Bakugo had a very difficult time dodging her attacks which speaks to her abilities. It is nice to see these villains who have a specialized quirk but have mastered it to the point where they are true threats. Take Bakugo’s opponent with the chains. I don’t believe they ever mention his name in the film but he is constantly laughing which is a fun character quirk.

He would have to be the best villain in the film. Also, he is incredibly powerful to the point where he was beating Bakugo before taking his shot at Trigger. That means that naturally his quirk is enough where he can take on pseudo pros. This guy clearly leveled it up quite a bit and then with trigger he’s almost unstoppable. His fighting style is really what puts him on the map here and his abilities are just so versatile. Then you have Todoroki’s opponent who may not be as impressive when it comes to power but I like how he can manipulate elements that he comes into contact with. It seems like a fairly complex power that would take a lot of time to master but this guy really did well with it.

The film really follows the theme that dangerous villains can come out of anywhere with incredibly powerful quirks. These guys aren’t some end boss fighters but just random guys who joined the cult. Now, if any of them gave Deku a run for his money I’d call foul but for non One For All users, it makes sense that there would be some powerful villains on their level as well. At this point in time Bakugo and Todoroki can hold their own with some pros and the same would be true for these villains. It helps to expand the world quite a bit.

The only part I do call foul on is Flect being able to fully reflect blows from One for All. At this late stage in the game I find it hard to believe that random quirks can stop one that was literally built to be the strongest quirk of all time. One for All is a stockpile quirk that gets stronger with each generation, completing the prophecy of the quirk singularity. Outside of a quirk like All for One, it should not be stopped like this. I didn’t believe it when Nine’s barriers could block the attacks and I don’t believe it now with Flect. Sure, Deku’s eventually able to just keep on punching which is the natural solution to this kind of ability with limits but it shouldn’t have taken nearly so long.

I’d have liked to have seen Flect taking numerous trigger injections to briefly hold Deku off and even then not to win. Or just rewrite the scene so Deku gets stabbed with the lasers multiple times before the fight so we understand that he’s weakened. As a side note, I’m glad Deku finally blasted those lasers with his air bullets because you really should do that right away. Outside of the scenes with Rody which I guess I can attribute to comic relief and Deku having a lot of difficulty with Flect, I thought his portrayal was satisfying on a power scale otherwise. He easily dispatched the two assassins sent after him, one of which had a power quirk. Then he was dodging high speed projectiles and had a lot of endurance to run out of there.

I’d expect on less because at this point in time I would consider Deku to be the strongest hero in the verse. He can’t be having any difficulties with minions and fortunately in the movie he does not. It’s why in the main series everyone has to have instant regeneration when going up against him or they’re toast. I get why you want the main villain to be so powerful of course but I’d have just thrown in a line where One for All says he gave Flect some kind of unlimited regeneration of the quirk itself or something. That said, I don’t think the two villains would see eye to eye on this since a quirkless world would really not benefit the villains.

The writing’s on point here. The trigger bombs are suitably built up as a really big threat. If anything it really does seem terrifying to be hit by one of them since dying by your own quirk is a rough way to go. The opening scene with everyone being destroyed in the town might be one of the most intense scenes in the entire series. Even the main title hasn’t really had a scene that’s quite so filled with hopelessness. You know that even if the heroes were there, they wouldn’t have been able to do anything which is really the scary part here. Also, now that trigger bombs are a thing, it’s something all characters would need to keep in mind as a potential threat.

Some of the action scenes can also get a bit violent as you see the villains really land some slicing blows on the heroes. Bakugo in particular really takes a pounding here but Deku takes some big shots as well. It’s all violence within battle and nothing intentionally gruesome so you won’t have anything to worry about during the fights but it will feel out of nowhere since even the main series never really has moments that are kept that way for the show. I suppose it’s to add further to that cinematic feel and does work well at keeping the stakes high.

While the rest of the cast may not get to do much or appear more than a minute or two, I suppose it can be fun to see the gang having their own adventures. Also, the world is pretty large so it’s not like any of them could arrive to help Deku and friends even if they wanted to. Some of the villains had rather interesting quirks as well so if we ever get a director’s cut where those fights are finished that would be pretty cool. Bakugo and Todoroki get enough screen time where you’ll be satisfied though. Bakugo gets a ton of lines as always and talks tough from start to finish while Todoroki continues to improve his quirk use.

All Might is even here to give a quick pep talk although it would have been nice to have seen him step in to lend a hand in the climax. When he clenches his fist and talks about how everyone is giving it their all, that would have been a perfect moment to transform even if for an instant to land one blow. Maybe next time since I feel like he has to get going at some point. Everyone else uses their signature attacks and sends the villains flying when applicable.

Overall, My Hero Academia delivers once again with a really intense plot that gives you a lot of action scenes and high animation fights. You’ll be engaged from start to finish and there likely aren’t many films right now that can keep up with this animation. There aren’t really a lot of slow moments since the film carefully spreads in an action scene whenever things are starting to die down. I do think all of the promotion was really misleading and they almost shouldn’t have had a global element since it barely feels relevant but the concept of a villain group that international is intense. I think the manga version will likely handle it better though. As one last feather in this film’s cap, I would say it has the highest replay value out of the 3 films due to the fast pacing. You’ll definitely want to check this one out as soon as possible.

Overall 8/10

Is Noelle The Greatest Main Heroine of all time?

All right, Noelle’s been making a lot of waves in the anime/manga community for a while now. I would say this really began to ramp up in the current Spade arc with her multiple battles against Vanica, but even as early as the Undersea Temple arc people started to really see her in a new light. I’ve had this editorial in the backburner for a while but it was buried under a bunch of others. (I’ve got around 20 ideas just hanging out in drafts) When I saw that Noelle won the top spot in the latest Black Clover popularity poll, I knew it was time to push this up and explain exactly why she is such a character. I’ll also answer the question of if she is the greatest main heroine of all time. Naturally this editorial will have spoilers for Black Clover so unless you are caught up through her most recent fight from around 2 months ago then you will want to skip it for now. This was written before the last 10+ chapters though so those won’t be covered here.

So first lets define the terms here. So who counts in the main heroine category? Well, typically there is only be one main heroine in a series so you have to choose carefully who reps the series. For example, characters like Rukia, Yamato, and Hinata may be very well liked but none of those 3 are really the main heroines of their series in my eyes. They would be Orihime, Nami, and Sakura respectively. Rukia would have the strongest case for being a dual main heroine in which case she is a big upgrade from Orihime but won’t affect the outcome here. There are a lot of big characters in any long running series but then you’re going too far into the weeds if you pick out someone who isn’t prominently the main character of importance. Just like how a series can have two rivals although its rare, you can also have two heroines though. Off the top of my head the only action title I can think of with really clear cut dual heroines would be A Certain Magical Index with Index and Misaka. (If you count non-action then there are a bunch) It gets very debatable on who the main heroine is. Misaka has much more story importance while Index has more screen time. If it is really debatable like that were people have discussions online then it’s fair game to count both, but you don’t want to be counting everyone just because they have a decent role as well.

After all there are a lot of categories to rank characters with. Best lead, Best main guy, Best rival, Best healer, etc. So for example, I would have to give it a lot of thought if Slur may be ahead of Noelle. It’s certainly possible since that character is fantastic and would still be around if not for the unfortunate fate of having to face off against Bass Exe 1 on 1. Her character was short lived but I liked her a lot. Still, she would not count in this ranking as that spot would belong to Roll on the Navi side or Maylu from the human side and Noelle stomps both of those.

Now, a big character you may be thinking about here is Medaka Kurokami. Sure enough, she is a character I would put above Noelle. That said, she’s the main character of her adventure which isn’t applicable for the main heroine title. If we were talking about who the greatest main character is then that would be a different story but of course Noelle wouldn’t count in that case. We could ask who the greatest female character of all time is in which case they would both count but that isn’t the prompt here. The best main heroine of all time is the mirror of the best main guy of all time so that would be characters like Tuxedo Mask, The Blue Knight, Syaoran from Cardcaptors, Ray from Neverland, etc. You could use the term “Best hero of all time” but that term is used often for main characters, so I would typically avoid it.

That’s why it’s good to spell out the definitions at least how I understand them to be for the editorial itself. This way you can see how I get to the conclusion of if Noelle is the greatest main heroine of all time. Next, before actually going into if she has earned the title or not, lets quickly talk about what makes her such a great character. Why exactly does Noelle stand out as being a particularly strong character? There have been thousands of main heroines out there after all so clearly she is doing something right.

Keeping up with the other leads in strength

This is a pretty big one. Put it this way, is there any heroine you can think of who actually caught up to and debatably surpassed the rival? Even for the people who say Yuno is currently stronger (And it’s fair to say since we haven’t see much of what Yuno can do post time skip. Perhaps he can match Noelle and I suspect we will learn if this is the case within the next few chapters.) the fact that it is even a debate is impressive. For most series there is not a single point where the heroine ever surpassed the rival or even got close. At no point did you think Sakura was a threat to Sasuke or that perhaps Lenalee surpassed Kanda. Lenalee’s a good example though because I would say she kept up with the main two for a longer period than most characters. She just ended up getting sidelined for pretty much the whole second half of the manga so far but hopefully she will go back to fighting later on.

Take a look at that clip from the opening I put above. See how Noelle is treated with the same level of screen time and power as Asta and Yuno’s battles? The 3 Devil Triad members are introduced, then we see the 3 fighters battling it out equally. Noelle isn’t fighting a weaker member or losing here, she’s having a battle with highly personal stakes and a lot of intensity just like the other two. The fact that one of the Triad turned out to be her family’s sworn enemy that ties into her origin story is great. That’s the kind of thing you’d see for the main character and rival in a lot of things. Noelle really has her own story here.

Noelle’s water creation magic has really come a long way from how it was when she first started. She can control her abilities really well now and has the offensive might to back the spells up. She is even compared to her mother who was a top tier fighter in the Clover kingdom. It’s impressive and a testament to the many months of practice she put in. Strength isn’t everything but the fact that we see her putting in the kind of effort you would usually only see the lead and other characters get is great.
Keeping up with the others in story

What I mean by this is that Noelle actually has a main character development arc. In fact, you could make a strong case for her having more of a full character arc than Yuno and maybe even Asta. Yuno is relatively unchanged from the start of the series. He’s gotten stronger but his only real change in development is from learning how to be more of a team player within the Golden Dawn and that doesn’t actually get almost any screen time.

For Asta, well he’s the main character so naturally he gets a whole lot of focus. He has to be content with himself not knowing magic, enduring the feeling of powerlessness when he got cursed, etc. Nobody’s got more screen time and plot emphasis than Asta but Noelle still has him beat in development. She had to deal with a family that were all completely antagonistic to her and constantly mocking her efforts. Only Mimosa doesn’t appear downright evil but it also doesn’t seem like she was ever there for Noelle. Noelle didn’t get true friends until she was with the Black Bulls and even then it took a while to actually trust them. Part of what helped get her close to Asta is that he was one of the first to really support her. One of my favorite scenes showing their friendship is when Asta spoke up on her behalf when the magic knights were mocking her. Asta didn’t waste a second to go to her defense.

This ultimately resulted in her big moment in the Undersea Temple arc where she was able to land her first big attack in the series. Not only was it enough to break through Vetto’s defenses but it was a decisive moment in the climax that started to turn the tides for the heroes. It was really impressive and a powerful way to solidify her transition into being one of the team powerhouses. It was a long and careful character arc that didn’t happen overnight. It would still be some time before she would awaken her abilities even further but she kept growing with the rest of the cast.

Tsundere with an end point

Black Clover’s not really a title with a whole lot of romance and that’s a good thing since the series is already filled with so many action scenes to go through. There isn’t a whole lot of time to stay back and relax but another aspect of Noelle’s character that helps her break out is that she isn’t trapped in the eternal cycle of not knowing if she really likes Asta or not and constantly smacking him. Certainly she still does go into full tsundere mode a lot but she has finally come to terms with her feelings in a way that you don’t often see. It’s a complete confirmation to herself that leaves no room for doubt and she didn’t wait until Asta came to this realization. It’s all her at this point and it’s another data point showing that her character is not one that will stay stagnant at all. She is constantly changing and developing.

Okay, so now that we’ve establishes why Noelle has really risen in popularity and why she is a great character, lets dive into the actual question here.

Is Noelle is the greatest Shonen Jump main heroine of all time?

Yes After a lot of thought and consideration this one is an absolute yes. There are no Shonen Jump main heroines in the history of the magazine that can take her down here. I consider her to be much cooler and more interesting than Sakura, Orihime, Nami, Urvaity, Nezuko, Kohaku, Anna, Ran, Tokiko, etc. Shonen Jump has certainly had a lot of fantastic main heroines over the years but none have been quite as consistently amazing as Noelle. Even the best of those fighters weren’t actually on the front lines against the big villains in a serious context this late in the game. It’s really at the point where Noelle is becoming like a second rival for Asta.

The closest would be Tokiko in terms of how close to the final boss was but the series wasn’t very long running so that’s more of a by default kind of thing. Orihime, Nami, and Uravity were outmatched before the first arc was over and never caught up. Anna and Ran aren’t primarily main fighters even if they can offer support. Sakura and Kohaku made reasonable gains but ultimately you wouldn’t put them very high up in a typical ranking. This isn’t something that’s purely about power but it certainly doesn’t hurt when looking at what a main heroine can do. I haven’t read every Jump title but I’ve certainly read most of the big ones by this point and am familiar with most of the main heroines. To dethrone Noelle we’d probably need a new ongoing title. Nobara is off to a great start for example so lets see how that goes.

Now we’re lets go for the extra credit assignment.

Is Noelle The Greatest Main Heroine of all time?

As you can imagine, this multiplies the potential characters hundreds of times over. There are numerous options to choose from and this gets to be a much more difficult challenge. Even just making sure you think of everyone is difficult although you can make the case that if you don’t remember someone in time then maybe they didn’t leave as much of an impact. There are also some quick characters I’ll think of like Alice from Sword Art Online as an instant win but I have to remind myself that she is not the actual main heroine.

Ultimately Noelle will lose this battle.

That’s because Misaka exists. No, not Mikasa from Attack on Titan, but Misaka Mikoto from Railgun. Yes, she has her own series where she is the main character so she doesn’t count as a Railgun character but she does count as the main heroine from the Index title which is where her eligibility comes from. I like Noelle quite a bit but she’s not touching Misaka. Misaka cemented herself as one of the all time greats when she broke into a facility and essentially took down the entire villain group known as ITEM by herself. To date I consider that to be the single best episode in the whole Index multi franchise. It’s not a one off kind of scene either, she consistently has a lot of great moments throughout the series. Another such moment is in the clip below where she effortlessly took down one of the enemy mechs and really put the fear into her opponent. There’s a reason why nobody messes with the Level 5 Espers in Academy City and Misaka is a big part of that.

Since I was mainly here to answer the question of if Noelle was the greatest of all time, I won’t go any further than that. Whether she is 2nd or 10th, it doesn’t matter since she’s not first. Can she really defeat Asuna? Does Noelle get defeated by Ciel? Would Kuroyukihime just be too great to lose? I’ll leave that to the imagination or for another ranking list in the future. So to recap, Noelle is indeed the greatest Shonen Jump main heroine of all time and lives up to her rep. I’m not able to take that one step further to call her the greatest main heroine of all time though. That is a title that will ultimately serve as a roadblock for now but who knows. If she continues to take opponents down and make a name for herself then she can only go up from here.

Bone Collection Review

All right, it’s time for the next cancelled Jump title. I pretty much binged the whole series in one day (Aside from the first chapter) but it’s not very long at 15 chapters so that’s not ultra impressive. It’s a series with an interesting core concept about yokai and exorcists so this could have been the next big thing. Unfortunately it stumbles out of the gate and never really got interesting enough to break out. Additionally a huge chunk of the story makes absolutely no sense and I will get into that later on.

So the basic plot is that the world is filled with Yokai and Exorcists have to take them down. Unlike other stories, all humans know about Yokai and Exorcists are given a pretty good amount of social power. For example, the main character Kazami can skip class if it’s to fight an exorcist. It’s just a normal part of life to the point where kids even watch the fights from the roof sometimes as they laugh at the exorcists. It’s all fun and games which means that the exorcists must be doing well since people aren’t afraid of the Yokai.

As we’re introduced to Kazami, we find out that he’s from one of the most well known Exorcist families. In this world there are two ways to become an Exorcist, to have incredible skills and pass some tests or to be born into a family. Kazami’s the latter case so he’s an exorcist but his skills are terrible. His only good skill is a forbidden one that he can’t use as it involves borrowing the powers of a Yokai that he comes into contact with. If he ever uses this power then in the best case he will be stripped of his title and in the worst case he will be quickly executed.

Kazami’s life was going well enough when one day he bumps into a girl named Paira. She’s rather bossy but the only girl who will give him the time of day aside from his childhood friend Rino who is always belittling him. Paira turns out to be a SSS rank yokai with incredible abilities but she wants to be human. So she intends to have Kazami keep on draining her abilities and then she will be human once her powers have been fully drained. At that point she will marry him but Kazami is scared of the prospect. Can he drain all of her power and become one of the world’s greatest exorcists?

Kazami’s a terrible main character, there’s no other way to put it and that always starts the series off on the wrong foot. For starters part of his whole gimmick is that he’s a perv and is constantly desperate for any girl. He’ll even let a Yokai go or ditch his duties if it means he can be a part of a group date. That kind of trait you would usually see in a side character or something but not the lead. It’s an unspoken agreement that your main character can’t be like that because then how can you root for him?

He never learns his lesson throughout the series and as Paira is effectively the fanservice character of the series, it doesn’t make for a great dynamic. Here’s where the series doesn’t make any sense though. Kazami wants any girl to take notice of him and here comes Paira, a girl that he finds to be extremely attractive and he flirts with her instantly. This should be a win/win for both of them. To extract her abilities he has to make physical contact with her, usually in iffy ways so he’ll have fun doing that and it will even help him become a stronger exorcist.

Meanwhile she wants him to do this because each time he extracts her abilities she becomes more human. Her goal is to become human and marry him. Then for no reason, Kazami suddenly changes his goal to any girl but Paira. It comes off like the guy just doesn’t want commitment, he wants to mess around but not to marry her. After all, he still glances at her quite a lot and gets distracted all the time but when she mentions marriage then he bulks to the point where he tries to avoid her. This entire character dynamic makes absolutely no sense.

If the author wanted to write a dynamic where Paira is the pushy one and Kazami is the timid lead who doesn’t want to be in a relationship then they shouldn’t have established him as being someone who is obsessed with girls. This dissonance destroys the manga early on. Now you can still have a good series with a bad main character but it’s incredibly difficult and doesn’t help your case of trying to avoid cancellation.

Also, Bone Collection has a real fanservice issue. It’s quite unfortunate because the last few titles have been avoiding that fairly well but this one didn’t. Just about any scene with Paira tends to get dicey. The series really leans on this aspect which is a shame and it shows that the writer didn’t have a lot of confidence in the story to hold its own without doing something like this.

The art isn’t quite as high end as most of the other titles either. It’s not all that bad, some of the proportions aren’t quite right for obvious reasons but otherwise the action scenes seem good enough. I can picture this series getting better with the artwork the longer it went on. It just didn’t last long enough to get to that point. So now lets talk about the characters.

I already talked about Kazami and why I don’t like that guy. You just can’t get past his personality and nosebleeds so that’s a thumbs down for him. Then you have the childhood friend who you may have thought would be the main heroine for a chapter or two but she is quickly taken out of the story. Rino’s an interesting character because she’s quite unique for the childhood friend type of character. She is consistently insulting Kazami and while this is in a comedic way where she doesn’t realize what she is doing, it happens enough times where you have to think twice about this.

She is a talented exorcist and wants him to do better but doesn’t know how to show it. She also seems to like him but can’t admit to this either which gets a little trickier once Paira enters the fray. At that point Rino is really out of luck in just about every way. There’s more that could have been done with her but ultimately her character arc ends when she is put on silent and her texts go into oblivion which was really unexpected but I think the author just got tired of the character.

Paira has a really big presence here and she’s okay. One issue I have with making her a SSS rank yokai is that she never looks this powerful. She has trouble with everyone and while it’s hinted that this is in due to her powers being drained and being in the human world, this makes it hard to take her seriously. She was casually beaten by one of the exorcists back in her true form. So if this is the power of an SSS yokai then that’s a bit concerning for them. I suppose it’s a twist if the Exorcists are actually the guys with the upper hand this time but it sure doesn’t feel that way.

Power levels aside, I do like how forward she is about her goals. She talks about marriage and wanting to be human right away without beating around the bush. That part’s commendable and her final ability of being able to activate a reality marble of sorts where she summons a wedding was also very original. In a way her fun personality is wasted on Kazami as a foil but I’ll give her a passing grade.

One of the worst characters here has to be Akina. He’s Kazami’s older brother and an expert exorcist so you’d expect this guy to be a big player right? Wrong! Paira humbles him almost immediately when the guy starts to put on airs. She completely breaks him to the point where he becomes her slave. She rides him around the house like a horse and insults him quite a bit. Paira was able to get this power position because she got some strong blackmail material which didn’t help his case either. Akina is a good example of a character who had some potential but then completely blew up in an instant.

Then you have the twins Sakurai and Runa but their inclusion is problematic as Kazami points out. See, the whole “Using yokai energy” thing is completely forbidden. The characters beat this into Kazami throughout the series yet near the end we find out that among the top ranking Exorcists there is a pair who uses this casually. Really?? Why is this such a big deal then? They’re doing the exact same thing as Kazami and Paira but not getting any heat about it.

There’s not enough world building for any explanation here. I’m sure the series could give us something but it just seems to undermine everything about the process. As characters they aren’t bad but they basically exist just to train Kazami and Paira into being stronger fighters and don’t do much on their own. They seem a bit young to be fighting Yokai but when you have super powers I guess that evens things out.

Then you have Abe, the first Exorcist King to appear. She’s a fun character and has a few twists up her sleeve. See, she uses a puppet body which happens to look like a very buff dude but her real form is just your average teen girl. She gets a lot of hype since even Paira is completely terrified of her. Abe’s abilities are definitely the real deal and this time it makes sense since she is one of the highest ranking fighters in the series.

I would still argue that Paira should win this fight easily but maybe being an SSS demon isn’t all it’s cracked up to be right? I liked Abe, she brings in a lot of energy to the team dynamic which is something the heroes needed. She has the power needed to back up her tough talk and she’s also fairly reasonable for one of these higher ups.

Compare her to the next king we meet in Shishino and there’s no competition. This guy thinks all Yokai are evil and won’t listen to reason. He doesn’t really appear enough to get more development than that. Don’t even mention the final 2 kings as they get wrecked by the demon Kyubi off screen. So much for the Exorcists right?

That leads us to the final boss of the series, Kyubi. I was glad we got at least one real boss at the end of the series instead of all the monsters of the week. Don’t get me wrong, you need those guys for pre arc but if the series is going to be cancelled early then I at least want my memorable final fight. Kyubi does well in that role as he takes down multiple kings and establishes himself as a true threat. He had to be strong too since after Kazami and Paira’s training they were so strong that they took down an arc’s worth of fighters in one page. The arc had been shaping itself up Saint Seiya style with the heroes having to destroy a bunch of towers and each one was guarded by a powerful Yokai. Little did the villains realize that the heroes were in a completely different league by this point and would win in a single shot.

Kyubi has a lot of confidence and it’s deserved since he was utterly dominating everyone for a while. The fights are cool and I like his design. Easily a candidate for best character in the series. Surprisingly the series decides to end on more of a comedic note than with a serious climax though. Remember that whole reality warping into the wedding thing? Well, that happens in this part as it ends the series and it turns out that Paira can turn the whole place into a wedding arena.

It was a creative way to bring every single member of the cast into one room, I’ll give the series that. People just pop out of nowhere and since it’s magic you can’t really complain about it right? It certainly feels rushed as this power comes out of nowhere but I do like that it implies Paira has been holding out on us the entire time. I would like that twist because it restores some of her SSS rank hype. It may be a little too late but it’s better than nothing. The series even squeezes in a time skip epilogue which is rare for these titles.

So at least you have a complete story here. Albeit a rushed one but it’s a start. So what would I have done differently to keep this one from being cancelled? Well, the obvious answer here is change Kazami’s character entirely so he is more of a timid kid who wants to be a great exorcist but has no skills. It’s been done many times in the past but it still works and would also explain why he is reluctant to use his skills with Paira since he would be way too shy around girls for something like that.

Now you’ve got a more traditional setup and a main character that won’t have you rolling your eyes the entire time. As a second step, definitely reduce the fanservice and since the series isn’t being cancelled, you don’t have to turn the serious final boss into a happy wedding. Instead you play the fight straight and that will work quite well. These are my quick changes to try and salvage the series. With that it could have worked because then you’ve got a nice adventure story which may tick off all of the usual boxes of a generic adventure at first but then after that it would have time to slowly become its own thing.

Overall, Bone Collection has a decent premise, it just didn’t live up to its potential. That’s to be expected with these quick cancelled series since they were cancelled for a reason right? Some have still been quite solid though, but this was not one of them. It’s not bad like I Tell C but it’s just not very good either. I wouldn’t be recommending it to anyone and if you wanted a classic exorcist title you’d be better off with D Gray Man or Twin Star Exorcists. There is no shortage of exorcist manga titles though so I would recommend any number of them over this one. Bone Collection will just end up fading away into obscurity.

Overall 5/10