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Delinquint Soul Part 2

24 May

(Continued from part 1)


Beezlebub

Beezlebub is a delinquent manga with a twist. Oga, the brutishly strong student of a high school is one day trapped into making a contract with Beel. Beel being a baby demon, and the son of the King of Demons. Oga now has to look after Beel, and keep him safe until he grows up. At which point he will destroy the world.

Quite the twist isnt it?

However despite the apparently morbid tone of affairs this manga is nothing but a laugh riot. From chapter one it is clear that this is a comedy manga. And boy does it deliver. I found myself giggling nearly constantly as I read through chapter after chapter in my quest to find out for myself, what happened next to Oga on his adventures. The characters are not too deep, but then depth is not something you would want out this manga. They sure as hell are funny, newer stronger challenges are introduced to Oga who grows of course at typical shonen pace. Ranging from tough delinquents who wish to take a swipe at Oga’s growing reputation, to Demons come out from hell wishing to take down the Baby Beel before he can fully mature.

All through Oga protects his ward and finds out that there might be benefits to allying himself with the prince of demons after all. Drawing on Beel’s powers Oga can amplify his strength to even greater levels allowing him to wreak havoc and destruction to any foolish or unfortunate enough to get in his way.

A laugh riot with a magical twist. Delinquents and demons and a baby for good measure. This one is a must grab.

Further reading

Cromartie High School, a manga that essentially is a gag manga on Delinquency. It makes fun of the concept with an intensity that is hard to match. The protagonist an honor student forced to enroll in a high school famous for its delinquents adapts to life around him in a series of hilarious adventures.

Kyou Kara Ore Wa!

The title of the manga translates to “From today on, its my turn”. And that’s exactly what the manga is. Two students moving into a new town and a new school, greatly impressed by manga and stories of Banchos and Delinquents decide to become the greatest delinquents ever in their lives. From today onwards of course. Hoping to get an image that matches their heart’s desires they both head to a barber to get some badass hairstyles. And that is how the saga of Itou and Mitsuhashi of Nan High begins. They meet at the barber shop, then again at school in class. And from there their wild adventures takes them off to dizzying heights. For despite the fact that neither of them knew a thing about being delinquents they were both naturally strong fighters. So when push actually comes to shove, they find out that on teaming up they are nigh unbeatable.

An uneasy friendship develops between the honorable Itou and the devilishly evil Mitsuhashi. And the two of them carve out a reputation for themselves in the entire town. Of course not before they have their fair share of pain, heartbreaks and challenges. When I found Beezlebub I was greatly amused and thought it would be hard for a comedy manga to top this. But Kyou Kara Ore Wa! Is exactly that. A manga so good at its core that it will have you hooked from the first chapter. It is a laughter bonanza. You will be laughing so hard that your stomach will hurt. With Mitsuhashi, the Devil contributing to most of the laughs. The characterization in this manga is surprisingly rich with an elegant balance between the comedy and the drama. Of course at its heart it is a comedy manga and that should not be forgotten. The art might turn off a few people but trust me on this, the art is not this series high point. Its the story and the never-ending laughs. This is a not a manga you ought to miss.

Or Lord Mitsuhashi is gonna get you.

Further reading

Angel Densetsu, the tragic tale of Seichirou Kitano born with the scariest face imaginable but a golden heart. A comedy manga that traces Kitano’s attempts at becoming recognized by his fellow students as an equal and the hilarious ways in which they get freaked out by his every effort to approach them.

So as you can see, there is a lot of manga to be read. A lot of stories to be heard, a lot of art to be seen. So what are you still doing here?

Time’s a wasting.

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Delinquent Soul Part 1

16 May


It is from our subconscious habit of grouping manga into categories that we have arrived at the various genres we know of. However, to categorize something as diverse in itself as manga is a catch 22 situation, a situation that resulted in genres with weird names and descriptions, such as Slice of life etc. One such oft ignored and little read genre is the Delinquent Manga genre.

Delinquency is a huge problem in the Asian education system. We have entire generations of kids disillusioned by the prospect of rote study techniques and overtly competitive entrances exams for higher studies turning their backs on society as a whole. Forming into groups, gangs and syndicates from middle school onwards. Bōsōzoku (literal translation, ‘Violent running tribe’) evolved as an entire subculture of biker gangs in Japan. And as with all things Japanese they evolved completely differently than their western counterparts.

Keeping pace with real life, manga also evolved in the only direction possible. Manga dealing with High School Delinquents and Banchos (Leaders) became increasingly popular. Now allow me to be clear, these arent the type of manga a typical fan of the comic art form reads. The art is not always top notch, even amateurish at times. But the story is always top notch. These artists though their comics have spun grand tales of violence, crime and redemption. Drawing upon real life as an inspiration and sometimes even glorifying the idea of gang honor, and honor among the fallen.

These manga take their protagonist and make it clear that he cannot stand within the bounds of society, they show him as an outlaw outcast. Yet he is shown to be an honorable man, a person who sticks to his convictions no matter the personal cost.

A Bancho. In the truest sense of the word.

I took a shine to these comics a while back and had the good fortune of getting hands of copies of the real masterworks in the genre. But then Ive always had a liking for the crime genre. Hell two of my favorite movies off the bat are The Godfather and Goodfellas. And Im sure there are a lot of other people around like me. So this review is for all you people, who like me get caught up in semi romantic and pseudo idealistic fancies of honorable Banchos and gang loyalty, of hierarchies and generations and the tight world of crime that operates on the twin principals of respect and fear.

Allow me to present, the best of the Delinquents.



Crows.


Suzuran is the school of rejects. The most violent of all the region’s schools. The school meant for outcasts of the education system. Those deemed unfit for education anywhere else are sent to Suzuran. They call it the school of Crows. But there is another side to this story. To the students themselves, Suzuran is a shrine of the strong. The only school in the region which has never been dominated by a single person. The school of Crows which stands casting a lofty shadow on all the other schools in the reigon as the strongest, despite being divided in itself. To the students of Suzuran, it is better to be a free Crow than to be a bird of paradise trapped within a gilded cage. And free they truly are.

An epic story full of deep and surprisingly rich characters that details the rise of Harumachi Bouya, a newcomer to Suzuran. The story will sweep you off your feet, be it with the emotional and brilliant storyline or be it with the hilarious comedy it is interspersed with. Hiroshi Takahashi’s first manga, Crows became a massive hit in Japan and Korea. And with good reason. There are many many dynamics in the city of Crows. Including rival schools who would love to take Suzuran down a notch, a gang of badass bikers who will stomp down anyone who dares stand up to them, and delinquents from neighboring regions vying to see who is truly strongest. As Bouya’s reputation continues to soar, the list of Suzuran’s enemies continues to grow. The roller coaster ride will take you up and not let up for even a second.

Read this comic book and I assure you, your blood will be burning from start to finish. I wont be too surprised if you feel like punching someone and go “HORRRRAAAA!” by the end of it.

Further reading

Hiroshi Sensei is pretty much on top when it comes to the Delinquent genre. Crows was just the beginning for him. After Crows and the Gaidens, he wrote another brilliant series called QP. And after that he came out with Worst, another manga based in Suzuran serving as a spiritual sequel to Crows. Read them all without fail.


Also not be missed the movies Crows Zero 1 and 2, set in the Suzuran universe before the events of the comic. The movies are an epic telling of the sagas that unfold in the school of crows.

Epic being the keyword.


(To be concluded)