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Translations: Bleach 595 (2)
By: MIYASHITA Akira
Genre: Action, Martial Arts
Serialized In: Weekly Shonen Jump
Scanlated By: Ardneh
Otokojuku - a private school for juvenile delinquents that were previously expelled from normal schools. At this school, Japanese chivalry is taught through feudal and military fundamentals. Similar to an action film, the classes are overwhelmed by violence. Only those who survive it become true men.
First of all thanks to StrangerAtaru for translating and to ardneh for editing. Now recently i became really obsessed with this manga (maybe because i like old-school manga and because i don't read any other manga as of now, i mean i read Souten No Ken, Jojo and few other, but the releases aren't that fast, so that's what i meant) and i have many thoughts and questions about this manga. So let the bombardment start! The questions and thoughts are random, so don't expect some strict order.
SPOILERS AHEAD, IF YOU HAVEN'T READ UP UNTIL CHAPTER 125 DON'T READ!!!
MY THOUGHTS AND CONCERNS ABOUT THE MANGA:
1. I found several key elemets to this series: one guy sacrifices himself, one guy uses his ultimate technique, every secondary character "dies" while the main four is unbeatable. Along with the obvious weaknesses of this manga as i listed - "dying characters" then coming back, secret techniques, last sacrifices, one more such is the surrounding in which characters fight... I found this element to be of great importance in this manga - the battlefield on which characters fight (like when Hien owned Togashi in the rope battle, Manjumaru's technique vs J, etc.).
2. So far the best and most interesting part i found was the Kyokara... tournament. Maybe even Hien, Raiden, Gekkou and Date were way cooler as enemies (unlike Majimaru for example, never liked the guy, wtf some mohawk mastered the strongest kenpo). I think that secondary characters like the Shitentou or whatever they're called needed a background (or most of the characters in fact, heck we don't know anything about anyone's partents). I find strange the fact that almost every character is a japanese (i know, it's a japanese manga and such, but japanese guys mastering various chinese martial arts is too much for me).
3. When reading the Rasetsu vs Date fight i felt that it was a total rip off from the Manjimaru vs J fight (i'm talking about their similarities on a damage level). Also Senkuu's technique is a ripoff from Gekkou's. Sucks... We already have rip offs in such a short time...
4. It's really cool to read reference about the ground on which the characters are fighting or about their fighting style, but i think the author shouldn't have created so many. Maybe because i read volume after volume, but it just doesn't feel right.
5. I also found several plotholes: when Hien fought with Doug... and the guy ended up hanging from the ladder, and he grabbed it with one hand instead of two. Also when Raiden died Date showed his emotions, while when Hien died Date didn't even comment on it! And he wasn't moved by spoiler Gekkou's death too! Maybe it was only once to show that Date has feelings, but felt awkward.
6. One more typical thing i noticed for this manga is the "i-know-your-technique" syndrom. It happens REALLY often, and knowing that Momo knew that style that throws something and then manipulate the person was a total shock. It didn't make sense. Another thing - characters' traits change A LOT from time to time, which isn't very professional (Dougantetsu's character for example).
7. When the unicycle guy came it wasn't fair to have Senkuu fight him, because i think the fastest of all the fighters is either Manjimaru or Date, it didn't maky any sense. The tenchou gorin fights have become really boring and predictable, it's either the good guys get crushed and in the last moment win or take a complete victory, or the enemy wins with a complete victory.
Why did Edajima lift the ban of Akashi?
Why was Jaki so big (he used a technique, how, that part wasn't explained too well)?
Can someone explain more that throwing thing again (Momo vs the rorourenkai manager or something)?
StrangerAtaru said that in chapter 102 there's a reference to Hokuto No Ken, which is?
Does anyone else think that Araki copied his ideas for the ripple thing from this manga (not sure if there are any other mangas that used some kind of similar idea before Otokojuku)?
Again not sure if Hnk 2 was published at that time, but maybe the Shura guy's skills (the one that fought with Falco) were copied from Sakigake Otokojuku (i mean the burrying underground thing)?
edited for info /Kaiten
Last edited by Freezer; January 09, 2010 at 01:13 AM.
Thanks for starting the thread, Freezer, considering it is long overdue. (though not really expected since...well it is a series that ended close to 20 years ago and is sort of a forgotten Jump classic. I can answer a few questions right now but I highly, highly doubt it will answer for everything that exists in the series.
Some characters do get background later (I know one of the later fights does give some, for example, to Manjimaru...who I think is awesome myself considering that it's a super-powerful fighter and he has a mohawk and mask...and a fight I'll be getting to in the next couple volumes of translation adds more info on Hien), but it really isn't that necessary to enjoy things. If you find out anything, it's a bonus to all the wacky fighting.Quote:
There are many parallels but I never really say they are "rip-offs". A lot of times storylines are repeated but personally unless it occurs extremely close together (like I comment during one phase of the fight with Gandhara), I don't notice it. Besides, Gekkou's style is actually weirdly different between the Kyousatsu arc and the Paaren Seiha arc (though I really don't quite get why, it does make him more interesting and actually makes more sense considering his later revelation) and there really isn't any ripoff I can see in Rasetsu/Date. (for one thing: Date controlled the entire fight from the word go against Rasetsu, even in figuring how to eliminate Toramaru...while J had to struggle until he finally had the ability to realize how to fight on his field and could unleash his new trump card on Manjimaru)Quote:
It's part of the series' bizarre novelty I admit and gives it more charm. A lot of times manga seems to have new abilites and power-ups and such just popping in from out of nowhere, with no reference or no idea of where they came from. Miyashita pokes fun at it by creating his "references", which explain in a comedic fashion an explanation for literally every crazy or strange event or battle ability that suddenly pops into the series. Having a publishing company like Minmei document every last one of these and present them as they appear is probably what makes Otokojuku what it is.Quote:
Date showed feelings with the death of Raiden to show he had them in his own unique way. He doesn't have to do the same thing twice or it gets repetitive. This is just his means of manliness.Quote:
Characters reveal new things all the time and sometimes they just seem to have mastered something similar to what an opponent may know. It isn't really used that often...and considering that many martial artists have studies many different styles and skills, it isn't suprising they have some things they don't want to reveal until the time comes. Besides, many times it is used more or less as a "just desserts" type of deal. (like Momo vs. the Rouroukan leader)Quote:
While there isn't as much emotion or connection compared to the Kyousatsu or even the Paaren Seiha, I think that Miyashita keeps the series interesting in the Daibukai by amping up what was successful: fights and fighting styles that just get crazier and crazier. In a way, it's sort of a thing akin to Bo-bobo: neither have that much story aside from background, but they keep interest by making fights that just get wilder and weirder and make you wonder how the good guys are going to win week after week. You could get away with it back in the 80s compared to the shonen of today. Besides, who fights whom is all up to the mangaka and I think Senkuu's fight with Achilles was brilliant.Quote:
I'll get to the questions later.
3. I meant that the technique that Rasetsu did (when fighting Date) helped him destroy the pillars which we already saw when Manjumaru fought with J and that didn't help Rasetsu to look unique.
About the "i-know'your-technique" - it happened when Date fought Rasetsu, skip one fight and you can see it again in the Momo vs Jaki fight, when Rouroukan manager fought with Momo and when Manjimaru fought with Achilles. There was also too little space between the Momo vs Rouroukan and Manj vs Achilles. Isn't that too much?
I also meant that the whole spinning thing with Gekkou and Senkuu looked almost the same in my opinion. And the disappearing ability of Rasetsu and Manjimaru kinda looked the same. Thanks for answering, it's really great to talk about this manga with someone who knows it well.
Ow have you read the continuation of Otokojuku or the spin-offs? Since you said it shouldn't be compared to the new shounen then does the new Otokojuku fix some of the problems? Is there a sales chart for the manga (i know it's not that popular, but still)?
Last edited by Freezer; January 07, 2010 at 12:19 PM.
I didn't say it was right or wrong. When done incorrectly, it stinks: see Date vs. Rasetsu and the "seeing in the dark" ability. The whole fight between those two was a mess after the initial phase and that part sort of just felt like the cherry on top. On the other hand, when done right, it actually ends up making the match more interesting and can be just as much a deterant as it is an advantage. When Jaki revealed he knew "qi" vs. Momo, I took it as a battle style that all of their level would know. But just because he knew "qi" didn't mean anything in the end, mostly because Momo used it to his advantage to shock Jaki at the end of the fight. The same goes for Momo vs. the Rouroukan manager: it was hinted from early on there was a third user of the technique and having Momo be it and punish him for killing Dokugantetsu was an appropriate end, particularly considering how Momo ended up doing it using the manager's stones instead of just revealing he had stones of his own. Not to mention that it was the only time Momo ever used it because, as he himself stated, he hates that style of fighting and more used it just to teach the Rouroukan manager a lesson.Quote:
But they weren't perfectly the same. While many techniques can be similar considering how many limitations that there can be, particularly using your own body, they aren't. For one thing, the only reason Gekkou was even able to use the spinning technique vs. Toramaru was becuase they were fighting in an ice arena. (that and, as I said before, it really isn't a typical fighitng style of Gekkou and he only used it in the Kyousatsu) If that fight took place on solid ground, I highly doubt Gekkou would use it. On the other hand (from the top of my memory which means it's probably wrong), Senkuu's ability can be used anywhere due to having a different style. I guess the best thing you can say is that many of the abilities, particularly the more novel ones, are more situational and aren't used unless everything is perfectly set up for them to use it.Quote:
It's hard to say if they are popular but I do know of several series that are tied to Otokojuku, both spin-offs (like "Ten Yori Takaku" and the Edajima histoy one) and sequels ("Akatsuki!! Otokojuku"), but I can't say if I have the means (whether the manga themselves or just the will for the moment) to TL them or know if it fixes the problems of Sakigake!!Quote:
(waits patiently for the questions' answers :P). Wow i guess you really love Otokojuku, i can't hear you say anything bad about it... I didn't mean to brag this whole time, it's a great manga, it's just too otokojuku. More so than the bizarreness of Jojo's bizarre adventure... Otokojuku's bizarre adventure?
When rereading the volumes i found out that Manjimaru didn't have moustache during his fight with J? Btw Centaur vs Gekkou was priceless (so far the best fight in my opinion, Centaur was a beast, but Gekkou outmatched him). Didn't like Jagi vs Zeus that much (wtf Jaki used origamis :P). Talking about Jojo i think the best parts are 1 and 2. We had epic fights, GREAT art (Hnk influenced) and a moving story. Now it's gay (bishounen)? Btw i think that Wham's abilities might be stolen from Jaki (the whind technique). This is offtopic but i always wanted to know more about the above-vampire story. We were never told who were those creatures and why did they create the masks...
Last edited by Freezer; January 09, 2010 at 03:40 AM.
Favorite fights in Otokojuku...well, here's my list of mine (so far):
-Pretty much any fight Raiden gets into (his first fight with J and Enpou in particular, I hated his fight with Henshouki because his merciful nature was manipulated wrongly by that creep and the fake hand)
-Any fight with Togashi (from the idiot boxer in the America arc to Hien and Senkuu...every Togashi fight is just manliness to the epic extreme)
-Any fight with J (Momo, Raiden, Manjimaru...and of course, his annihilation of the Genseki-16)
-A few of Momo's fights, mostly his ones with Akashi, Eikei & Jaki
-Senkuu/Achilles (I just loved the strategy in this fight...and how can you go wrong with a guy on a unicycle?)
-Jaki/Zeus (I actually like this fight, considering it just is a stalemate all the way through to the end and the two are just that balanced opponents)
On the other hand, my least favorite fights:
-Date/Rasetsu (already explained that before)
-Hien/Dokugantetsu (I like how Dokugantetsu gets defeated but he just seems too much of a chatterbox compared to his fights with Togashi and later against the Rouroukan leader)
-Anything with Henshouki for the most part. (I like bits like J defeating him and the ability with the bats, but for the most part I just don't like Henshouki at all...and it's because of him that sort of ruins the momentum of epicness Gekkou/Centaur has)
-Date/Ryuuhou (except the dice scene and the part where Date uses Ryuuhou's hair as a brush, I really didn't like this fight at all, in particular how the way Ryuuhou is defeated is a repeat of the downfall of Gyuuhou)
My thesis of "Otokojuku" contains only 3 words... J DESTROYS EVERYBODY!
Yo StrangerAtaru i'm almost finished with 138 so you'd better release new stuff :P. Wow joking great job and thanks again. I hope you'll answer my questions from before. I have the feeling that those minor fights are one big filler, Otokojuku isn't what it used to be for me... Btw i think there was this episode were a group of guys held a giant sword and tried to cut Kenshiro in Hnk. No thoughts about Manjumaru's moustache? Wow you stopped right after Santana? His introduction was probably one of the coolest things in the manga... Right after he's killed in the typical shounen style it's explainaed that he is the weakest of the pillarmen...
Last edited by Freezer; January 10, 2010 at 02:46 PM.
There really isn't anything minor about the tournament going on: every fight essentially is important and crucial to the series and is a chance for someone to show off. To tell the truth, you just have to be in the right mindset...but yeah, the series does lose a bit of it's emotional impact mostly after the Kyousatsu, that's actually true. (but as I said before: the fights make up for it)
And BTW: the last three chapters of Vol. 15 are currently up.
In the anime they keep saying that J's from "Super Police Academy" ? Do they mention that in the manga? Also what's that: (it's clearly the Tenchougorin tournament, but i don't know three of the guys on the right - the one with the goggles, the one who looks like a clown with a helmet and the one with the spear)? Is that the leader of Gandhara right between Gemini and the Heart rip-off?
Last edited by Freezer; January 16, 2010 at 12:35 PM.
And that looks like some sort of collectible trading cards from the Daibukai. As for those three on the far right: they probably appear way later in the arc...not sure.
After all the negative things i said, actually i really enjoy the fact that we have 3 new students fighting for Otokojuku, that was a twist (still i wouldn't be surprised if Dokugantetsu, Eike and Henshouki were alive). I haven't read the chapter that reveals the other, but my bet is that they'll be related to Akashi (the second best 2nd years). Howcome the third years were revealed but not the second years? Actually i've been thinking about this scenario (though it's not very original) - it would be great to have a tournament where all of the good guys have to fight against eachother or at least have their evil counterparts (like evil clones or something). I always loved the evil counterparts in whatever cartoon or manga or anime i was watching/reading.