Title: Bloody Monday
Genres: Action, Drama, Shounen
Author: Ryō Ryūmon
Artist: Megumi Kouji
Publication: Weekly Shonen Magazine
Start Date: 2007
End Date: 2009
Number of chapters at review: 96
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 96
A terrorist group has gotten their hands on a biological “genocide virus”, which has the potential to eliminate a whole country and the only one who can stop this from happening is Takagi Fujimaru, a high school genius hacker under the name of “Falcon”. Together with his friends from the school newspaper club and the help from the big boys of Third-I (a secret government organization behind the curtains who prevents terrorist attacks and stuff) he faces the enemy head-on, often with the very life of people at stake… catching, ain’t it?
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
The first thing that you have to understand is that with time passing Bloody Monday becomes better and better in all aspects, be that plot, character development, or like in this case… art. I wouldn’t say that Kouji’s drawing style is extraordinary and super-duper-mega-ultra-unique, but it fits this series pretty well. The characters are well drawn, there are no cases of “arms are 3 times bigger then the body” or stuff like that, and the panels are used pretty wisely. He’s not a maniac of detailed backgrounds and he tends to keep it rather simple, but if he needs to, he can draw some AWESOME backgrounds. I’ll tell you another thing, Kouji loves double-spreads, he just loves them. And using them as a cliffhanger is another one of his hobbies. So in the end, this manga will not only feed your brain but also give you some pretty eye-candy as well.
The plot is consistent and it steadily builds up the hype until it reaches its climax. Your typical scenario of detective mangas. It’s a bit boring at the beginning, due to the not enough developed characters, but after some time even their sole appearance will have a big importance in a chapter. What I can point out the most in this manga are plot twists. You either love them or hate them, and Ryūmon-sensei is rather good at coming up with the one’s that I like.
I’ve read about 30 mangas before I started Bloody Monday and I’ve seen quite a number of characters (both main and supporting ones) and I can say that this manga’s
onlyweak point is character designs. It features a very few amount of “image-burned-in-brains”- types of designs. Notice that I talk about the design. If I were to rate the characters solely by this point I’d give this section a 4, 5 at best. But what’s important is not only the outside, but also the inside. And this is where Bloody Monday’s strong points really are.
Plot Twists, Human Relationship, Humor… or rather some occasional jokes, and of course the whole computer terminology is a mix you don’t see everyday. The one big point that makes this manga different from other one’s is this very computer thing. If you think you’ll learn how to hack into the Pentagon after reading this manga, you are wrong. However, if you’ve spent a little time on the theory of hacking and viruses, you might find some computer terms you’ve heard before. That’s all.
Let’s put it this way. Bloody Monday is a specially made version of Death Note for kids. If you read Death Note, you’ll notice that this manga features quite some number of similarities with DN. Of course in a way, every detective manga is similar to DN, but Bloody Monday goes a little over the top with the look-alikes. However, I have to make a MAJOR break here and say that the more chapters you read, the less it looks like Death Note.
I give this section only a 6 because you can hardly call a battle of wits something original in the manga industry. Add to this the fact that there are a little too many similarities with other psychological battle / detective manga’s and you’ll understand why I can’t give it a higher score.
Overall means overall. Not certain chapters, that you like or don’t like. And judging Bloody Monday’s Overall rating, I gave it a 8. Bloody Monday is not one of those must-read-before-dies-type of mangas but if you’ve just finished reading a manga and are looking for something new, than Bloody Monday is definitely a good choice. It’s jokes won’t make you go cry on the floor, but they will make you smile. The action will keep you always awake, and after each chapter you’ll always want to know what happens next. Another good point, is that it is already finished, and if you have some free time, you might even finish it in 2-3 days. In the end, it will be a joyful read and you won’t regret having started reading Bloody Monday.