My notes on vol 3 and 4
About Akira’s family arc
Another hero betrayed by his father!!!!!
So the plot is not that simple as we thought earlier. Kongou family is behind the project. We saw that Takeshi abandoned his son Kai and his wife Aiko, who was the leader of scorpions. Was being part of the scorpions, a step in the plan followed by Takeshi and the Kongou family to be able to make the whole project? … Scorpion style in Takeshi’s fingers should be hurt, I guess.
Now, since the father regrets the fact that the son has feelings of consideration for others sure the mother should be a saint. I wonder if we will see her ahead. Anyway, we have bigger hints about what are the Kongou. The reference to the Unit 731 was unexpected to me in a manga so light like this; anyway it seems the father is the ultimate result of the Yatagarasu project, the predecessor of the 23 district project, a project to create the strongest leader-warrior.
Yatagarasu (eight span crow) is in many mythologies a three legged crow:
Very much like the tattoos of the Banchous, who has a many legged crow or bird next to another tattoo which is a symbol of the power of the respective Banchou. (Btw, what is that tattoo of Takeshi?):
About the battle between the five dark vows vs the ex-Banchou I just can say is pure entertainment!!! Good action, good character development, good comedy (even the manga cliches are object of parody there). Iai was the better to me. I really like the double pages with the poetry and the blows!
Last edited by ukimix; October 19, 2013 at 12:22 AM.
And the banchou are really drawn by the readers. It's similar to Usopp's galery in One Piece. There are drawing contests all the time in mangas. So Nakaba used some of his readers idea for character design. I didn't notice it at first. Thanks Demonspeed for pointing it.
Wow. Then it's nice the author takes in account the drawings of the readers to develop his characters. Nice you noticed it, Demonspeed.
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---------- Post added October 21, 2013 at 08:00 AM ---------- Previous post was October 20, 2013 at 12:18 PM ----------
According to the schedule:
Woa! Akira is like Jesuschrist. He converts everyone to his side. Better than Luffy on that!
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If it's ok with you, I propose to read up to chapter 57 (2 more than the agreed amount), given than the arc ends on that chapter.
This was great great arc. To me Machine Banchou's is the best up to now. It had great action but also certainly it managed to moved me. The general plot is gradually enriched; with the apparition of new important characters and more mysteries about Akira, the Kongou and the Banchou.
---------- Post added October 24, 2013 at 12:21 AM ---------- Previous post was October 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM ----------
Ok guys, how are you liking these volumes?
I share my overall impressions on volumes 5 and 6
The interaction between Machine Banchou and Tsukimi was really nice and well managed by the author. The Machine Banchou’s arc is the first arc in which the parody and comedy element is not as present as before, and instead we have some good drama. Machine Banchou’s feelings and questions about life and death were believable and his final moment with Tsukimi gets to move me.
On the other hand, I was wondering if all of this banchou nick name was invented inside the project, but it’s more like the Kongou family has taken some advantage of that tradition for their project. But judging by the words of the carer of Goukiri, it seems, again, the banchou really is a venerable tradition, just like the gangster beaten in the first chapter said.
Goukir’s carer is very interesting character. He knows much about Akira, and also about the project. With him the world building is big, since we don’t know yet the story behind him and his relationship with Akira. When I read the Goukiri arc she surprised me because she easily accepted her mistakes by herself. She didn’t need Akira’s express intervention on her behaviour or her principles to see that what she was doing was wrong. I wonder if she and her family doesn’t belong to that tradition of the truly Banchou. Likely some banchous belongs to that tradition and other ones are just dangerous and powerful fighters ‘recruited’ for the project.
In regards to it, the chapter in which we see Akira’s father was also very telling. While Takeshi worries a lot about Akira's progress, his father barely pays attention to it. It's hinted now that possible fact that the whole project is a farce, likely used by the father only to win the control over Japan with Government approval. There is also a relationship of mutual convenience between the Kongou and the Government, being the money the benefit earned by the Government. But still it's not clear to me why the Kongou, being that greatly wealthy and that physical powerful needs to develop a project to be able to rule Japan.
Good action, consistent and intriguing character development. Nice volumes.
Last edited by ukimix; October 24, 2013 at 12:23 AM.
I had some worries on how the author would deal with the resurrection of Kongoh but the author managed to make a perfect explanation :
That remind me a post I wrote in the One Piece section on how people should sometime read manga less seriously. Here Suzuki doesn't pretend. And the crazy road goes exponentially with these two volumes (Father and son discussion in chapter 41 is quite memorable).
There are also quite good quotations in these two volumes. I especially like the end of chapter 38 but the French translation is more funny than the scan.
That realistic way of read sure has many adepts. In short is the same when Violet tells her vision power can see all that happens in a circle of 4000 km radius. People make a ruckus of it, and in the basis, it lays the simple and flawed belief that 1 km in OP world = 1 km between us. If people were asked: “do you believe that equation is true?”, they would see there is nothing to complain about, and that Oda simply wanted to say: she can see far far away.
Now Susuki is really an skilled author, and a master of comedy. The whole scene when the robots ask why Akira is alive after being with out vital signs during a day, and the explanation could be seen also as a parody of the realistic way of reading a manga. Also you can see how he adds quasi-scientific explanations (like the hyperion constitution) and other references to Confusio, etc... that you don’t know if you have to take seriously or not. Finally there is no innocence and instead some irony in the fact that some characters of his manga complain or gets surprised about how their lives are alike to those you can find in a manga (here and there is other much more telling quote, but I couldn’t find it.) In the end, his sense of humour is so damn playful that is like if he were joking also with the reader.
k-dom, taking advantage that you have French version, can you tell us what does it says in the bottom-middle panel of this page? Also English's scans has a lot of text in the margins, is it the same in French? If so, what are those texts about?
The second bubble says something like " his muscles have grown spectacularly".
The margin texts are advertisements from the magazine in general.
Thread opened for comments on Vol 7 and 8.
Well, I am hopelessly behind Currently at chapter 21 and feeling pretty damn bored, so far the manga is way below the quality of NnT to me Not sure if I even feel like continuing, I don't have a big amount of time on my hands anyway, and I really lack the motivation to continue atm, because of the rather average quality. Any motivating words from the guys who read ahead? Does it get any better? Am I the only one who still feels/felt rather bored after the first 21 chapters?
I think it depends if you take the manga seriously or not. Kangou Banchoh is more a parody of shounen. And if you take it like this way the reading is quite fun. Volume 7 with the sister idol and the death of the mother were typically so. But yeah I have some time read in transport and I don't watch anime.
Nanatsu is definitively better but I find it interesting to read this previous work as it show a side of the mangaka that we should not forget when reading his new one. Melodias cutting a mountain in half with a bit of wood comes in mind...
The manga is pretty much the same up until the arc about little Kai Kongou and the apparition of Akira's first relatives, which is right where you are (chapters 20-23). I think that you should at least end that arc, since the plot gets a bit more complex with it. Next you will find some two chapters similar to the ones from the first two volumes with the arriving of some new enemies. In chapter 27 you will find an interesting twist that somehow breaks with the pattern "powerful banchou appears - Akira wipes the floor with him". There you will find another dynamic and, yes, another parody of some shounen cliche which takes the following volumes up to chapter 40. Chapter 41 is another interesting chapter on the main plot, and after that an arc about a robocot banchou who develops a nice relationship with Tsukimi, the little girl from the first chapter. This relationship makes the arc different than the previous ones, at to the point that there is no almost parody here, which is pretty much the main element in all the other arcs. Now I'm on the arc about de idol about which k-dom talks above (vol 7, 8). My favourite arc has been the robocot banchou', and I liked also some others nice duels some chapters ahead from where you are. (I would say if you are not sold in chapter 41, then you likely will not find interesting the chapters I have read).
You can see the most prominent feature of KB up to now is parody. Parody of shounen, of idols, of ancient and venerable swordsmen and traditions, of religion, of school of life, of powerful guys, of scale of powers. For instance, it's not rare to find complains about Suzuki's way to manage the scale of power in KB, and I have already found similar comments on NnT. But it's interesting to see that the author is not naive towards it, and simply doesn't care about it. Also, the readers who complain about it, and manage to end the story gives much more credit to the humour and the light and heavy action, so it's like that they could enjoy the humour enough to put aside the other 'negative' features. Hope it helps.
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My comments on Vol 7 and 8
- Iai’s eyes are fine… How is that even possible.... Guessing author's ansewr: "Like I care!"
- Oyanana’s trainig was so hilarious (and cruel). Specially the training of his guts pulling that little tricycle with 30 tires behind… Let's hope the training will be useful somehow in the future....
- In chapter 66 with the destruction of Tokyo tower we can see Takeshi’s anger in action. With out the flashback about his childhood and mom, surely it would pretty much the same than the previous bachous we saw hitting people and destroying buildings before. But the chapter was pretty good in creating a strong impression of his anger and pain, and of his search for revenge. Nice chapter and turn of events.
- Why did suddenly many new Banchou appear beyond the 23 of the District project? I know the answer from the plot, but I also had the thought that likely when Suzuki received all those nice drawings from the fans, he decided to cancel the District project and to begin the Damocles project so that each nice drawing could have some moment of shine… Naaa, but he's a serious guy.
Last edited by ukimix; October 29, 2013 at 05:03 PM.
My impressions on the 4th volumes
First the fight against Kongou and Bakunetsu, it was not as great as the previous ones and I must say I am not surprised, it was mainly to show that these 2 are manly and we already know that Akira(and his family) are the epitome of manliness, I liked the joke with Bakunetsu burning out and the part where he caught the missile but compared to the others it was not very good, Akira's fights always follow the same pattern.
Ukimix I completely agree with you about Akira, I am OK with his magnetism but during Machine Banchou's arc it was too much! I couldn't take the aprt when they all shouted his name seriously: facepalm. It's my favorite arc so far, I guess it's because it was focused on MB's character development and because of Tsukimi. The plot moved with Gouriki's butler too. It was pretty obvious but it's clear now that Akira isn't human, and the others don't care I am almost sure Machine Banchou will come back somehow...
Soara wasn't Idol Banchou. A lot of comedy and drama in these 2 volumes. We are learning more about Kongou's family and that student council is cool(Kenpei Banchou, he killed a lot of cool looking characters though, I liked Ourou Banchou's desing) Nakaba has a lot of imagination(Hykyou's technique, Gisou's figtinh style etc), it's better when he isn't focused on Kongou's manliness and magnetism. Iai Banchou's eyes fine..., OK, maybe the injury wasn't deep. Iai is supposedly "killed" by Kenpei but with Sasori's reapparition I am more than pleased, I like her a lot. Nippon Banchou is bad because of the death of his mother(I really understand him, humans are really bad, I find his reason to fight completely understandable but he is doing too much), I hope he won't become an Akira fanboy at the end. It's Nenbutsu's time to shine now, his fight with Gisou Banchou is easily one of my favourite, I like Gisou's fighting style and character, that scene where he sacrificed himself is my favorite so far. The manga just became better with those 2 volumes IMO, interactions and comedy are great, the only thing weird is Sakura actually, her relation with Akira is forced to me.
Last edited by Demonspeed; November 02, 2013 at 05:18 AM.
That old truck is lovely and there, the whole cast is entertaining, the shark banchou included. (That would be a better choice to the one page rec thread).
Sakura should be another parody of the girl in love of the protagonist in many shounen mangas. But sure there are more entertaining characters than her. And coming to think on Akira's manly presentation, sure his muscles are also a parody and exaggeration of many shounen mangas (Dragon Ball, Toriko). It's interesting the comparison with Meliodas, who is short, has no big muscles and seems to be a charming pervy child. Sure the author knows he's exaggerating with Akira...
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Thread opened for comments on Vol 9 and 10.
My comment on vol 9 and 10:
Hakai banchou was completely unnecessary, and it’s kind of waste of panels to make the whole Mugejima arc end in a fight with him. Basically the manga got repetitive with that fight, and Hakai was maybe the most boring rival, much less interesting than all the previous ones. From the Mugegima arc I only save the literature Banchou (very creative character), the whole scene in the bridge which was lovely with the shark and all, and the few chapters in which we learnt more about the Kongous and about their past.
Also I didn’t enjoy particularly the arc about the return of Iai and that little girl banchou. I suppose a good joke that is repeated can lose its funny effect. Right now I’m just curious about how the main plot line ends.
---------- Post added November 13, 2013 at 09:15 PM ---------- Previous post was November 04, 2013 at 08:41 PM ----------
Thread opened for comments on Vol 11 and 12 and on the whole serie.
A short comment on the whole manga:
In all honesty, I think half of all Banchous we saw would have been enough to tell the story in much better way. If I enjoyed some pages from the last 4 volumes, basically I think al the Banchous in white uniform didn't add much to the story, with the only exception of Literature Banchou.
The main plot of the manga, which is about Akira and his family, is developed in no more than 10 chapters. The volumes and chapters focused on the development of Akira's closer friends (Iai to Hikio) takes the first 4 volumes, which were great; being the main feature of them the parody and comedy side. Later the arc about Machine Banchou was good stuff. But after it, we only can see too many banchou characters barely developed, with repetitive and tiresome fights... blows come, blows go with out much plot development, and with not the great comedic effect accomplished in the first half (outstanding exception to Shark Banchou and the whole scene in the bridge in the way to the airport). Finally the 'like I care' explanation was good once, but I'm not sure it was working in the last half of the manga, and even less in the final apparition of Akira. Ok, he changed to 'I did the things properly', but I don't think is good at that point when you are a bit tired of seeing how Akira recovers miraculously too many times. With 60 chapters would have been enough.
Last edited by ukimix; November 02, 2013 at 06:49 AM.