The Longest Hero’s Journey
Lets talk Rokudou No Onna-Tachi, a story of an underdog whose persists in spite of it. So for those unaware, this manga takes place with a peaceful kid whose stuck in a delinquent-congested school. There, he and his to friends are constantly bullied and it seems that they will never be at peace at this school. He then receives from a his late grandfather’s gift which imbues a magic mark on his forehead. The next day, it seems that girls have become oddly more attracted to him… Well to be precise, it’s only delinquent girls. This becomes a curse in disguise when the most violent and unbeatable girl crosses path with him and begins to follow him at school – her name is Himawari, Ranna. His life changes as he has now charmed the ticking time bomb in a school full of short fuses.
Do You Even Lift?
This manga goes back to a certain type of shounen. Unlike titles like Bleach or Naruto, Rokudou does not have any latent talent, no special bloodline, nor any redeeming intellect. He is a weak kid who just happens to have Himawari fighting for him. Now he’s not a complete coward, while he was fine with getting bullied the idea of him being constantly taking advantage of her strength bothers him. He tries, and tries, and tries to stand up for himself… and he loses. Since he knows he cant avoid fights he must try to be strong enough to fight for himself.
The art is rough, like roughly rough! The lines are thick, the eyes are usually piercing and the artist will demonize faces when expressing anger. I cant quite figure if I actually like the art style, but I’ve gotten used to it. Impact is drawn so well, the fight moments are choreographed well enough that you never get lost. Nakamura Yuji (artist) has an affection for deep, bold inking. He uses it in great degree when displaying strength. He loves to distort his characters at any given time. It’s an art style that is clearly an acquired taste.
The Guts Protagonist
I found Rokudou interesting because we first see him hating his life but at the same time, accepting it. It wasn’t until he received an all-abiding protection that he no longer could stomach it. One could call it, the pride of a man when a woman gets involved or maybe it simply is affection. Despite the setup, there is little romance, after all, Rokudou feels guilty since he knows these girls are affected by the magic seal. There is also a slight hint of hypocrisy in his way of living as the chapters goes on. He’s often running into danger which contradicts with his desire to live a peaceful school life. I hope this gets explored later on. No matter what, be warned, he has all the shounen powers: Ability to take unimaginable amounts of damage despite no body training, never giving up, always giving a speech to inspire his friends and even enemies, and always there to fight for someone else – it’s all there!
The Cycle – Hate It Or Love It
The main issue with manga is once you learn the formula, the manga doesnt deviate from it… for a very long time. There will be a bad guy, Rokudou will step up to protect his friends and it usually ends with Himawari beating the bad guy. And that’s not really a spoiler, that’s the first chapter! The manga kind of asks you to take a leap of faith that you ‘ll be invested enough in seeing the protagonist grow stronger both in character and strength. In truth, he does, but it’s not a short journey. For most, that my be enough to turn them off. To me, his growth is slow but there are certain plateaus that make the previous chapters worth it! Give it shot, you’ll know if its your thing after about five chapters.