Thursday, February 28, 2008

Harukaze Bitter Bop

Overall Rating: C+
Synopsis: Created by Court Betten, the series follows Chiyoharu, a high school boy who used to be a troublemaker. After he and his friends set fire to the school, he became an outcast, and his friends were expelled. Now, he beats himself up over the incident and abandoning his friends. He hasn't seen them since the fire, and is worried they hate him, but he thinks that by continuing in school despite being an outkast, he can make things right. (I'm not sure how that logic works, but whatever).

One morning on his way to school, Chiyoharu witnesses a man jump in front of a speeding train, but instead of going splat, he gets up and walks it off. It turns out that the man is Souza of the North Wind, but he has amnesia and can remember nothing else. He had hoped to knock some memories loose by getting hit by a train, but it appears to have no effect. For whatever fucking reason, he thinks Chiyoharu looks familiar, and wants to hang out with him.

The same day, Chiyoharu meets Kaede, a female high school detective (apparently there is a whole organization of high school detectives), who falls instantly in love with Souza and believes every woman ever wants his hot body. Together they are trying to find out Souza's past, and Chiyoharu's connection to him, and not die (since apparently a bunch of bad ass dudes are trying to kill Souza).

I am torn on this one. On the one hand, the concepts are fun, and the plot is wacky. What's not to love? On the other hand, the manga is a little too wacky at times, foregoing plot in favor of zaniness. Also, Chiyoharu comes off as unsympathetic and more like a whiny kid. I did however like the references to M.U.S.C.L.E. (or Kinnikuman in Japan), which made me nostalgic for the little pink figures from my childhood. In short, I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.

No comments: