By Dustin Cabeal
Well, lesson learned: don’t read the description on Amazon if you’re buying manga. The main reason being that the “pitch” for Masamune-kun’s Revenge clearly has information about where the series proceeds rather than pertaining to this particular volume.
That said, this volume is about Masamune-kun, a boy entering high school seeking revenge against a girl that shunned him and gave him a terrible nickname of “Pig Legs.” Now, after years of training and getting into shape, he’s a hottie. He plans on making her fall in love with him and then rejecting her the way so many others have been rejected by her, and then dubbing her with a terrible nickname.
It’s a stupid fucking plan.
Masamune’s quirk is that he still doesn’t feel like a hot guy. The humor comes from him using distinct “hot guy talk” and getting away with being arrogant and cocky. What doesn’t work is the timeline. Why wouldn’t he adjust to this way of life already? How couldn’t he be? We see him training with his grandfather from an early age, so it’s a little hard to believe that it took him damn near a decade to get “hot” and to not be adjusted to it. I get that it’s a statement of his mindset, but it’s not believable given the circumstances.
Things seem to be going well, but he’s far too aggressive in his plan. He infiltrates the girl’s inner sanctum and makes an obvious discovery about her that he’s too stupid to piece together. He saves her from a pair of scissors that one of her rejected suitors decided to stab her with and eventually gets rejected in an intricate way.
And then somehow gets a date with the girl anyway.
There’s a twist that I won’t ruin for you. It wasn’t obvious and really, unless you’re looking for a twist, you’ll miss it. It’s a quick mystery, but any good mystery should give the reader the chance to solve it first, and you just have to have read a lot of manga to see the twist coming.
But yeah, he gets a date with her. It doesn’t make much sense after the rejection, but that’s what happens. The story shifts its entire tone during the end of the date and becomes a different story in my opinion. It felt like the creators were asking you to forget the beginning and that it was just working out the kinks of the story.
The art is okay. It’s house style for sure, but something about it gave me the impression that it was a younger artist. One character, in particular, was posed the same way at least three times in the span of twenty pages. The comic elements also lacked in their execution. They were never that funny and clearly not the artist's strong suit. Background details also began disappearing more and more often towards the middle and returned towards the end. The art is good, but it’s a far cry from iconic or great, even for the genre’s standards.
It's highly unlikely that I would read the next volume of Masamune-kun’s Revenge. It’s not terrible, and I applaud the creators for thinking of a new twist on the comedy love genre, but their execution isn’t tight, and that makes a fictional story like this unbelievable, and that’s the last thing you want.
Masamune-kun’s Revenge vol. 1
Writer: Hazuki Takeoka
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment