Japanese: ジャンク -レコード・オブ・ザ・ラスト・ヒーロー-
Published: 2004 to 2007
Authors: Asamiya, Kia (Story & Art)
Serialization: Champion RED
Score: 7.021 (scored by 613 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.
STORY: Alright, the story of Junk is fairly simple and has been sort of overdone in manga and anime throughout the years. It's your simple "teenage boy gets suit and starts kicking butt" manga like the Guyver and other things like that. That's why I had to ulitmately give it a seven, although it is well done and does add some new things to the genre, the basis for the story has been simply overplayed one too many times.
That said, this is not the Guyver, it is unlike anything you have seen before in this kind of genre. Unlike the Guyver, which is dark in its own right, this series is dark. It is darker than dark, darker than black. (Sorry couldn’t resist throwing in that anime reference.) There is a lot of violence and sexual things that several readers might be turned off by but I think it adds to the whole of Junk.
Also, he doesn’t use the suit to save the world, oh no, he uses it to serve himself. He beats up bullies who did … sexual things to him in school. (Did I not warn you of the darkness of this manga?) He uses it to get into a packed concert and other things along those lines. He is not your happy-go-lucky hero, he’s a kid with serious problems in a world that spawns even more problems.
ART: The art is gorgeous throughout and it is fun to read. The only real problem comes in with the fight scenes between two Junks. The angles are sporadic and sometimes it is hard to tell what exactly is going on but they do add to the pacing of the fight scenes which are fast, brutal, and relatively realistic. (Think the Bourne Ultimatum in manga form and you’ll have about what it is.)
CHARACTER: This is where Junk really shines, as you can tell from the ten. The characters in this series are amazingly well-done. All of the Junk owners have serious problems: the main character (black Junk) is a recluse and a pervert, the white Junk is … famous? (Can’t say too much without spoiling the series for you.) And the red Junk is a murderous psychotic.
But here’s the thing: none of them is the good guy and none of them is the bad guy. They are not white or black they are just different shades of gray, some being darker or lighter but never truly white or black. If anyone in this series is truly good, it would have to be the police force, and if anyone is truly bad … then telling you about them would ruin the series for you. (Sorry!) The only time I have ever seen characters like this in comics (I say comics not manga because these are American series.) are the characters in all of Sin City and the heroes in the Watchmen.
It’s just so good to read about these characters and how different they are and their problems. None of them are the standard hero/villain archetypes like you see in other manga and anime. And the character and suit designs are wonderful although the suits are a bit hard to distinguish from one another at the beginning.
ENJOYMENT: If you can’t tell by now, I really enjoyed this manga. It is one of my top five manga series. The whole thing is about as addicting as crystal meth and at the end of each volume you’ll be begging for more. The pacing is excellent for the most part, some of the discussions within the police department are somewhat boring but for the most part it’s great. The plot is engaging and it throws some unexpected things at you quite a bit. One word: Amazing.
OVERALL: I wanted to give this series a ten but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The only two reasons I couldn’t, and they are very minor, are the slowdowns during the police department discussions and the hard to read fight scenes. But these are not good reasons why not to pick it up.
Also, this is a very dark manga and if you are into uplifting shounen stuff, stay away from Junk. It will not make you very happy. But if you like your manga dark and your characters gray then make sure to check this out.
And I have now finished all the manga and the score remains the same. Hurray Junk for not having a crappy ending.