Synonyms: The Old Man
Published: Jun 30, 2000 to Apr 26, 2001
Score: 7.861 (scored by 219 users)
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SynopsisLiving in poor neighborhoods of Osaka, Kumada watch over his wife and two young children. He is huge and riddled with scars and he works hard, smokes and drinks of sake as if it were mere water, gruff and scary, he talks little. But Kumada deeply loves his family and will protect it at the peril of his life when members of a yakuza clan set on fire to his house to facilitate a real estate transaction. Jailed for the murder of those who failed to burn his people alive, Kumada was released fifteen years later and found his family. He will have to face the distrust of his children who know nothing of their father except that he had abandoned them. But he is determined to regain control of their education, starting with his son, a urchin abused by the tough guys of the district.
The cover is not inviting DO NOT LOOK!
The story, Oyaji, is about a: ‘hardass oldtimer [trying] to make good with his estranged family before it's too late.
At some times completely over the top and highly violent, at others very down to earth.
At all times, manly.’ - Mangaupdates
Again, I repeat: the cover is not inviting DO NOT LOOK!
The plot follows a linear timeline of the day Oyaji comes back to his family, and while we experience what is happening in the present, the plot is peppered with memories of Kumada, Takeshi’s (aka. Oyaji) past and unlike some other rather badly written Manga that uses the same technique: cough, cough, Nijigahara Holograph: you can easily keep up with the fluid and flexible timeline. I’ve got to say that the plot is very realistic; in its prose, in the characters’ emotions and the plot’s development. We see a gradual change of atmosphere surrounding the fearsome character of Oyaji, and the horrific terror that envelopes the man in the beginning of the Manga tones down and mellows by the end of the plot.
The illustrations were very detailed, like hand-cramping, pencil-sharpening, eraser-destroying detailed, I can’t imagine the pain of having to draw Oyaji’s hand let alone his face. Aside from that, the scenery surrounding the characters wasn’t the usual mainstream blank-space-with-random-lines-and-squiggles, you don’t have to guess what you’re ‘supposed’ to be seeing; the illustrator painstaking shows you.
Good job illustrator, it was a pleasure to read the Manga.
Coupled with the illustrations, the characters were nothing but touching in their rude and obnoxious ways (I’m talking about the kids here) but the personalities and idiosyncrasies of the entire cast were obviously extensively thought out and constant. Like you won’t see a character, for example, loving bunnies in one chapter and hating them viciously the next (THAT was a pretty random example): I hope you get what I mean: and because they have such solid personalities, it is so effortless to understand and connect with the family that it just makes the Reader’s experience of reading that much better.
I’m happy to say that although I had my severe doubts about Oyaji (the Manga), I mean I put it off for something like a year! But when I encouraged myself to finally turn that first page (metaphorically speaking) I couldn’t put the book down until the entire series was over and I faced the last page. I’d definitely recommend it to readers who are definitely NOT into mainstream because I can already here the complaints: ‘ohh, what kind of drawings are those?’, ‘Why is Oyaji so scary looking?’, ‘Why are the eyes drawn so realistically? I want them to SPARKLE dammit, this is distasteful!’ and so on and so forth. So if you are willing to IMAGINE and FEEL the plot develop, then hands down this is a must-read but if you want some mindless action and romance: sorry, not for you. read more
Both are intriguing realistic character-based action manga, and revolve around the idea of revenge and setting things right. I highly recommend Oyaji, the much lesser known of the two.
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