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Truth be told, reading this manga from the start to the latest chapter, there isn't much of an actual direction that this manga seems to be taking. All Kagami is doing is helping out his students with their problems and such, and the only suggestive thing of certain progress is that of Kagami potentially being transferred from the current school he is teaching to a school with supposedly more problematic kids.
Despite a lack of direction, the elements involved are quite well delivered. Kagami, the protagonist, being the otaku character he is, would communicate with his students through unconventional, otaku-esque methods, and solves his students' problems through somewhat unconventional and unpredictable means. This is the main selling point of Denpa Kyoushi: incorporating otaku characteristics in helping and aiding those around him.
Another aspect of this manga would definitely be the romance, which is a typical harem, when Kagami would be quite the charmer when it comes to his female students. However, such an idea is not new to the world of anime and manga, when many other works have already incorporated such an idea, and the only thing that has changed in Denpa Kyoushi would be the protagonist's position as a teacher, in which his somewhat shallow female students tend to utterly disregard.
However, the manga also has its set of heart-warming moments that I can appreciate. After helping the student, the arc ends with a nice moment between the Kagami and the student, when the problem is resolved, and all is good, well and done, adding a nice touch to the conclusion of the story arcs..
What can I say. Not the best characters that I have ever laid my eyes upon, nor are they the worst. They are good at best, and they will stay as such. From a glance, you may find Kagami to be a mix between Onizuka from GTO and The World God Only Know's(TWGOK) Keima. It is somewhat unique in that combining these two characters would give birth to a new type of character called Kagami. Kagami is an ADW, in which he can only do things that he wants to do. And boy, when he does what he wants to do he does it darn well. His unwillingness to become a teacher and the otaku-ness of his ways makes him very likeable a character. However, Kagami is also portrayed as a rather "perfect" character, as he seems to have absolutely no difficulty in handling the tasks that the has taken upon himself, and this leaves little room for character development. As such, from the start of the manga up till now, he maintains his character without any substantial development; and at times, perfection can be boring.
The other characters, particularly the female characters, are rather plain and uninteresting. They basically undertake many moe characteristics that have been used over and over, and that by itself is not very fresh and appealing, to me at least.They have their problems, but once they're solved, they are back to being happy-go-lucky background characters that have absolutely no more character development, or any pertinent relevance to the storyline. The students with their problems solved are occasionally brought back for the heck of it, which is mainly for comedic purposes.
All in all, the characters are good and fun but lack depth, and once their issues have been settled they would be left there with no development. Even Kagami, has no development of his own.
Not much I can say about the art. It is a very highly stylized manga, with many characters with much moe-ness in their appearances. Perhaps one thing I could say is that the characters lack much detail, in terms of the clothing creases and such. However, less is more, and perhaps the simplicity of the design of the characters allows the other aspects of this manga to shine more.
I've read Denpa Kyoushi first, up till its latest chapter at the time, than completed GTO, then ultimately realize how much Denpa Kyoushi pales in comparison to GTO, so much so that I can safely say that Denpa Kyoushi can only reside in the shadow of GTO's pure and insurmountable awesomeness. GTO is my benchmark for this particular type of manga, and for me at least, Denpa Kyoushi imcomparable to GTO (This is purely my opinion, and you can see I am VERY GTO biased.) As such, this review was written with such a high benchmark that was set by GTO (just to let you know where I am coming from), and the Denpa Kyoushi criticisms ensue.
Perhaps at the end of the day, no matter how inadequate this manga may seem as I have put it, against GTO, and amidst the rather direction-less storyline, and insufficient(not in quantity, but quality) and rather shallow characters, the manga is very enjoyable. I had a slight grin plastered on my face as I read the manga, and I enjoyed its comedic and somewhat dramatic moments thoroughly.
Denpa Kyoushi, despite my criticisms,, is an enjoyable manga, and the enjoyability of a work is what would truly account for a rating of a work.
In fact, if I had not read GTO before writing this review, I would probably give this manga a perfect 10. This manga has potential, and I would want to see how it would develop in the future, and whether or not it would eventually surpass GTO(though I'm quite certain it won't, at least in my opinion). read more
61 of 61 chapters read
STORY: Now, how the story progresses is what makes this manga truly a masterpiece. This manga, unlike many of the other battle-type mixed with shounen love comedy harem manga/anime, has a rather sustained balance between the development of the battle-type and fighting elements, at the same time love interest between the characters blossoms and can take full form. Another selling point of this manga is that the love interest of characters, and the fighting elements are largely in a synergistic relationship, which are often separated in other manga/anime I've come across.
Part of the progress in the story is the large, fluctuating and immense plot twists and turns taken.Many a time, this manga has made me go "what the actual heck!!??" at the rather peculiar, largely unexpected and totally unforeseen developments it decides to take. I would sit there, and realize, that whatever has transcended is the worst possible turn taken for the protagonist, making this extremely entertaining and engaging for the readers.
I can never predict what was going to happen next, and most of the time, many of these developments have rather bad consequences, or good outcomes that come at a cost. This also another selling point of the manga, not everything that happens can be predicted, and not every end to a matter would be good, for our dear protagonist, Shinya.
Lastly, this manga, has already ended. Meaning, it has its final climax, the epitome of everything this manga has to offer, and gives it to the reader. Also meaning, that the story has an eventual sense of direction! The end of this manga, in my opinion, cannot be described in words. It is perhaps the most beautiful of endings I have ever seen(not that I have seen that many manga endings, but yeah). All i can say is, the ending of the manga is beautiful, serene, timeless, priceless, precious, breath-taking, goose-bumping, and that does not even BEGIN to describe how much I LOVED the ending, and absolutely AWESOME it is.
CHARACTERS: Now, let's move on to the characters. My ammo of adjectives are locked and loaded, and ready to fire at any time. Let's begin with Shinya, our beloved protagonist. For a protagonist, he is rather stereotypical a character. Truth be told, he is a wimpy, slumping, shy, meek, unneeded, unwanted, pathetic, spineless, cowardly, unintelligent, unfit, downright useless and a complete and total waste of space, who is a disgrace to those you call anime characters, that is better off disappearing from the face of the Earth for the better of all humanity(took that a little too far, don't take it to heart; I would henceforth abstain from the excessive usage of adjectives upon male characters of this particular characterization). Therefore, in all essence, Shinya is what I would like to describe as a wump, a mix of the words wimp and slump. I only created this word for the sole purpose of describing male characters such as Shinya. For which at this point in time have used up all my ammo of adjectives, simply because they are only reserved for stereotypical male protagonists, like our dearly beloved Shinya over here.
However, throughout the story, he has shown immense development in his character. Gone are the days would he just watch from the sidelines while others do the work, this time he would be out in the front-lines battling it out. Shinya has evolved quite tremondously, to become quite the person of character, to the point he can even say rather witty and courageous things. At the end of the manga, Shinya would no longer be that wump of a stereotypical, god-awful male protagonist, but that of a rather likeable, at times reliable, person. Though he is still a wump.
Haruna, is probably the only other character I would describe. If you take your first look at Haruna, you would know immediately, that she is the stereotypical female shounen weakling, with a meek, gentle, unassuming demeanour, and in all actuality is extremely frail, fragile, peace-loving, attributing to what many feel to be annoying(what do you know, I still had some ammo left). However, Haruna, in my opinion, is different from all those other stereotypical shounen female weaklings. Her choices and decisions that she made, that have eventual revelation, has made her appear to be one of the stronger characters in the manga, and perhaps even the most compassionate one(I only used "strong" and "compassionate", though i could have used other adjectives, those would be spoiling the story). Thus, her actions she has undertaken would completely and utterly overwhelm all the aforementioned shortcomings she has, taking her out of the generalization of a weak and irritating character, to a character worthy and deserving of respect, at least in my book.
Although I am not sure if this would fit under the "characters" section of a review, I shall just put it down here anyway. I'd like to divide shounen love comedy manga/anime into two categories-namely the harem type, and the couple type. This manga is rather evidently a couple type of shounen love comedy, although it has some haremic(word doesn't exist, think harem in the form of an adjective) elements to it as well. Generally, couple-type love interest is more suited for infusion with battle-type elements, for which it makes things less complicated, and frankly easier to follow.
THEMES: One of the more evident themes is that of betrayal, which is often repeated many times throughout the series. Perhaps it is because of the tumultuous and unforeseen betrayals and happenings that make the manga altogether more enjoyable. I cannot dive any further without spoiling the story, so I shall end there.
The other recurring theme in this manga is also self-sacrifice, which once again, I shall not dwell upon too much lest I end up spoiling the story. However, I must point out. What makes a masterpiece, a masterpiece, at least in my book, is the mangaka's portrayal, usage and manipulation of the themes used in their manga. More noble themes like self-sacrifice, must have an accurate and powerful portrayal, but at the same time not to over-emphasize and over-use the theme, to the point where the theme itself is being used to cover up the many plot holes and back stories. That is being cliché, unwise, and showing a general loss of where to take the manga's direction to. In this manga, I personally felt that its themes were not overused, but in fact portrayed well enough, adequately and sufficiently. Thus, the feeling of appropriateness is there, when there is just enough of the thematic highlights and portrayals.
ART: I have rather mixed feelings about the art. The art, starts out rather terribly. Characters were disproportionate, their eyes and noses are misaligned, and there is the sense of incompetence in the mangaka's style. All of this was rather evident in the beginning of the manga. However, at the start of the manga there was also bits of the art which I thought was rather well done. For example, the highlighting of black clothing was realistic and beautiful. Not many manga can render black clothing all that well.
Later on in the manga, the artwork drastically improves. The characters are more proportionate, and they have a greater overall presence, without losing the mangaka's style of drawing. One of the things that I can garner from this manga, is that it not only shows the work of a mangaka, but it also indicates the mangaka's development of his drawing capabilities. Of which, quite evidently, has evolved and become uniquely his own.
Battle scene effects are also very well depicted. It is not the usual mess of slashes and inconceivable lines, but very beautifully and well-illustrated two pages of effects, highlighting the various characters' powers and such. That much, I can deeply appreciate.
The way that Minazuki Suu draws his male characters are also quite appealing. if anything, I am a straight guy, but I must really commend on how well he is able to depict males in his own stylization, they all have extremely bad-ass appearances and presence, that look for superior from those of other manga/anime works.
The last detail I would comment on would be the characters' hairstyles. Among the male characters, a whole lot of them have very similar hair. This makes it at times difficult to distinguish between the many male characters, especially the black haired ones. However, the white haired males, as well as most of the females, have extremely well drawn hair tufts, that make the characters, quite blatantly, very good looking.
SHORTCOMINGS: Yes, even this manga, my absolute favourite manga in the whole world, has its shortcomings. Halfway through the manga there is a large disparity in timings, and can cause a whole lot of confusion. This would be explained later on in the manga, but it causes confusion nonetheless. Also, this manga may require some amount of patience to read, so be patient and read through it to thoroughly enjoy it.
Secondly, there is also a large disparity in the mood and atmosphere across different venues. At one time, they main characters would be battling it out in some hopeless fight, and in the next chapter they would be in the main character's house, doing nothing and just horsing around. Its almost as if all the tension that had been built up in the initial conflict has completely dissipated, that all sense of danger is gone. This imbalance in mood may also cause some confusion among the readers.
Lastly, this shortcoming is true throughout various battle-type shounen with love comedy thrown into it. There is no proper explanation, of what their powers and abilities entail, no ranking, no class or level system. No benchmark to gauge their power against. They basically throw at you, this character has this particular power, while that character has his own particular power, put us against each other and who would win? These kind of situations are acceptable actually, because of the actual difficulty of creating such a system of powers and such.
CONCLUSION: Overall, this is my favourite manga of all time. Its comedic and tragic at the same time, unpredictable and generally a really fun ride. Like I said, the manga's ending, is absolutely priceless. I sincerely hope that you would pick up this manga, and perhaps enjoy it as much as I have. read more
The characters in the novel are interesting, and slightly unique in their own ways. I love how the members of the neighbours' club converses amongst themselves, throwing in a whole lot of insults and unwholesome things all over the place. Take for Mikazuki Yozora,whom probably has the best choice of words I have ever seen in any manga, anime or light novel. Its not just simple insulting and swearing. Its an infinite chain of words that would completely, utterly, entirely pwn you, as she has clearly demonstrated on Sena, leaving poor ole meat with absolutely no room for any comebacks whatsoever. Sena, may appear to be the typical proud all-rounder, good in grades and athletics and such, but what I like is how she goes about, conveying and proclaiming her pride, demonstrating her superiority. This is especially so when she describes other girls beside her, stating that "there are two kinds of girls in this world, those that get along with me and the other bitches that don't". I absolutely love all the trash talking they do. Their conversations and choice of words are unique and frankly, rather witty, and the author does not hold back in using any foul language, which I greatly appreciate.
One other thing that I found in this novel, that I am rather fond of, is the author's precise and well-timed manipulation of words. When the characters are shouting some ridiculous nonsense, the font tends to be enlarged. You may not notice this, but it truly adds to the effect of the speech or conversation. The author, at times, would also reduce the font size, creating an effect of meekness, subtlety and shyness. All of this play around in your head very well, creating extremely vivd and vibrant imagery in the readers' minds. The author has one of the more engaging styles of descriptive writing there is. This is perhaps one of the things that draw me to Haganai so much, the fact that you can very vividly, accurately, precisely imagine what is going on in the novel, completely grabbing my attention and interest.
The art, is rather interesting. The hair highlights are different from what can be typically depicted in other manga/anime/light novels, and gives the characters an entirely different aura. The art can create a "standing out" effect upon the characters, giving them a more complete, vital, and a somewhat angelic presence. The only shortcoming about the art, is that at certain times when the characters are shouting and displaying great and strong emotions, the art does not do justice to the words that have just been said, the manner of conversation which had transpired, by half-heartedly conveying and illustrating the characters' emotions, giving a reduced and weaker effect of the characters' strong, overwhelming emotions. Other than that, the artwork is spectacular.
The theme of friendship is unconventional, but still extremely well-conveyed, in this novel. Most shounen manga/anime that I have watched, often have friendship being depicted as doing the right things together, accomplishing the same goals, with united spirit and purpose of mind. Haganai, on the other hand, depicts friendship as, being comfortable and relaxed, being who you really are in front of those whom you call your friends, that is the rendition of friendship I have garnered in this novel. Far from those thematic friendship stereotypes, Haganai often has the members of the neighbours' club waging constant war and conflict amongst themselves, all in the good sense. Friendship is in this unconventional sense, but it is well conveyed, nonetheless, to see even this other perspective, of comfort, and unpretentiousness amongst those whom you call your friends. One of the best lines, or quotes about friendship that I have seen in any manga/anime, was said by Yozora, about that of true friends. Many other shounen manga/anime that I have come across do not depict this at all, making Haganai unique in its rendition of friendship.
The plot itself(I realised I had completely left this out), is rather simple and generic.It is not too different from other works out there. However, maybe due to my own ignorance and inability to think, I had never thought that this was going to be a harem story. The characters do not show any particular, strong interest in Kodaka at the start, but would gradually show and expose their feelings. Before, I had only thought that it was just a regular club, going about in their slice-of-life activities. Then, the love interest starts coming out, and before I knew it, the story became that of a harem. Perhaps this is also another selling point of Haganai, the gradual, inconspicuous development of a harem.
Overall, I completely enjoyed myself throughout the read, from start to end(please don't end yet though). Never once did I find myself not smiling while reading the novel, and at times rolling on my bed in sheer laughter. There was never a boring bit to the novel, and this novel is probably one of the best there is of the genre. Of all things that I have read/watched, the manga/anime of the same genre of love, comedy, harem and friendship of such, at most I would say that I like it. Haganai, on the other hand, is absolute LOVE. read more