Oct 7, 2020
Shikkakumon is pretty interesting. I don't normally start off my reviews that bland and boring, but it kind of fits in with what I'll say.
BUT first I'd like to say I have a pretty good nose for what's going to be adapted into anime, and I'd put my money within the next few years, this will see an adaptation.
As with everything I review, I read it once, up to date, then I go back and read it for review purposes. To see if I was jaded by anything, or if there was something I missed, and so on, because I believe a great manga
is great each time you read it. Not just the first time.
To quickly rehash the story: We follow Matthias, a reborn 'magician/adventurer' whom reached the peak of his limit in his previous life, but sought to challenge powers greater than anything he's seen before. Due to a system called "marks" he could only get so far, so he used a rare magic of reincarnation, and started anew. At the age of 8 he began to recall his memories, and was successful in gaining the type of mark he wanted. Now he begins an adventure to train back to his old strength, and reach past his old limits, while the world has changed immensely and lies and misconceptions spread across the world, but only Matthias knows the truth.
It sounds kind of cliche, and over used, but I promise you if you keep reading on you'll like what you hear.
Matthias world follows a set of rules, and laws that bind everyone down. Some anime like to break these laws and create characters who... Rule break. They can destroy worlds with a single thought, or do unspeakable thing that you think would end any situation they come across, or render everything pointless. Thankfully in Shikkakumon these rules are set and we get to enjoy a feast of adventures where it's not something as simple as "me strong, me break bad guys and bad things."
Our MC is now in a world where everything degraded, the knowledge of magic, swords, and sense have regressed. Our MC now has to gather a small crew of people (and one insanely strong handicapped klutz) to correct what is wrong with the world, and train them for the future.
The crest Matty dreamed of having is viewed as the weakest in the new world, and Matthias has to battle hand over fist to prove himself.
While it's not entirely a new concept, the way they take this fantasy-based work which involves reincarnation, has a few unique twists. While normally you think "old man in a young body, can probably destroy a town with a fireball" Matthias cannot, he's still stuck in a child's body, with the child's limitations. He has to also train his party from their inept misunderstanding about the world and their powers.
We're given a basic story premise, and through some very awesome artwork, and even more awesome story-telling, given something that slowly grows into an exciting chapter-to-chapter read. Within the first few chapters you're given a brief look at the vast difference between eras, my favorite scene was at the blacksmith, where their reaction to our MC's actions made them go nuts. However Matty reminds the readers that decent blacksmiths in his time did 10x what he did. It truly puts the differences in perspective.
That isn't to say this is without faults, SnSK suffers from what most manga of this genre do lately. There are periods where it stagnates and gets incredibly dull. My problems also stem from how fast things progress in the start, it's clear how fast the story progressed, jumping from the examination, to some major story crisis in a matter of seconds. There is some common sense lacking here, but it can always been overlooked due to its fantasy elements.
You get hyped up and excited very easily as you follow the story, in no way does it slack. I may have ragged on and lost some breath explaining everything, but remember, this is fantasy, and our protagonist is a bad ass with knowledge at his side.
My story review may have been long winded, so I'll keep this short. The art is very captivating, fun, and beautiful. I really love the shading and drawings that go into each panel. It's easy to follow, and fun when it wants to be. There's tons of improvements it could make. It's not ground breaking or genre-shattering.
So here's where I struggle the most in deciding things. On one hand, you have a crazy main character who breaks the current worlds logic, and that's always fun. On the other hand, there are so many overused tropes that it's also mind-boggling, and makes you worry this is just one of thousands of manga in this genre. It's not though, the MC Matthias sets himself apart with his wit, quick to the point comments, and attitude. He's cocky, but not overly-so, while most people view him as unreasonable, he seems to be firmly rooted in his own reason and logic, with limitations he knows well.
The supporting cast is where it lacks, they seem one dimensional and more or less backdrops for now, even though it seems a lot of care and time is poured into 'developing them.' Some characters you can't help roll your eyes at.
Then you have my personal favorite character Iris. Whom you run into early, and should have lots of fun following.
Our MC never once stops breaking what is viewed as common sense, even for a second.
As a lover of this genre, and especially the sub-genre of reincarnation/fantasy, I'm a huge fan. I don't care for Isekai very much, because it separates already grounded fantasy-world's logic, and crushes them using modern-day Earth/Japan's logic.
I found this to be a fun manga, and unique in the sense of fantasy, at least just enough to keep me hooked. Even in my 2nd read through, I found myself paying closer attention to everything and smiling.
No manga is perfect, except a small few. However what is most important is can you enjoy it? Are you willing to read dozens, if not hundreds of chapters? In that sense, I give this one a yes, I can and I will.
What did you think of this review?