Yasaka Hachiki isn't a genius, and he's painfully aware of it. Yet, fresh out of high school, he decided to enter a special school for aspiring mangaka: Onigahama, also known as "The Tower of Ogres," along with his buddy Saru. Even at the end of the school's two-year course, it is said that only one or two students actually become pros.
One serious contender is Mikeya "Mike" Touma, a pretty boy with an obvious talent for manga but who has so far failed to impress his friend, a strange girl he calls Myaako. To his shock, though, Myaako actually gives praise to a seemingly mediocre storyboard drawn by Hachi on a notebook. This ticks him off and sparks a rivalry between the two.
Thus begins the tale of Onigahama's students and their merciless struggle to achieve their common dream.
----- Short -----
This series really showed what Masuda-sensei could do... and what he couldn't do. The endearing characters of Jitsu wa just didn't show up here, and what we got was an average sports series that got axed.
----- Long -----
I'm not giving this series a 6 because it was cancelled (Masuda-sensei wrapped up SO WELL on such short notice). I'm giving it a 6 because it was going downhill and becoming a boring slog... which is probably why it got axed.
Compared to his previous work Jitsu wa Watashi wa (one of my favorite seres), Masuda-sensei really tried something different with Shuukan Shounen Hachi, switching from
a harem rom-com to something of a sports/battle-shonen. At first, I was both shocked and impressed. The first few chapters showed potential for great battles and unique, endearing characters.
But it quickly turned into a focus on the two least interesting characters: a self-insert MC with dumb hair, and his perfect rival with no personality. And worst of all - they never interact. In contrast, I loved the characters of Jitsu wa Watashi wa because they were so fleshed out and "real." You could see all of the characters talking with each other, and these interactions would change as more things happened in the story and more characters were introduced. Masuda-sensei weaved an incredibly complicated web of characters and relationships where almost every thread was funny and engrossing.
In Shuukan Shounen Hachi, there aren't enough interesting threads between characters because there just aren't enough important characters. The main conflict is between Hachi and Mike, who are so far separated from each other they might as well be in different manga series. Mike doesn't really interact with anybody else (Myaako might as well be a brick wall), and Hachi's group isn't too big, with only 2-3 other characters with any depth (there's a whole CLASS of unimportant background characters...). While Handa/Panda is a great character with hilarious interactions with Hachi, the other combinations just don't click.
There are tiny gems of Masuda-sensei's brilliance in this series (like the outlandish comedy), but this genre just doesn't do it for his style. The battles and conflict feel incredibly forced, while the comedic parts feel much more natural. Maybe this series would have succeeded in the long term when Mike and Hachi interact more, but the 42 chapters that we got didn't show any of that.
I have a strange feeling when reading action shounen manga. On one hand, I sometimes find those boring if they utilize common tropes that are found in nearly any shounen manga I read. On the other hand, I love the utilization of these tropes, as they bring forth the essence of what a shounen manga truly is. To make short, the use of these shounen tropes must be used well in order for the manga to be enjoyable. As to where I am going with this, it is simply to tell you that Shuukan Shounen Hachi utilizes these tropes really well.
Personally, the story of Shuukan
Shounen Hachi was somewhat boring. I had difficulty getting into it, as it followed the usual shounen formula of someone with low skill climbing his way to the top. As you may have guessed, I don't think that this manga's story is not the greatest. At least for the first part of the manga. Initially, Shuukan Shounen Hachi seems like a plot driven story, which made for a rather weak story due to its unoriginality. However, as more chapters were published, it slowly changed its path to a character driven story. On the later parts of this manga, there is more focus on the relationships between characters, rather than the main plot of the story, being to follow the protagonist's road to success. Put simply, Shuukan Shounen Hachi's story started rather weakly, but made significant improvement as more focus was put on the characters, creating a really interesting group of people to follow, making the story a lot more interesting to read.
Personally, I really liked the art of this manga. It managed to portray the emotions of each character quite well. It helps into showing the intensity of specific scenes, with the art helping into rising the tension. There is nothing else more to say. The art is good, and it manages to compliment the characters and their emotions.
As I mentioned previously, Shuukan Shounen Hachi became a character driven story as the manga went on. As you might have guessed, the characters in this manga are quite good. For the majority, they all have an interesting personality. Although I initially thought that they were carbon copies of other shounen characters, the author managed to bring forth the fun and interesting parts of each character and reduce the more boring elements. For example, the protagonist may seem like your usual shounen protagonist. However, as the story goes on, the author enriches his personality, developing him as a character as he meets new people. Furthermore, the author also uses him as a catalyst in order to bring forth the personalities of the cast. Overall, the characters in Shuukan Shounen Hachi are really good, being developed as the story goes on, with their personalities getting enriched through the interactions they have with each other.
In the end, Shuukan Shounen Hachi was quite a fun manga. Although it initially gives off the appearance of a unoriginal shounen manga, it later becomes a fun ride, following an entertaining group of students. It is a manga that utilizes common tropes, and manages to utilize them in order to show the essence of a shounen manga, enriching the characters, which in turn, makes the story more entertaining to read.
This is my first review ever, so I'm sorry if I'm not too concise.
I'll try to keep it short.
(This review is Spoiler Free)
I liked this manga a lot and the fact that it got axed so soon got me off guard, so let me get to it.
The story has the usual shounen tropes(pretty much the reason why i was skeptical to start reading this manga), but I'm not calling it bad because of that.
An usual guy trains really hard to become the "main character", in this case a professional mangaka, starting from the very bottom and having, of course, a sworn rival, that is better than him in every aspect, and that ends up being his friend as well.
I have to admit that the romance was handled actually kinda well, and the ending didn't felt rushed at all, EVEN if it got axed.
How can i say it? Even if it ended, it felt just like a beginning.
There isn't very much to talk about the art, if you are used to Masuda-Sensei's other works, like Jitsu wa watashi wa, you won't have a problem getting accustomed with the art in this manga, you might even be surprised how much better he got in this one. At times i got really exited, remembering the first chapters from his previous works, you can really see the passion and veracity put in his art.
Now, this is where the manga gets separated from your usual, run of the mill shounen manga. Even if the characters might seem irritable at start, or even like they are "the same" as in Masuda's previous work, you will be surprised to find out that he actually put more thought into making them.
You will most definitely fall in love with the characters, even if they are not "special", their ambitions seem real, so you can relate with them, you just have to give them some time, a couple of chapters at most.
I started reading this manga yesterday and i finished it in a mere day, thinking that it's a weekly manga and without knowing that it already ended, finding that at chapter 40, chapter 42 being the last one.
I could say that it reached it's peak of excitement in the last couple of chapters, so it feels like this manga could've gotten even more exciting if it went on.
Maybe the story wasn't the best, but i recommend you read Shuukan Shounen Hachi at least once, as there are only 42 chapters, so it's a quick read and it's really enjoyable.
The cliche, this is my first review ever. I may have some bias in me but so does most reviews. On to the review of Shuukan Shounen Hachi.
At first I hesitated to read this manga because it was about people writing manga. I tend to stay clear of series like this (like I have not read Bakuman). After reading this series, my entire perception of these types of manga has changed in a positive light.
The story starts with Yasaka Hachiki. He is ordinary and has no formal training in drawing manga.
Then there is Mikeya "Mike" Touma, a classmate completely opposite from each other.
This series has 5 major genres, Shounen, School, Drama, Romance, and Comedy.
The story mainly focuses on Yasaka Hachiki and his two feel classmates (love interests) Handa Sasami and Inohara Ran.
It is a diamond in the rough kind of story. While he may not be polished, with enough time and effort he could easily become one of the greatest. When he gets placed in the lowest class, he has to face many challenges with his classmates and against them. Each experience makes his grow more and more along with everyone else. You get to see how each person within the story plays a part in the MC's growth, not just the MC but also some side characters. The MC is placed in a somewhat weird situation and has to compete against his classmates. The way he and the girls over come each trial leaves a smile on your face.
The story is a short 42 chapters long. While I personally wanted to know more about them and what they would do, the story would have eventually start to drop in quality, as it would be hard to create new situations without them seeming to be crazy.
A major factor that increases the joy I had while reading this was the art. I have not completed the authors other work but I can tell he has improved his style tremendously. The best and highest aspect of any manga artists art is that of emotion. Can the author bring forth the emotion on a characters face? Can he make the moment 100x better by making the characters feel and say what they are going through. I can say he has succeed tremendously. I could feel the emotions on each character, no matter how short of a time they stayed in the story. The close ups of characters faces are very detailed and can easily wow you each time you look at it. The author does not cop out of backgrounds either. While the backgrounds might not be extremely detailed for the most part (do to them being inside all the time), they always being context. The drawings of the landscape are always breathtaking to look at.
As I said, I used to avoid series like this. The main reason was usually the characters. I thought they would be bland and boring. Boy was I wrong. No one felt unoriginal or a complete generic archetype.
My favorite was Inohara Ran. She brought light to the usually drama, stress filled life the characters have. She is carefree and energetic. Has a great sense of humor and knows how to lighten the mood when things go sour. Inohara can influence people to do better with her simple but effective words of encouragement.
The MC is a strong willed person that is set of his goal. He is not invincible or weak. He is in the middle, a man with potential. He can help influence people to do better but also needs influence from others himself. He was filled with emotions that he expressed openly with his friends. He also was the type to stand up to wrong doing.
Handa Sasami is the introvert, the quite shy one. She wore a panda head to hide her face. As time goes on she starts to open up. She is cute and a very talented person. While (from what I remember) Inohara helped Yasaka more mentally, Handa helped more physically as she was good at drawing.