The "Diamond Delinquent" Akira Kongō transfers to Shiritsu Raimei High School and desipite his insistence that he isn't a banchō (a Japanese student delinquent and gang leader), he quickly rises in the ranks of Shiritsu Raimei's gang until he becomes leader. Now Akira takes part in schoolyard battles against the bullies and punks from the twenty-three neighboring schools.
From the creator of "The 7 Deadly Sins", this is one of the most over the top battle mangas you'll ever read! Kongo Bancho is essentially a tournament style series with participants being Banchos (delinquent leaders). Akira Kongo is our leading hero who does not sway from his old fashioned convictions of honor & chivalry. His goal is to stop the conquest of Japan so he participates in the tourny, fighting against various martial arts & ludicrous opponents such as a giant shark, an android, hot blooded women, a giant cow, manly men & he even fights a mecha!!
Much is offered in
this series as it also contains a main cast each with their own traits & convictions. Thankfully none of main characters are pushovers & neither are the villains. The two main enemies are Kongo's older brother & father being a throwback to the classic shonens of the 80's.
Being very testosterone heavy, Kongo Bancho displays muscular men & other tropes found in 80's MANIME. To balance out this series, there's also a few attractive looking women who also partake in battle. Aside from fights, the series contains over the top humor & surprisingly dramatic moments found in the flashback of the characters. Many other staples of shonen are featured as Kongo Bancho is a tribute to the classic themes of shonen being "Friendship, Effort & Victory" & excels at it!
Other recommendations would be Sakigake Otokojuku, Toriko, Fist Of The North Star, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Baki The Grappler etc. Sakigake Otokojuku is the closest in being similar as both partake in outrageous battles in highschool. XD
Looking from the other 2 reviews present as I am writing this review, this is the first review for the completed manga. And that is important. Why? Somehow, from chapter 100 onwards, everything became so rushed, unexplained, crazy and sick at times, especially chpt. 100 (which literally changed the mood of the manga from medium to dark for 1 incident).
Kongou Bunchou is a hopelessly underrated manga and I am extremely grateful to the scanlators for translating such an awesome manga cause I'm sure all of Suzuki Nakaba's mangas are relatively unknown and underrated.
The story used to be 10, even if some minor things were not
really explained well, up to around chapter 80 or so. This is because the plot was full of twists, and usually I would be surprised by what will happen next. This is unexpected, seeing how many shounen mangas I have gotten bored of (esp. Rosario x Vampire 2, which is kinda similar to the ending plot of Kongou Bunchou).
Seeing as how the twists are part of the beauty of this manga, I will refrain from mentioning any development as they will be spoilers.
Anyways, one issue with the manga is that aside from unexplained things, there were some inconsistencies in storyline and plot holes especially after chapter 100. But the ending, even if it is a bit confusing and baffling, it is heartwarming and brings a nice close to the manga. This is partly why I chose to give an overall of 9/10. For most of the manga, even if there are tons of violence, people dying (but not often), and sometimes sick stuff, surprisingly, there is not a lot of gore (compared to Rosario x Vampire 2 and Gamaran). This helped the manga maintain a light to medium mood for most of it.
The manga is quite good in terms of the presentation style of heartwarming, intense, heartbreaking, love and hate etc. moments. Somehow, the story reminds me of Bleach too, I'm sure you can draw some references (e.g. the crazy destruction of the venue of the fight and how there is only 1 main fighter each among the heroes and the villains).
It's good how almost all of the main past was explained well, leading me to understand why the characters made certain decisions.
O, and one more final note about the story, this manga does touch about a certain Russian history when Stalin was ruling over the Soviet Union. The plot there really resembles collectivisation, the Great Purge (involving show-trails) and Politburo. This is interesting since I have not seen anything like it in mangas before and it piqued my interest since I love modern history XD.
Honestly, I'm amazed at the art at some parts. Apart from the splendid action scenes, there were a few background scenes which are among the best in recent comics (E.g. There is 1 in the last chapter, which is a view of the town from a hill).
Sometimes due to the small panels and cramming of characters, I could not understand what the mangaka is trying to portray but generally for most of it it was good.
The art was mostly consistent especially for character designs.
Hmm for character I really want to give it a 9 but I think overall, it is only a 8. Remember how I said there were inconsistencies and unexplained stuff? I guess some of it could be for the Kondou family. Especially the power up part.
Character development is great for most of the main characters, especially with their pasts mostly covered, which explains the actions or goals they have. Also, I really enjoy most of the characters, be it villain or not, as like in Bleach. And they are mostly unique, whether in appearance or skills, and the involvement of many characters in jokes or events are good as well.
Character personalities are well distinct, and mostly consistent as the manga unfolded. I enjoy the manga as the characters grow and learn over incidents and events, forming a gradual progression in character development, instead of stagnating with the same old skills and personalities. This is especially true for the few main characters, not only the main fighter character, unlike some mangas which focus on developing only 1 character while the rest act like sidekicks after a while. "Wholesome development", I call it, it is really rare in a manga nowadays.
Needless to say, the enjoyment is great for most of the manga. Sure, chapter 100 was a desperate turn-off, and after that it seems quite rushed and crazy (especially due to little explanations), but overall as a package I couldn't think of a more unique shounen manga than this. It's not just unique, the beauty is in the catchphrases, the jokes, the subtle romance, the "kids and elderly" inclusiveness in this manga, the actions scenes, the backgrounds and many many more XD.
It's a pity that the manga was quite rushed at the end, and there were some parts where the story was not very coherent, but for the most part, it was coherent and there was smooth progression between scenarios and incidents.
If you like manga like Bleach, One-punchman or basically other shounen, adventure and action genre mangas, I believe you will find Kongou Banchou a rare find.
Bleach (There's a similar feel, about camaraderie, one main fighter, powerful enemies, especially someone like Aizen)
Onepunchman (OP main fighter character who is very kind, altruistic and self-sacrificing)
Noblesse (Webtoon which has a similar feel, about the gathering of allies through kindness and fights)
God of highschool (Webtoon which has a tournament/project for fighting, and similar plot twist)
Tower of God (Webtoon with special abilities)
By the time I was reading Nakaba Suzuki's previous work Seven Deadly Sins, I kinda drifted away from it's premise. It was entertaining to read but somehow the manga wash't cutting out how I expected to be so I decided to read some of Nakaba's other works until I stumbled upon one manga. This manga being so Kongou Banchou.
By looking at the cover of the first volume it had MANLINEST written like a colored sheet. The main pro tag Akira reminded me a little of LeoBanchomon from Digimon(I don't know why but it stuck with me). So I decided to read it, and after
the first chapter I stayed up till midnight not realizing i was on chapter 35 already. I didn't know what else to say. This manga is surprisingly very good.
The introduction of the characters, the hilarious humor, the heart warming moments that will make you a sucker for the tough characters, and great 80s tropes and 80s art style that blended beautifully with the ink drawings on the action scenes. This was manga worth reading
However it's sad that manga like this is left in the shadows that manga fans like us don't notice it's existence. It's this type of classic manga that makes you think that other good manga left in the dark should be given a chance to be recognized for it's potential and development for it's story. This is what makes a good classic and occult manga.
Overall Kongou Banchou is probably the best manga I've read in the spring and summer of 2016. It truly is the MANLIEST of manga from start to finish, giving off the Fist of The North Start and JoJo Bizarre Adventure vibe that you won't be dissapointed.
Kongou Banchou is a manga that deserves your attention, it's a little gem forgotten by time. It's my pleasure to write a review about it. Let's get into it.
Story - 7
Kongou Banchou's premise is very simple: a strange, very tall man appears in Tokyo, claiming that he will destroy the "23 District Project" and the people behind it (using his own fists, of course). I was going to give a 6 because the initial plot wasn't that clear, but considering everything that happened till the end and how well paced the manga is, I gave an 7.
Art - 8
Art is OK,
the author/illustrator did a good job with the "80s like" style. Not outstanding, but not bad tho.
Character - 8
Character development do exists, but not so often, just like backstory. On the other hand, the character design are very unique and creative, you'll see everything here.
Enjoyment - 10
Indeed the strongest point of the manga, there is so many plot twists and hype fighting scenes that will make you enjoy it from ch. 1 to ch. 114, finishing the manga in two or three days.
Overall - 9
It's sad to see that this gem doesn't receive the deserved attention, it's truly an 80s MANga made nowadays. The gandiosity of this series can easily touch your heart, the characters and their personalities, the events and the brotherhood feeling are well placed to make you really feel what is happening. I really want this to be animated, but since there's only a small chance, I recommend people to read it, it's a worth read.