Sep 16, 2012
Psycho Staff. It's by the author who did The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer, so fans will notice the familiar art and general nonchalance of the characters right away. Don't pick up this manga with any grand expectations, though, because this work is lacking in a lot of ways.
This is a short manga. With seven chapters of ~25 pages each, there's not a lot of room for development - and no development really happens. Instead, Mizukami presents a central theme around which each conflict in the story is based: hard work vs. natural talent.
A fairly standard plot pushes the story forward: the main character has enormous
untapped potential, and a strange (and cute) girl appears to ask him to utilize it for her cause. However, he refuses, uninterested in the exciting life of a soldier fighting an interplanetary war. She, knowing that his "one-in-five-billion" level of natural power dwarfs her years of training and experience, is furious. He wants to study hard to get into a prestigious school and completely disregard his prodigal psychic abilities. This conflict forms the crux of the story, and the other characters introduced help support it as well.
What pulls this manga down is sloppy execution. None of the characters save the protagonist are fleshed out very well, and the various conflicts lack both proper build-up and satisfying conclusions. It doesn't feel like anything is learned or decided, and thanks to a certain deus ex machina, the main issue that drove all the events of the story is pushed to the wayside. And then the romantic subplot had an ending that felt unnatural and unnecessarily tacked on.
Ultimately, Psycho Staff presents one central idea and then fails to thoroughly explore it, distracted by other topics. It lacks cohesion and a good ending.
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