In a city where the law has been rendered non-existent, Yuki and his best friend Tetsu break into the offices of the Seidoukai to steal in a desperate attempt to finance his ailing brother's hospital bills. They ultimately fail but instead spark the interest of the mob's young leader, Kazutaka Hyodo, who offers Yuki a deal he can't refuse: pay him a visit at his office once a week and all hospital bills will be taken care of. Yuki accepts without hesitance and in order to keep his end of the deal, starts paying Hyodo the visits he asked for...
Determined to do whatever it takes to cover his ailing little brother's medical bills, Yuki and his friend Tetsu get caught trying to break into the local yakuza family's office. Hyodo, leader of the Seidoukai, however, is surprisingly willing to let them go unpunished and, what's more, even offers to take care of the hospital bills from now on. He has only one condition: Yuki, without fail, has to show up at the office once a week. Yuki accepts the offer - and his duties at the office turn out to be meaningless. Sitting around and playing chess, Yuki can't help but start to ask
questions. Turns out Hyodo doesn't only have friends in the yakuza world and before Yuki knows it, he becomes caught up in a complicated turf war.
For some, this might be a dragging read. Character relations are many and complex, and the information necessary to understand what is going on is only revealed in small doses with more questions being raised in the process. While readers still wonder just who Hyodo is and where his interest in Yuki comes from, another syndicate with unknown motives is already making its move, and Yuki has an unpleasant encounter with a demon from his past. With it only getting more complicated from there and long and irregular intervals between chapter releases, it can be difficult to keep track of the story's various subplots and fairly large ensemble of characters. Everyone and everything seems to intertwine at one point or another, and it usually takes a few flashbacks to make sense of a present development in the story. Acid Town's plot sometimes feels a bit like a half-solved puzzle where the more easily distinguishable pieces are already grouped together but don't yet add up to a full picture. I suspect this to have great re-read value once it will be finished.
While it cannot be pinpointed exactly where or when the story takes place - the existence of a forbidden polluted zone hints at an environmental disaster in the near past, military aircraft passing over characters' heads during dramatic moments at an impending war - the underlying rule of the setting is best encapsulated in the following quote: "Things that you don't want to happen will happen, and there's no way to avoid it." The world these characters live in is a cruel one, and the manga does not shy away from showing this quite plainly at times. Yuki's and Tetsu's landlord Ryouji and Hyodo's subordinate Handa could be seen as comic relief characters - with their sunny attitude and dimwittedness, respectively, they relieve some of the tension. But even unexpected characters can be linked to darker elements of the story. Acid Town's world is a small one in which every character is in some way connected to almost every other character.
If this is BL, it's pushing the genre envelope. After four volumes, a central love story is nowhere to be found, and what overtones there are are likely to just leave you feeling conflicted. Some involve characters whose emotional scars, as it stands, make them seem incapable of the trust needed in a relationship. Some show that love can also be a motivation for bad rather than good. May it entail getting that revenge they thirst for or simply protecting what's important to them - Acid Town is all about people trying to make the best of their circumstances, crappy as they may be. This is not the manga to read if you're hoping for some smexy scenes, since it's about as far as you can get from manga in which abuse is presented in a way that is supposed to titillate the readership, and it isn't the right choice if you're looking for something that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. But the character's behavior is handled realistically, and even the not-so-pleasant ones are developed well enough to deserve some level of pity for their suffering.
Where to start... Well, for those who read the synopse and are accustomed to bl manga might say “there we go! Another main character being sexually harassed by his superior... Its cliché time!!” like sekaichi hatsukoi, mankai darling and a few others. In fact, it broke from the genre right there since its far more complex than that.
Acid Town introduces several characters that, while being seemingly non-related, are all connected through a complex web of present and past relationships. The usage of time in this manga is heavy talking about events even before the main character was born. Those who like linear storylines with
simple time flow may not like this one. The presence of bl is light but makes you truly cherish it when it happens, it doesn't focus on it, instead it makes use of it to make the story go forward. The enormous amount of relationships between all the characters will be the most interesting point of the story, with heavy presence of people living in a seemingly world filled with poverty and crime. It isn't a bl to cry out “OMG! Cuteness overload!” it will be more like “I'm drowning in my own tears!”.
Holy Sh*t!! Brilliant! As a former visual arts student who gives an immense importance to anatomy, I simply can't stop to just stop reading and appreciate the quality of the work. Good backgrounds with a touch of poverty. xD The anatomy construction is really good, with very good proportions and a high level of attention given to create individual characters. From the hairstyle, to the jackets to the shoes. I ended up to a point that by just showing a single shoe I would know who he was. The mangaka draws manga with more human-like proportions making it seem more serious, he also gives attention to small details that gave me a really good impression of him. He makes heavy use of ground perspectives where the shoes or feet comes into the first plane and where he proceeds to work to a huge level of detail. A very good trait of a mangaka. For most who draw, feet are usually intimidating and its anatomy is hard to represent without flaws, even more when trying to represent movement. However that's not a problem to him, making small details or close-ups where we can see his expertise in drawing the human body. In overall, his art is really good, making good representations of scars or burn marks, his facial construction is appealing and, on a more personal level, is fashion sense to make the characters seem like people living on the border of society is good.
The characters are compelling and some are really well made. Even dead ones. xD Coming to play later on to give depth to other characters and to make the complex connections between all of them. As its still ongoing the plot may very well deepen and give more background to all those who have already appeared. Their relations, at first glance, will even seem confusing, since a lot will happen at the same time, but as the story unfolds things will become clearer and seemingly plain characters will end up being some of the more complex ones. Coming from “boooring guy” to “Whadahell?! I love this guy!”. Yukio is also not your typical main character as he isn't the usual fearless, honest, kind and cocky from most action related genres. His life was full of misery and so his traits are very human like, having fears, traumas, grudges, hate and more.
Well, it was great. Well paced story, intriguing characters, really good art and with something new happening every chapter I just couldn't stop and ended up reading all of the chapters in two days.
One of the best bl mangas I ever read, definitely not your ordinary bl manga, with a few twists, plenty of death, dark pasts and always living on the borderline of danger. To the point where going to a bookstore can end up with you paralyzed by fear for encountering someone who gave you some of your worst life moments.
If somehow the review ended up being confusing I apolosige. Its my first time doing it and English isn't my first language.
Story - Really intriguing, involved storyline with compelling main characters. This story is a step above the usual ‘I like this guy…..there’s some complications and misunderstandings but then we eventually get together’ manga. It’s a plot-heavy, romance-light drama – but the romantic elements meant more to me when they do appear, as I was more invested in the characters.
It’s set in a quite gritty urban landscape in a world of gangs and crime, in a city that has been affected by some as yet unspecified environmental calamity – which provides an extra note of underlying background tension.
The main character Yukio and his friend
Tetsu find they are increasingly enmeshed in various power struggles and manoeuvres by rival gang families. I found I had to make notes as I went on about who exactly was who and how they are related. Complexity is a plus point for me in a manga story but might not be everyone’s cup of tea – if you’re mainly looking for the pretty, or something light and escapist, this isn’t probably going to do the job.
Warning – this manga goes to some pretty dark places in relation to some of the characters’ pasts in relation to sexual exploitation, which might be triggering for some.
I’d rate it even higher but like so many stories involving gangs/mafia there are very few women characters and they are very much on the sidelines.
Art - One thing I absolutely love about this manga is the way it feels almost cinematic in places – we see different angles to the same conversation that provide an extra ‘beat’ or rhythm to that conversation – you feel an awkward pause, or a building sense of tension, or a moment of longing - emphasized so much more through the choice of framing of particular angles/viewpoints of the overall scene. It definitely adds to the atmosphere and is really cleverly done.
I'm a very fond of acid town. I couldn't put it down.
My very first review: When I first read Acid town I had thought in my mind that it's going to be boring and I'll end up forcing myself to read the whole chapter, just for the heck of it. But oh no I was wrong, I got so engrossed by the characters sad, lonely, dangerous, traumatic, horrifying lives that if I windup like one of those characters, I wouldn't survive a single day. I'll probably become a mentally deranged person.
I like a story which the past caught up with the characters, and
everything it's done will have its consequences. However I won't be able to recommend these to anyone I see on the street because it kinda gets with Yaoi, there's nudity and sexual situations that might trigger emotional response. When it comes to art style, I don't really know what's bad and what's good, all I can say is that if the story hits me like a thousand bullets then I dig that.