Teenager Ikuro Hashizawa is kidnapped and turned into a Baoh, a bioweapon with super human strength and other abilities, by the Doress Laboratory. He escapes with the help of Sumire, a 10-year-old psychic girl. Professor Kasuminome, head scientist at Doress, sends various assassins and monsters to try and kill Ikuro, in means of stopping the Baoh virus from spreading and infecting the world.
Baoh Raihousha was published in English as Baoh by VIZ Media, first as part of the VIZ Select Comics, with eight issues from December 1989 to July 1990, and later in tankoubon format on August 31, 1995.
Getting that out of the way, well...Baoh. It reads older than dust, and for a good reason, it was created in the middle of the 80s.
Baoh is a shonen manga about a young man, who is kidnapped by an evil organization, in order to infect a incredibly powerful parasite in his body. The plot is nothing too original, luckily enough, it's not the selling point.
The art is remiscent of Tetsuo Hara's works like Hokuto no Ken and Riki-Oh, but also displaying some of Hirohiko Araki's own style. Overall, it's consistent with the context (80s post Hokuto no Ken
boom), and just like HnK, it packs buckets of blood.
The characters are likeable, but not really developed. Mostly forgettable.
But, if the manga is so mediocre, why do I rate it seven in enjoyement? Because it's a Hirohiko Araki manga, of course! That means that bizarre stuff is bound to happen, and in amusing ways.
Overall, I would rate it five, but I really enjoyed it. A manga with a nostalgic feel about it, outdated yet not forgotten, Baoh is a nice little window to the past, which will please those who seek a short, simple action story. Just don't expect something else, or you will be let down.
Baoh: The Visitor is a very short manga only spanning 9 chapters( short and sweet), but it's still good. Baoh has an art style very similar to Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood which makes sense as Phantom Blood was made several years after Baoh. Personally I think Baoh is a story that was best made short and if it were to come back I don't think it would be as good. A new anime wouldn't really be great and the OVA was oka, but I don't feel it captured Baoh accurately. I also think that Baoh's appearance in All Star Battle was awesome and I
hope he returns in Eyes of Heaven.
Hirohiko Araki is of course incredibly well-known for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but after getting current on that, I decided to check out one of his earlier works -- Baoh. This is a manga that I feel suffers from simply being too short. I think the idea has some potential, but it fails to ever become anything great, simply being "just ok".
The story centers around our main character Ikuro, who is forcibly given superpowers by an evil organization. Thus he is able to transform into Baoh. He escapes with a young girl and then the organization hunts them down until Ikuro eventually makes his way to
their headquarters for a showdown. The concept is nothing special, but it's not particularly bad either. The problem lies in the fact that we are overall given very little explanation of the world and characters.
Baoh pulls his powers from nowhere with little to no explanation of them. For the most part, they are self-explanatory, but the problem is we never really know just what Baoh is capable of. It's hard to feel suspense during a fight when we know the character could very well just unveil some new power that we've never seen before. Every fight is like a deus ex machina because of this.
Second, the characters aren't explained very well. Who are Doress, and why did they create Baoh? To use him as a weapon, but for what purpose? The pacing is extremely tight, which ends up being detrimental since very important things like the characters' motivations end up getting kind of brushed over in favor of more fight scenes.
Speaking of the fight scenes, they are, again, nothing special. Araki's art is of course very distinct, and we see something close to what is seen in his other early works like Part 1 of JoJo or Mashounen BT. They're nice to look at, but when it comes to the content, they're certainly lacking the cleverness and creativeness that his later series JoJo has become known for. Rather, these fights are usually fairly straightforward, but then Baoh uses a new power to win. Having the hero develop new powers can be nice, but there's little buildup and it gets old.
Overall, I can't really give this a strong recommendation. If you're a fan of Araki like I am, you might enjoy this. However, between Baoh, Mashounen BT, and JoJo, Baoh is without a doubt the weakest of his works.