After a four-year absence, Ishida Kotori (QP) returns to the city where even his face instills fear amongst the locals. Trying desperately to move away from his once violent past and live an honest life, former classmate and now high profile gang member, Azuma Ryou, has other plans for QP's future...
QP: Soul of Violence is written by Takahashi Hiroshi and set within the same universe as his other works, Crows and Worst.
Q.P was known as the Billy badass of his generation, you know the type, king ding-a-ling, Mr. Elephant tusk! Though now, 4 years later “older and wiser” QP is back in his hometown and all he wants to do, is live a normal life like the rest of the lambs of society, just eating grass and shitting green. But like any lamb there is always a wolf not too far away. This is where the story gets interesting.
Here’s the bottom line, QP former “Delinquent king” and his friend Azuma Ryou, underworld gangster aka “God of death” both trying to make each other see that
they don't belong in the world their each trying to live in. Who’s right and who’s wrong is not a clear cut situation, it’s a head scratcher. I won’t tell you my conclusion but I will say the story line and the complexity of relationships made me think a little more than the other works from “Takahashi Hiroshii”. I think it’s because for the “author” the story line is a little more grown up and more relatable in some ways, in comparison to other works. Don’t get me wrong there is still some classic delinquent humor in this and it’s probably more than enough to give you that good dose of delinquent mayhem… though like I said expect some more grown up themes as well. The storyline is actually split between two time periods via flashbacks, young thugs trying to prove themselves to adult gangsters trying to survive. I settled for an 8 for the story but I’m leaning hard on a 9 and it is bugging me
I like Takahashi Hiroshi’s art style, though it will probably feel a little dated for Gen X but frankly who gives a shit, the art is more than enough to move the story. The character designs are signature Takahashi “especially QP” he’s a big bastard and Takahashi always does well drawing the big boys and really he’s a master at anything else delinquent/gang orientated. In saying that, for those of you who are familiar with Takahashi other works like “Crows” and “Worst” I thought the fight choreography wasn’t as good as either of them, which puzzled me because he wrote this straight after Crows and before Worst. In saying that the fights are probably still choreographed better than a lot of the delinquent manga out there (Im looking at you Gang King) Therefore I gave the Art a 9. (If you haven’t read Crows or Worst do yourself a favor and rectify that)
The development for QP and Azuma is a lot deeper than the other characters More or less the other characters are just side kick fodder… comic reliefs, lambs to the slaughter, the usual, just enough to move the story. In saying that, Its not a bad thing, although not fully detailed you get a good sense of who's who. Also some of the character developments seem believable and relatable at times so I don’t have any real complaints about development except, maybe the last side story which happens at the completion of the main story, it gives more depth to a certain character, it was weird to me and seems drawn out, but I guess its subjective some might like the extra info, I didn’t, but whatever. I’ll just let it slide and you can decide. So another 9
It was good for me, made me laugh, good action and relationships and sometimes it had a more serious vibe happening. The only thing I thought it could have just ended at the completion of the main story, so not a major and maybe I’m a little bias because I'm comparing this to other works by the same author which were better to me, that's why I’ll give it an 8 though leaning hard on a 9
I’ve already said it all so overall score 8 and don’t forget there is a QP Gaiden after this at around 200 pages; it’s well worth the read. It’s like cold brew after work or that cigarette after lovin, for you poor bastards that don’t know…translation “satisfying”