Busou Renkin is the story of the teenager Kazuki Mutou, who dies trying to save a girl who was being attacked by an eerie monster. The next morning, however, Kazuki is left wondering whether it was all a dream. Lo and behold, the girl, the monster, and his death are all real! The girl, Tokiko Tsumura, was actually trying to slay the homunculus (a beast that can take the form of humans, but whose main source of food is people), but Kazuki got in her way. To revive Kazuki, Tokiko replaces his heart with a "kakugane," an alchemic device that allows him to summon a lance with which to fight the monsters. It turns out that Tokiko is a member of Renkin Kenshi (Alchemist Soldiers)—an organization sworn to protect the world from the diabolical creatures. Soon, Kazuki joins Tokiko in her quest to terminate the sinister being that creates and controls the homunculus.
Alchemy is a very interesting concept, but shonen isn't really an interesting genre.
Add them together though, and you just might get a mildly entertaining action story.
STORY: Buso Renkin is shonen story number 362445815-there's not really much else that can be summed up after that, if you're tired of the typical shonens, well this isn't the place where you should look.
But for those wanting to give the shonen genre a look at, I could easily talk about others that stand out more like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, or Dragonball, but I'm going to talk about the one that started my obsession with the shonen genre (Not
sure I should say that out loud).
The story is about your typical highschool student, Kazuki Muto, who's kinda a space cadet, who is killed right off the bat in less than five pages by being skewered through his heart, but a page later he is seen waking up abruptly in his highschool dormitory room and goes apesh*t on his friends who happen to have amazing reactions to his apparently loud freak out, after what have seemed to be a dream.
Kazuki's friends consists of a guy with a pompadour, a weird guy who gives out informative and often useless information, and a gentle big guy. Oh and he also has a ditzy, bubbly younger sister.
After a day at high school, Kazuki is attacked by a monster created by alchemy called a homunculus, that was posing as a teacher. After being chased for a few pages he starts to have a flashback to when he was killed, which actually happened, and is shown after he was (Mistakenly) trying to rescue the main female protagonist Tokiko Tsumura, who is essentially a female Himura Kenshin but not as goofy.
Using the signature weapon of the series, a Kakugane, which transforms into a buso renkin, a weapon that manifests into a weapon matching the characters personality, Tokiko revives Kazuki by using the kakugane as a replacement heart.
After flash backing, Kazuki activates the kakugane and deals serious damage to the homunculus, then Tokiko appears and deals the finishing blow.
Eventually Tokiko and Kazuki start working together to defeat the homunculi, meeting other buso renkin users, fighting different kinds of homunculi (That can also use buso renkin), and even fighting other (Human) buso renkin users.
Truthfully, you're not going to see anything mind blowing or genre changing, it's almost the epitome of what your standard shonen manga is like, though it does has an faster pace in it's story than most shonens do, you're never feel totally bored of reading through the story, and it does have very unique stand out characters such as the anti hero Papillon, and some what mentor to the main character, Caption Bravo.
If I have to speak of the story, it's basically battle after battle over battle, with story arcs passing by as fast as these battles, in between the parts is normally the comedy situations. Humor of buso renkin is mostly having the characters react to odd things (With Papillon having the most outrageous moments) that other characters do, yet (almost) never crossing over to complete randomness, however the majority of the jokes miss the mark entirely (Like in one scene one character explains a kendo move and some characters freak out from the random bit of information), not even getting a chuckle out of the reader. There's also some romantic comedy, but that and the romance stuff often feels crowbarred in.
The parts before the manga reaches the middle of the series is easily the best the manga has to offer, however towards the ending (That comes across too soon), it ends up with little explained details, a lack of proper character development for several characters (A good bit of them are there in name alone), and well the ending is, very well the lowest point of buso renkin.
The real shame about it is that the weapons in buso renkins are very unique, with abilities most likely to never up in other manga (coughbleachcough), though the concept of how these weapons operate is quite similar to a certain famous ongoing shonen manga (Actually I could name dozens of similarities other than the weapons).
The manga isn't bad, though it would be ludicrous to call it a great one, but typical or average would be best suited.
ART: The artwork at first was very basic, which was disappointing coming from the creator of the famous manga Rurouni Kenshin, Nobuhiro Watsuki, who just didn't seem very enthusiastic judging by the early artwork, but instantly (By instantly I mean 10 or so more chapters later) becomes quite good, however some battles are drawn questionably (The choreography of some battles are not even at the genre's level of manga battles), but some have a very unique style (I mean two or three battles are drawn that way, it looks like it was drawn with charcoal pencils).
The character designs are easily the best of artwork, and the buso renkin weapons look absolutely cool (Like out of a good looking video game).
+ A good pace of story telling.
+ Good character designs and overall very good artwork.
+ The main weapons are very unique.
+ Unique and likable characters.
- Lack of character development for a lot of the characters that appear in the second half of the story.
- Humor is pretty much hit and miss.
- Abrupt ending.
- Doesn't stand out, pretty typical.
At the least, it's generic, but at it's best, it's a fun light hearted shonen romp that hardly gets boring or too serious for it's own good. However, don't go into this expecting another shonen at the level of Rurourni Kenshin though, it's not up to that par.
Story: While it may feel like a tired shonen plot to some viewers, Buso Renkin more then makes up for in pure fun. Never taking itself too seriously, as a good shonen should, the story is the lighthearted tale of a young boy who acquires powers and the responsibilities that come with them.
Art: Perhaps the best part of Buso Renkin. The characters are drawn by the masterful Nabuhiro Watsuki of Ruruoni Kenishin fame. Anyone who knows of him knows of his strict adheerance to the Akira Toriyama doctrine of clean smooth characters and epic battles. Which I might add he delivers in plethora.
Character: WHAT CHARACTERS!!!
Tokiko is a refreshing take on the typical standby/do-nothing female love intrest we tend to find in shonen. Bravo is arguably one of the coolest mentors ever; need I say more then BRAVO SMILE? And last but not least... PAPPILON!!! Perhaps it's just me, but I always find these elegant posh type villains to be such great characters. Their complete and total narcisisistic nature and... *ahem* stylish choice of clothing make them quite enjoyable. Definetly Buso Renkin's strongest point.
Enjoyment: I have a hard time imagining anyone who couldn't enjoy this series. It's not overly long, has enough story to keep things going, and genuinely interesting characters.
Overall: Buso Renkin is one of those magic hidden gems of the anime/manga world. Highly recomended for anyone not tottaly opposed to shonen, and well worth a look for the less enthusiatic.
Buso Renkin is in a sense Fullmetal Alchemist without a main character who has a nepolian complex. Taking place in a world where Alchemy was successful but at the same time immortality and turning bread to gold was a failure.
I think the story was actually very orginal for a Shonen series, while not the first Shonen manga to use Alchemy as a theme, it does give it a sense of orginality for the plot device the Kakugane.
The artwork is very good when designing the characters, effects, and enemies. Some of the background is also detailed to show where the
character is located, also, the wide range of designing the weaponry and facial expressions is well par with how an artist should be able to draw.
The main pull into the series is the wide varity of characters with coloful personalities. Each Alchemy Warrior and Humonculi has a personality that sets them apart from the others rather they are good, evil, or netural. It can also balance out the setting by showing how the characters coop with regular day bases and when there's a huge brawl in one setting.
Buso Renkin is more of an Action/Comedy, something that many manga/anime can combine into a great work. With colorful characters, well detailed backgrounds, and orginal idea that seems to make Alchemy seem more like a Battlefield in certain fields and fights. However, there are minor times when the fights feel too short but does have that Jojo Feel when in the end, a character was successful outsmarts the enemy.
I would highly recommand Buso Renkin to anyone intrested in Action and Comedy. Its also good if you wish to see a main character who can be determined and at the same time very humerous when not fighting whose friends and enemies can be related too in some aspect.
Buso Renkin is very similar to Bleach , so if you like Bleach, you'll like Buso Renkin. Buso renkin was done by the guy that did Kenshin ( cant spell the first part >< ) so the artwork is exactly the same . Some characters are unique, others are annoying, unique characters come mostly in the forms of hommunculi, the villians of the series, the other characters are good, theyre just the usual seen it before characters.Some characters to me just arent necessary, Mahiro is an example, however characters like these dont take away from the story. The weapon designs are intresting, some are more
intresting than the character using them. The fights are done well, actually the fights get better and better as the series progresses. Overall this is a good manga thats worth checking out.