A teacher named Seiji Hasumi is loved by his students and respected by his peers. However, his outward charm masks his true nature. In reality, Hasumi is a psychopath who is unable to feel empathy for other human beings. Specifically, he has a severe antisocial personality disorder. Because of his mental condition, Hasumi chooses to deal with problems like bullying and overbearing "monster parents" the easy way, by systematically murdering his students/parents.
Lesson of the Evil had everything to please the seinen fans with a dark and bloody story and yet…
A promising start
The manga starts well even very well. The main character - Seiji Hasumi - is a competent English teacher. He takes care of a difficult class like in GTO but do not be fooled! Hasumi has nothing to do with the famous Onizuka.
Annihilate whatever the method is!
Behind his appearance as a kind, talented and attentive teacher hides a real psychopath. Thus in the first volumes, we witness a strategic fight to bring down all those who would stand in his
way. Its goal: annihilate each individual and for that all means are good: manipulation, treason, murder...
Killing for pleasure and only for pleasure
The strategic aspect was the strength of the manga but, unfortunately, this aspect was diminished with each volume. The rhythm accelerated during the last volumes illustrating perhaps the madness of the character but I think it made lose the thread and the interest of the manga: the strategy and the manipulation.
Not convinced... Watch the movie!
Adapted from Yusuke Kishi's novel which strongly inspired the manga, the film was released in Japan in 2012. You certainly tell yourself that this film is not worth watching like most adaptations and yet... The film sums up the manga well. If the story quickly turns into a massacre, the performance of the main actor - Hideaki Ito - is worth to watch. His dark humor and charisma make him the perfect psychopath.
Lesson of the Evil is a short manga since it includes a total of 9 volumes. If the potential was here thanks to the beautiful drawings, the dark universe and the charismatic and detestable main character, the manga changes it dynamics towards half of the story. As a result: manipulation is replaced by massacre, there are no other words... Too bad.
WARNING: No explicit spoilers, but details hint at the vibe and cohesion of the plot.
Aku no Kyouten appears unique at first, but all-too-familiar, as well. The drama is built up steadily, and as the pieces start to come together and characters are developed and expanded upon, you really start to feel like the stakes could hardly be any higher. Unfortunately, the conclusion is anything but satisfactory, or earned. All wildcards built throughout the story are abandoned, all loose ends are dealt with in a flurry of rushed violence that gradually blends together and makes you wonder why you stuck around for 9 volumes.
The art for
this manga is very pleasant. Eiji Karasuyama's art walks the line between pleasant and eerie at times, and it suits the story well - at first, anyway. The characterization is also built well enough, and the core characters the story seems to revolve around are given the building blocks for good development, though not enough work was actually put in beyond that.
Overall, this manga is suffering from an identity crisis. It doesn't know if it wants to be a nail-biting psychological drama or a gratuitous slasher, and unfortunately the compensation between the two is a plain division in the middle of the plot, right when things start to heat up. The escalation feels rushed and unearned, as if the mangaka wasn't sure how to end the story. Don't get into this book if you're looking for a thriller that delivers, OR a slasher that gets to the point in any reasonable amount of time.
A thrill and suspense filled story that make you build a love/hate relationship with the psychopathic protagonist. We're swamped with nothing but uneasiness that makes us doubt the motives of the MC time and time again. The storytelling in the first half was rather slow. Second half though, the pace steadily picks off and escalates the story quite well.The story could've honestly ended either way and both endings would've been satisfying, so I've no qualms about that.
The art is where this manga shines. It's one of the better for this genre of manga. Murder scenes are illustrated glamorously. Author pays great
attention to detail and as far as I could tell nothing was out of place. There weren't any lazily drawn background characters and the background in its entirety looks like it's had effort put into it. The most distinguishing quality about the art style was definitely the character expressions, MC especially. It does a good job of under-toning the hidden feelings characters hold.
Through out the story we get to meet a wide range of characters and they're written in a way to feel alive and make you attached to them. None of them are inherently bad and have quirks as well hobbies that we're subtly told about through out the story. Some characters also contribute to the general suspenseful atmosphere of the story, which I think is an nice touch.
Overall, somewhat anxiety inducing but tasty apple.
So basically this story is about a homicidal sociopath who has somehow managed to become a teacher. Interesting.
The story itself is handled well, it isn't outstanding or anything though. There's no intense psychological aspect to it as of yet and I think since we're about a third of the way through the story at this point there won't be any of that in the future. This story is your average Japanese crime thriller, the kind you would find on Netflix or whatever else streaming services you use. In fact, It has a movie and I'm pretty sure the movie is what spawned the manga
rather than the usual case of the manga spawning a movie.
This manga so far has only one flaw that I find extremely weird. It doesn't completely ruin the story for me in any way but I just find it dumb, there is no reason for it to have happened. The author just needed to push the plot along. This is where we get into spoiler territory. So be warned
So after our beloved MC does his thing and kills school staff and students, The students all of a sudden get this sneaking suspicion that the MC is the one who is behind all of this. Now, this is weird to me. The MC up to this point has actually been nice and even lenient towards students who are disrespectful to him.
I really don't want to get into all of this because it would take me ages since I am illiterate and incapable of weaving my reviews together in a way that doesn't sound like the most long-winded rant ever so I will do my best to do a condensed recap
Student 1 who is basically the class ass and delinquent is cheating on tests
MC finds a way to jam the phones in his classroom during tests to stop the cheating
Delinquent dude now hates the MCs guts and is paranoid about this despite having no reason at all to be other than the fact that he hates MC for petty reasons
now fast forward a bit and this entire thing evolves into the delinquent thinking that just because the MC stopped him from cheating that he must also be the murderer and things just get even more nonsensical from there after managing to convince a bunch of other students of the mc being the killer
I don't find this too bothersome and it doesn't ruin the story for me or anything, but I think it's a rather big flaw that should be addressed. It just seems very, abrupt, for the lack of a better term.
Other than that, I love this manga. It's great, there's not much to it other than the MC trying to murder people. It is what it is and you shouldn't expect any more from it than that honestly. It's nothing more than a short thriller and it doesn't try to be anything else, which I think helps it in the long run.