Murai Masahiko (16) has a fetish for the smell lingering around a scumbag in his class. One day, a beautiful girl named Mizusawa Haruka transfers into his class, but when they start dating he spills the truth: "Mizusawa Haruka died 5 years ago..."
Who the hell is she!? What are her intentions!? The heart pounding suspense horror Scumbag Loser begins!
First off, if you are just looking for a happy-go-around romance/slice of life manga, stay the fuck away from this one. Saiteihen no Otoko is noticeably different from the majority of other manga because it actually tries* to be a true horror story, with very messed up contents that might just appeal to horror thriller fans. This is quite rarely seen in the medium of manga and anime.
For something that is only 3 volumes long, there are a tons of narrative contents told. The pages are filled with twists and turns, leaving readers on the edge of their seats.
The manga never loses its intensity, though there is a clear departure of tone in the second half of story, opting for a less scary but more “shounen” tone. Compared to numerous other mystery manga that I have read (with shitty ending), it actually gives a great finish. Not masterpiece, mind, but quite good. At least I found it satisfying.
Being a psychological horror story, there is a heavy focus on MC’s (unstable) state of mind. The MC's 'loser' characteristic is vastly exaggerated. Still, it’s entertaining (in a shounen way) to see how even a person who resides at the bottom of social hierarchy can exhibit moments of heroism, at crucial moments.
The art is hit or miss, depending on whether you like drawings of messed-up faces in this mangaka's unique style. Regardless of your preference, the artwork contributes to the horror suspense atmosphere perfectly.
Overall, for its on a whole satisfying story, unique art style, and an interesting MC loser-kun, I award it with 8/10.
For ultimate recommendation, I point you to Ibitsu, also a short horror story.
Saitehen no Otoko a.k.a as Scumbag Loser is a classic example of a story that had potential to be very good, but unfortunately it never was able to maximize that potential due to various flaws.
Saiteihen no Otoko starts off very mysterious, its premise is interesting and original. The story starts with our main character Murai Masahiko, Masahiko has the strange ability to notice odours and smells of various people. One day a girl he knew as kid transfers to his school, however her scent isn't the same.
Masahiko feeling suspicious decides to question this girl(Haruka) and is able to successfully identify her as a "
pretender", though unlike your typical Mary Sue protagonist he agrees to be quiet as long as she pretends to be his girlfriend
After some days Masahiko notices that fellow classmates slowly are starting to change, unfortunately for Masahiko he can't prove anything even if his intuition tells him something is wrong.
Sound interesting right? Well it isn't but I'll get to that later.
The art is bearable to say the least. The major problem with the art that it's full of inconsistencies, sometimes it's very detailed and other times it feels flat out lazy and unpolished.
Thus in conclusion the art was never really able to maximise the atmosphere, or to build tension.
Just Plain Horrible. Throughout the story the MC(Masahiko) is portrayed in a negative light, he has his creepy obsessions, his creepy fetishes but he isn't a bad character at the start, he's just a character you’re not supposed to feel sympathy for. This is all good until halfway when the author tries to take a 360 turn and decides to portray in a positive light. Masahiko was from very early on shown as a scumbag, but suddenly the author decides to say Fuck it all and tries to convince the audience that he had his "reasons" to act in such a manner and tries to make the reader sympathize with his struggles but it just doesn’t work.
Another thing that I disliked was the development of Haruka,in the first few chapters the interaction between Haruka and Masahiko was very exciting and entertaining, Haruka would drop subtle threats and would install fear upon the vulnerable Masahiko, she'd go as far to "transform" the only person Masahiko liked into another monster/demon. Frustratingly enough at the end guess what she did all those horrible things because she loved him. Yes dear readers if you love someone you have to ruin their lives, stalk them and treat them like livestock because that's love apparently.
Lastly and most annoyingly the author kept on introducing characters that really didn't matter to plot progression, maybe Saitehen no Otoko would have been better if the author dedicated his time to develop the two protagonists.
Though it started off with a lot of potential due to bad execution and horrible character development Saitehen no Otoko never really went anywhere, and in a sense it's a shame because the premise was an original one
I enjoyed the first few chapters when I thought it was going to take a "psychological thriller/horror" pathway, but after chapter 7-8 it just falls in quality and plot and thus not worth bothering to waste your time.
I found this manga unique and enjoyable and I believe it deserves more recognition.
The plot hooked me in from the beginning and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page. The manga does an excellent job of being super creepy and suspenseful. It's about a guy who comes into contact with a girl who is supposed to be dead.
The protagonist is an intriguing person. If you enjoy stories where the main character isn't a good person, I'd highly recommend this. He's a loser who constantly looks down on other people in a desperate attempt to feel better about himself.
He says and does many despicable things and is heavily flawed but he still retains a human element that I could identify with. He wants to feel loved and accepted by the people around him. A person's value and love is one of the main themes of the story. It also questions if it is acceptable to change people if they don't match our ideal.
At the time of writing this review (which I don't do that many of unless the work holds a special place in my heart), I have just finished Saiteihen no Otoko (Scumbag Loser), a manga that will stick with me until the end of time.
When I first heard about this manga, I was pretty interested in the story, so I read the first chapter (after finishing the School Days manga), and from that point on, I was hooked, and all the plot twists and turns made for a great story, so for Story, I give it a 10/10.
art is something that definitely made it different from the other manga that I have read. I was surprised to find out that it was a Shōnen manga, because of its Seinen-esque art style, plus the graphic violence made for an even better portrayal of the story. For Art, I give a solid 10.
For it being only 3 volumes and 15 chapters, Saiteihen no Otoko seems like it wouldn't have much character development, right? WRONG. Through all 15 chapters, you question yourself, asking who do you really support? So for Character, a 10/10.
If you think you're going to enjoy reading this because you think it's a Slice of Life/Romance/Comedy manga, you will want to back the fuck away from this manga now, because if you're not used to such a dark and gritty story (especially with the art style), you will have nightmares about this manga. That being said, for Enjoyment, I give it a 10/10.
I have immensely enjoyed this view into the darker, more graphic side of manga, reading it only in 1-2 hours. I'd definitely recommend this manga to anyone who loves the Psychological Horror genre, and can handle the blood and gore that's in this manga.