Kohinata Minoru is a college student at a college that is popular for its sports rather than academic orientation. Although he starts out as a gymnast alongside his friend, Nana, Minoru is bullied by the higher ranked gymnasts. One evening, a karate student at the college, Mutou Ryuuji, witnesses Minoru being bullied and comes to the rescue... but his intentions aren't to save Minoru, but to drag him into the world of karate. Minoru makes new friends and learns some of their dark pasts, including a shocking death that reveals motives for revenge.
When I start to read Minoru I wasn't expecting something big, I just like the art e started to follow the flow. I'm glad i followed that flow!
Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru isn't perfect, of course! There are a lot of details that lack in care, some characters that are bad used and some characters that are complete useless, there was no need for them there.
I belive that in some parts the author lost the track, the final part feels rushed and not really completed. Even though, we are given a ending, not perfect, but possible!
I really think that,
if you like seinen, sports and comedy, Minoru will be a good reading! The fighting scenes are awesome, the history is really good, the main characters are good! Good enough to "fix" the bad parts!
I love it for its martial arts...... but the story has a lot of duds.
To start off with its positives:
As you'd expect from my first sentence, the martial arts display is simply fantastic. While the art style isn't anything groundbreaking (though, I think it's good and consistent for the most part) the fights are amazingly well drawn as well as symbolic imagery for the fights to add even more visual variety (see Minoru's fight vs Ojima with Ojima's vision of the ring as a war zone.) Poses are very strong and the contact of hits have extreme impact which increases the satisfaction.
The characters aren't
the most complex but a lot of them I found entertaining. Last thing I'd call them is flat, save for a few that I'll get into when I talk about the negatives. My favorite characters have to be Kaoru, Minami and Muuto. Kaoru is a total snarky jokester who has fun with his fights to the point where he names his moves. Minami is probably the most pure with his passion for the karate fighting sport with the most legitimately funny actions throughout the manga. And Muuto is a crude and blunt brute who has the more brutal moments in the manga so he's good for a power fantasy. A lot of the characters DO change and are thankfully consistent at the same time for the kind of story its trying to tell.
While I would call a story of its length simple and kind of easy to follow, it has a lot of flaws. But its biggest crime is that it is horribly unfocused. Lots of plot threads and grudges pretty much go nowhere. The worst part is that they were the main source of tension for the story after they were introduced which makes the ending infuriating because it takes away any satisfying conclusion for the characters involved in these in conflicts. Ibuki Kengo probably has it the worst as he has arguably the most important plot thread that gets glossed over. It doesn't help that he isn't really an interesting character from a personality standpoint. Same with Ryuu Oosugi who's a more interesting character than Ibuki but his conflict gets swept aside in a similar fashion. The series has some unnecessary characters to the main karate group like Alyosha who isn't that interesting of a character then disappears. Pedro is a pretty annoying character. I mostly tolerate him from a martial arts point of view to show off BJJ moves and defenses against them. Even though he's the main character, Minoru is probably the blandest character of the entire manga. His fights are entertaining, but he isn't all that entertaining on his own. He's... too vanilla for this kind of story I feel. He really does feel like a shounen protagonist than a seinen one. I actually would prefer Minami to be the main protagonist of the story because I feel he has progressed the most outside of his fighting skill.
This is probably just a personal critique, but the manga's story and atmosphere could've been more consistent. What I mean is that at the very beginning (before vol.8 specifically), the tone in the high school setting is ridiculously chaotic and could've had its own crazy rules like other balls-to-the-walls bonkers martial arts manga. While I don't mind the more grounded and realistic tone and atmosphere from vol.8 and onward(I mean, it's where the best fights come from), I can't help but feel there was a drastic and somewhat off putting tonal shift. I honestly missed the pre-volume 8 tone and would be down to read all the conflicts and shenanigans with the other clubs. Overall, I would've loved to see the world of the high school known for its sports expanded upon.
Overall, I loved this manga but a lot of its short comings can't keep me from calling it more than just entertaining. If you're a karate (mainly the full-contact version) or a martial arts nut, I highly recommend this manga as a fun karate MMA slobberknocker!
Here we have a seinen marital arts manga about a man working his way through the world of karate. As martial arts manga go, this would have to be one of my favorite. The pacing is quick, the characters interesting, and the plot believable. And something about me before I start: I'm a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. Now then, onto the review:
Story: As I said, it doesn't stay in one place for too long. When the main character has beef with someone, the conflict is resolved without lingering in one place for 100 chapters (I'm looking at you Bleach!) During the well drawn
battles, I often find myself screaming at my computer screen, telling the combatants how they should block the attack and or counter. I actually get up and fight the entire battle myself; it's that engrossing. Then someone bangs on my door and tells me to shut the hell up. I click to the next page and the process starts all over again. The manga encourages me to train harder for some reason. Definitely one of the best parts.
Art: I rated it a 7, or "Good". And it is. The artist draws it so you can see every kick, punch, and counter. There's literally one strike per page. I personally love this, but it might be a little too slow if you're not into the fight.
Character: There's a lot of them and they're all interesting in their own way. I find myself rooting for all of them and identifying with their separate struggles in the world of competitive martial arts. There's a touch of romance (straight and gay) between characters. Most of it is for comic relief, which is funny when it comes up. To give you and idea, there's ~1 page of romance or comedy for every 40 of fighting, training, or other plot development.
Enjoyment: My martial arts background definitely contributed to how much I liked it. It's inspirational, funny when it wants to be, and exciting all throughout. Even if you don't enjoy combat yourself, the characters and plot pacing should be enough to keep you interested for the most part.
On a side note: The way the author portrays Americans pisses me off sometimes. We don't like to fight ALL the time! ...Usually.
As a great fan of action-oriented manga's and especially those influenced by a martial art. I came across Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru. While excited by the gaze upon its genres and summary, was I eventually pleased to read this manga?
If there's anything that bothers me about this manga, it's the focus. Though it has the ability to grasp the reader and involve it with its action and dialogue. It does so only rarely. You have a story about a gymnast who, with a tough and flexible atletic body, somehow becomes involved with karate and the karate club. The story seems a little weird at first
and doesn't seem all that interesting. Though when confronted with the first battle scene, much is visible about just how 'good' this manga is.
Battles are clean and followable, exciting and cool. The moves are right, and they put in plenty of fights to still the belly.
The problem however, like said before, is its focus. For some reason, though they have set everything up nicely, the manga just won't carry on as should. You have Minoru, the brave protagonist, and you have his friends. Yet the story focuses too much on the friends, leaving barely any space for Minoru to develop. It is known pretty quickly that he is keen on Karate and has potential. Yet after 50+ chapters pass, not much of this is actually accomplished nor fulfilled. It drifts on too much about new characters being introduced and the back-story about his friends. Surely one necessary for later developments. But one taking too long. I at least expect a growth after 50 chapters.
Though the pace in development is slow, it is surely present. And it will, regardless of how long it takes, eventually pull you in and show you the splendour of waiting for it to develop. In the end, maybe exactly the slow pace is what charms the excitement. That being said. The action is clean and nicely drawn. The art in general is pretty good. The characters are interesting. The manga is exciting and refreshing. The story a little bland, but good enough for a battle manga. There's comedy present to lighten the mood and tight battles to make you sit at the edge of your seat.
If I had the say in whether yes/no you should read this, then yes, read it. Especially if you like martial arts and/or battle-manga's.