Dec 28, 2008
Aoi Destruction is a short (only six chapters), manga series, but it's easily one of the funniest short manga around at this time.
The series is the creation of Inoue Kazurou, and began life is essentially a spin-off of his more famous manga Midori no Hibi, although there are two stand-alone stories in the series that have no relation to his other work.
The first three chapters of the manga (called Aoi Destruction) expound on chapter 70 of Midori no Hibi, as they carry on the story of Samejima Tetsuo and his 38 year old father Aoi, the man who looks like a "cute" littlle girl (a
fact which causes much suffering for Tetsuo as he continuously battles the hordes of men who vie for his father's attention - many of whom are fully aware he is a man).
The fourth chapter, Koshoten Yakou Funsenki (Rare Bookshop Owner Yakou's Hard-Fighting Chronicles), tells the story of Kinoshita Yakou, a student who has the family's antique book store dumped onto him by his wayward father. This is a more supernatural story than much of Inoue's other works, and it would have been nice to see this as a full manga series as it had a lot of promise.
The fifth chapter, Full Scratch Eiji, is about a boy named Yoshizaka Eiji, a former model otaku who was more famously known in some circles as E-Model. Fans of Midori no Hibi may recognise the numerous references to E-Model littered throughout that manga, especially in the chapters involving Takamizawa Shuuichi. Ironically enough, Eiji even makes an appearance in chapter 76 of Midori no Hibi :)
The final chapter of Aoi Destruction is called Otono no Naisho (Otone's Predicament), a story about a young girl who owns the family dojo which was left to her by her late father. She encounters numerous attempts to put her out of business and eventually comes into posession of a strange talking katana - with very euphemistic (and slightly perverted), consequences. This manga has one of the funniest visual gags I've seen in manga when the katana is held by a man.
The artwork for Aoi Destruction is very much like that of Midori no Hibi and Ai Kora, exccept for the two stand-alone chapters, where the style seems to be more reflective of the story's content.
Because Aoi Destruction is essentially four completely separate stories told over six chapters, there isn't much room for development. However, the characters are generally likeable enough, whilst some are just so outlandish (like Aoi Samejima, who has all the mannerisms of the stereotypical "clumsy girl"), as to be memorable.
This is a highly enjoyable short series, and is a great way to cheer yourself up if you're having a bad day. The characters and events in the series, especially in the titular chapters, are common to many manga, but the twist that Inoue has given to familiar scenes makes them something quirky and unusual, and gives them a whole new meaning.
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