Kakeru Kurosawa is an antisocial junior high school student. He rarely associates with his classmates, and he looks down on them. But this behavior is topped off by a certain bad habit, his closely guarded secret: every day after school, he sneaks in to the rarely used girls' toilet on the 3rd floor and masturbates in a stall.
Kakeru's shadowy routine remains undisturbed until one day, when a diminutive girl from his class, Aya Kitahara, almost discovers him. Their meeting begins a coming-of-age story dealing with blackmail, bullying, revenge, heartbreak and ultimately, redemption.
Onani Master Kurosawa is something entirely different than what you see at first glance. If you are expecting something erotic or funny, you are looking in the wrong place. Those that can get past the synopsis and exposition will be rewarded, as when you reach the real bulk of the story you will realize just what it has to offer.
It is no secret that this manga deals with mature themes. The problem lies within the fact that it paints the wrong picture for potential readers. The focus is not to be sexually explicit. Rather, it is presented to us in a way that is very
conservative. It shows nothing more than what is necessary to get the point across. In the big picture, this is not a perverted manga in any sense. It is sweet, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
The story quickly lays the foundation for a school-life setting with a character who has a secret "daily routine". Our main protagonist, Kurosawa, is a guy who cares nothing for interaction with others. He has no friends and has never fallen in love. He converses the minimal amount to simply maintain relations. What he doesn't know is that his seemingly harmless ritual is about to become something that weighs more heavily on him than he could imagine. This story shows us just what can happen when you get in over your head, the consequences of your actions, realizing what you want in life, and much more. Once the plot picks up, you will find yourself always wanting to know what will happen next. The contents are never predictable, and every bit of it is believable. It controls your emotions like a puppet on strings. It will make you feel.
The art is sketched, fitting in perfectly with the mood of the manga. It does a great job of showing character's expressions, using many close-ups and careful shading. Much of the emphasis is on the characters, so the backgrounds are usually simple or non-existent. Overall it is very clean and should bear no complaints.
Characterization is simply amazing. No matter how perverted Kurosawa is portrayed, the fact still remains that he is an incredibly well-rounded, believable, and likable character. The manga has the ability to create Kurosawa as if he were a character born from your own thoughts. While I am not referring to perverted thoughts, his reactions to a given situation are so real that you often think and feel the same way. I felt his anger when he was betrayed, I felt his hopelessness during his hard times, and I felt his happiness when something warmed his heart. Over the course of the plot, Kurosawa changes slowly into an entirely different person. He begins as an introverted kid who violates people in his thoughts with masturbation, yet in the end he becomes undeniably mature. He battles with self-realization, learns of consequences, finds the good in people, and comes to understand what he wants in life. Without a doubt, he is a character that will fill you with emotion.
If any manga is capable of changing my view on a character, it is this one. It does not just tell you how someone feels, it places you in the shoes of a person and allows you to understand it from their point of view. Even if you think a character will play a generally small part, they always end up coming back and influencing Kurosawa in some way. We are allowed to see every character's true thoughts, whether it be directly shown to us or revealed through Kurosawa's deductions. However, you will never feel as though you can predict a character's actions. While they surprise you, every bit of it is believable. This is what depth is all about.
Overall, Onani Master Kurosawa is definitely something you will appreciate reading to the end. It brings us a small introduction and builds off of itself, constantly raising the bar. It gives us a surprisingly large impact that can be found in few other places. To sum it up, it is simply a work of art.
"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.". How true is this statement by Arnold Bennett? Before that, can people truly change? Someone who is evil today can really turn into a good person tomorrow? And if it's possible, just how much pain and suffering do we have to go through in order to set things right, in order to change? This manga offers us possible answers for these questions in a rather amazing and unique way.
Onani Master Kurosawa is basically a story about redemption. It is one of my favourite mangas even though it is a
doujinshi and I've read it twice before writing this review. It is impossible not to give out this one big spoiler that it has, in fact you can probably figure it out just from its synopsis and its ranking. That spoiler is obviously that the story is not a simple parody, but, in fact, gets pretty serious later on. Now with that out of the way, let's begin.
[Story]- 9 - The story is not complex at all. In fact it's rather simple. If you look at it from a shallow perspective it is a simple school life story with a couple of twists thrown in there. So what could it have done to deserve a 9? That is explained by those very twists. One of the best things Onani manages to achieve is the surprise and the impact that the very drastic change from comedy to drama delivers upon the reader. What starts out as a parody of Death Note soon becomes a story that reaches far and wide into the realm of drama, with very interesting and compelling scenes that make it heavy and highly emotional. The first part runs around Kurosawa's peculiar habit and the "deals" he's forced into. That in itself was very amusing, I should say. It manages to make you laugh hard if you knew Death Note and builds a weirdly friendly setting with a perverted version of Raito going around. Then the second part dawns upon us with a weird mix of romance and drama. Themes such as bullying, disappointment and redemption are thrown in there in a storm of intensity that you just can't see coming from the light-hearted mood of the early chapters. The drama is also exceptionally well achieved and suddenly it becomes extremely realistic with an amazing portrayal of suffering while doing the right thing.
To sum it up, it is an excellent school story which is amplified by the sudden turn in the mood. It manages to accomplish good comedy in the first part and great drama in the second.
[Art] - 7 - If I was asked to point out Onani's weakest point it would have to be the art. In my opinion there are several ways to evaluate the art of a manga. You can do it objectively, judging the art alone without any other factors. You can do it subjectively, considering how the art mixes with the story and any other factors besides that. Or like, I think, most people do it, you mix a bit of both approaches, and that's what I'm going to do here. Objectively it is not a very good art in my opinion. But I can't forget that this is a doujinshi, meaning it wasn't made by a professional but by an amateur. Yes, you could argue that there are doujinshis that have art that rivals that of professionals and you'd be right, but I feel like I shouldn't judge the art of a professional and the art of an amateur with the same standards. Then, I should say that after some chapters, you get used to it and it somehow fits the manga itself giving it another unique aspect and reflecting the emotions of its characters.
To sum it up, the art is not very good, but it doesn't seem very out of place considering the type of story, besides that, the artist is not a professional so that's excusable to some extent.
[Characters] - 10 - There are many types of "awesome" characters. Most people wouldn't hesitate to say that an awesome character is a character that is cool, is able to do anything well and stylishly, is stronger than anyone else, gives out cliched speeches about never giving up or manipulates everyone while standing on the borderline between good and evil. I, on the other hand, don't usually pick that type of characters as my favorites. Sure they're a lot of fun and they're essential to some types of mangas, but I'm not a big fan to be honest. I prefer the characters who are weak. The characters whose flaws and inadequacies are clear right at the start. But as the story develops those characters go through some events that serve a double purpose: they make it possible that the character realizes who he is, what he wants and what he'll change and it allows us [readers] a unique perspective about those characters, making them believable and thus closer to our flawed self. Onani Master has that type of characters. The main character starts out as a weak copy of Yagami Raito, with plenty of flaws and "evil" ideals, but evolves into so much more - and this evolution is actually believable as you can see his feelings maturing. What he goes through defines his actions and choices. His living experience determines his view of the world. This outstanding character development left me slightly speechless. You can clearly see and point out the evolution of the main character and match it with every event that is contained in this short manga.
The secondary characters are also pretty interesting. But in this case they don't evolve as much comparing to the main character. It is our thoughts of them that change as we see their actions. It is their attitude that turns an annoying comic relief guy into a gentle, extremely loyal and great friend, to point out an example. Well I say they don't evolve as much but the most important of the secondary characters are not forgotten, on the contrary you see some of them change throughout the story as well.
To sum it up, Onani Master Kurosawa has one of the best character development I've ever read, especially when it comes to its main character.
[Enjoyment] - 9.5 - It was a lot of fun. The pace was very good, which made it a thoroughly entertaining ride. You laugh in the first part and cringe in the second. It is so well done that you can actually feel the events of the story.
[Overall] - 9.4 - It is amazingly good. I really wish the guys who worked on this had become professionals because i'd be dying to read their pieces. I don't have a whole lot to add since I've gone through this manga's good points already. It is, as I said before, one of my favorites, even though I didn't give it a 10. I rarely give out 10s (only gave it to 2 mangas), and this is a very high 9. So I highly recommend it to anyone. It isn't very big, which makes it a great short read.
Hope I managed to convince anyone to give this a try and sorry it turned out so long.
“I pray that I can finish this day without dirtying my hands.”
Some elements in anime and manga have been used by so many writers that they are at risk of becoming hackneyed. The use of school settings in particular has become rather common, and finding fresh content is increasingly becoming more difficult. Fortunately, there are still a few titles that manage to surpass expectations. This manga happens to be one of those.
Affectionately referred to as “Fap Note” by some fans, Onani Master Kurosawa is the brainchild of Ise Katsura (author) and Yoko (artist). The story deals with an adolescent's coming of age and, as it's
official and unofficial titles suggest, heavy emphasis is placed on the “coming” part.
Surprisingly, I found none of the scenes distasteful despite having much of the story centered on Kurosawa's sexual tensions. Of course, some chapters are hardly safe for reading in public spaces since they involve the fantasies of our healthy male protagonist. However, the author never resorts to cheap incidents normally associated with fanservice (accidental upskirts, peeping, unreasonably skimpy clothing, etc.), and none of the illustrations show anything explicit enough to warrant the dreaded censorship bars either. The circumstances are strange but neither impossible nor unthinkable by real world standards. To clarify: this manga is more about (A) a guy who jacks off, than (B) offering something for readers to jack off to.
Much of the appeal in the earlier chapters lies in the comedy presented. Kurosawa's method of dealing with problems in school is anything but orthodox, and readers keeping track of other popular series would undoubtedly recognize a number of parodies which are seamlessly integrated into the rest of the narrative.
However, the later volumes also stand well on their own with the intriguing and suspenseful story. As the plot starts to pick up, the events in each chapter leave you wanting for more. Onani Master Kurosawa covers themes that are regularly found in other manga about school life but presents them in a non-cliché manner, offering a surprising amount of drama and character development as well.
The art of the manga is also worth noting. The earlier volumes had several attempts at digital coloring and shading but I found these subpar even by doujinshi standards. Thankfully, these are few and far in between, and the quality does improve over the chapters.
Even more peculiar is the artist's sketchy drawing style which seems to make use of traditional media. The copious application of hatching might seem unusual for the lighthearted scenes but the dark shades enhance the mood of the more dramatic moments.
Also commendable is Yoko's ability to emulate the styles of other artists; this is crucial since the parodies would not play out well if the reader is unable to recognize which series is being referred to.
Onani Master Kurosawa is not your usual content-free comedy. At only 4 volumes, there's hardly any filler material to stretch the series to unnecessary lengths. The result is a short but exhilarating roller coaster ride of emotions and hijinks.
Below is a review for Wank Master Kurosawa; that, or a confession, depending on how you view it. I’d like to preemptively state that I am not an anime wizard, like so many on here, and thusly have yet to partake in the trial by fire that is writing my own review. Consequently, I haven’t a clue how to smoothly transition into the review, so I’ll just meander into it with the typical format.
Story: Fap Master Kurosawa starts off as a humorous tale that gradually grows into a coming of age story, with subtle character development all throughout. On the surface, it’s a
story about an introverted student, Kurosawa, and his daily habit of masturbating in the girls’ bathroom. Of course, as all good things must come to an end, he is inevitably caught by the meek, withdrawn, and often bullied
Kitahara and, as the logic of such stories dictates, she forms a pact with him via the threat of blackmail. [As a side note, I had already achieved a sense of empathy with the main character by this point, as his routine was frighteningly similar to my own]
Now, though it may seem like a shallow beginning, the manga actually delves into numerous meaningful themes; with subtlety and a self-aware sense of humor, no less. In fact, each stage of the story is accompanied by at least one theme or another: in the beginning, it handles the sense of helplessness felt when being targeted by others and using sexual expression [wanking, basically] as an emotional conduit. Around the middle, it broaches the topics of being ostracized from the social hierarchy and growth through hardship. Near the end, it handles people’s yearning to change and the dangers of walling yourself away from the outside world, and it does all this and more in a way that is both heartwarming and impactful. I loved the story and everyone in it.
Art: Pretty good, not really important, keep reading.
Characters: Kurosawa’s story in particular really resonated with me, and not just because I too like masturbating in women’s stalls. There is a genuine depth of character with Kurosawa, and his metamorphosis from asocial, egotistical slacker to someone who is more open to the people and possibilities around him is conveyed in a natural, down to earth way. He is realistic and relatable, and not once did he say anything that struck me as implausible. In fact, the whole cast of characters [barring the teacher, he was a little too awesome] were realistic and, impressively, most get some form of character development or another. They were also astoundingly likable. At any rate, while I found myself especially drawn to the main character, I also found that Kitahara’s development near the end, which occurred as a subsequent result of Kurosawa’s influence, was likewise compelling and emotional. Between her and others I won’t mention for fear of spoilers, it becomes quite clear that the driving theme of this story is change. Sweet, gooey, heartwarming change.
All in all, by the time that I was finished reading I found myself well endeared to each and every character [except the sweaty fat one and some of the bullies, but they weren’t important], and found myself quite moved as well; for a time, I genuinely considered what my life would be like if I stopped masturbating on school grounds.
To summarize: Though it may not look it, at least in the beginning, Sap Master Kurosawa is an ultimately hopeful story about self-realization, struggle, and people’s inherent ability to change, if they do so desire. To be honest, I haven’t read much manga as of yet, but woe to those that follow this one, as it’s a high bar to reach.
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