Teshigawara Sakura is famous within her school for her angelic personality. Unfortunately that earns her the attention of Samon Shousuke, the new transfer student, who also happens to be a summoner that can call forth demons at will. Samon calls her a hypocrite and vows to drag her to hell.
As a part of the JUMP START initiative, the first three chapters of Samon-kun wa Summoner were published in English as Samon the Summoner in VIZ Media's digital Weekly Shonen Jump on the same day as the Japanese release.
tl;dr: A manga that’s funny at times but that never went anywhere or did anything so never really had much of a point.
This is a manga that had a somewhat interesting premise that never went anywhere. It’s a pretty common thing in Shounen manga, especially those in Jump, to start out with a premise that’s somewhat quirky and unique, but to then become pretty standard battle manga with the original premise only popping up occasionally. I think this is a manga that could have done very well if it had done that, but it didn’t. It pretty much dropped the original premise of Samon wanting to make Teshigawara into a bad person. The thing
though, is that it didn’t really replace it with much of anything. There was some serious plot here and there that was pretty solid and showed potential with the protagonist even being likable during these parts, but it made up such a small portion. The rest of it was mostly a simple comedic loop of Samon being scummy, and getting beaten badly. The problem isn’t just that Samon is a bad person, which is something that can very much be made to work, but rather that he’s a bad person that is completely annoying and completely unlikable, and thus that really brings down the whole manga. Furthermore, although the comedy can be quite funny it repeats way too much. It’s 10 volumes of pretty much the same stuff on repeat. It doesn’t really try to be anything more than that. There were the previously mentioned random story bits, but they don’t amount to much. There is some attempt at having a solid cast, as is crucial for just standard every day comedy manga, but that didn’t really work. Most of the background that was given to characters to justify motivations and personalities felt flimsy and created after the fact. The relationship development also was also pretty weak. Teshigawara’s and Samon’s felt like it especially didn't make much sense. The only one that was decent was Anri and Samon, but it never went anywhere in the end. Rather, the manga ends at a completely random point without much of an ending. The art style was different from most manga, so it has value in novelty which caught my eye, but after reading through it I thought it wasn’t particularly all that great. It was rather dull to be honest, in that it kind of reminded me of CalArts at times. There were never moments that I could say really looked great. The character designs and such were also not that great either and to be frank annoying to look at at times.
I really liked this series! It was a little upsetting when I read that it got cancelled in Jump, but I want to convince people to read this even though there's only 67 chapters scanlated so far (it's still plenty I'd say!). I'm always searching for underrated comedy series and this was just straight up gold. If you're someone who's here for a good laugh while clutching your tummy, you've found the right place.
I personally think that face expressions AND dialogues are important in comedies. A story can have characters with exaggerated expressions but if the dialogue is boring or lame, I would have dropped
that series right on the spot. SKwS is not like that- the author nailed the two most important factor for me when it comes to enjoying comedy manga. But with that being said, I have great respect for mangakas who can come up with insanely hilarious dialogues but the characters are drawn as poker-faced as possible (aka Hinamatsuri, which is also a series you HAVE to read if you haven't).
The main protag of SKwS is not your conventional "good guy" shounen protagonist. He might come off as evil and despicable to others but I liked that it was different. Like expected, he also has his redeeming moments that will make you think "Oh, maybe he's not that bad at all!". I think this series has a lot of potential if it was given a chance, but sadly, we only have couple of chapters left. The art isn't exactly amazing, but I assure you the comedic art style and dialogue will hook you to it. I'm really glad I came upon this randomly. I never had any expectation for the story line but it still ended up being enjoyable, so if you're expecting a heavier plot then I would tell you to read it with zero expectation. Just sit back, relax and enjoy for what's coming.
I'd like to see more of Numa Shun's work in Shounen Jump in the future, so it'd be really nice for people to share this series with their friends. As usual, I'm not that good at writing reviews but I hoped this made you want to give the series a chance. Thank you for reading!