Dec 19, 2017
Gundroog (All reviews)
What often happens when you go back to see origin point for a lot of manga authors you're gonna see a work inferior to their future projects cause it was probably one of many attempts from an idealistic teenager desperate to win a contest in some manga magazine. NOT WITH ARAKI BAYBEE!

Mashounen BT lacks a bit in the art department compared to later Araki stuff sure, but there are still some distinct trademarks like characters fashion choice and stylish poses as well as some facial expressions and body language. What MBT lacks in art quality it more than makes up in writing. Each of 6 chapters is a unique retelling of Kouichi and BT's misadventures usually revolving around them finding trouble or creating it themselves and follows up with unconventional resolutions achieved through planning and wit. A lot of them seem ridiculous at first and to an extend they are absurd but Araki puts in a lot of effort to not make anything seem like some magic or deus ex machina. That's the thrill of it all and many other Araki stories. You don't know what's gonna happen until it does, and even if it might not make sense at first, everything works within the logic of the story and will have a more than reasonable explanation that in unlike many other manga doesn't sound like a kid on a playground making up new rules to explain why he's actually not losing.

Coupled with that are extremely eccentric characters. BT himself is one weird kid. If you're familiar with JoJo best way to describe him is what Giorno should've been, a mix of Dio and a sprinkle of Joestar. While he's very egoistic and is primarily motivated by personal gain and amusement but he doesn't go in all the way and still has a strong sense of justice. There's not that much material to get analytical with it but I feel like he draws the line when someone gets hurt unfairly. He doesn't resort to violence until it was applied or threatened to himself or his friends. When that happens though he will make sure to give compensate everything with interest. Kouichi plays a part of a straight man in all of this, much like in DiU he's here to make the weird characters stand out all the more, after all if everybody is crazy then nobody is crazy but as it is you get a feel for how off the rockers people and events at show are.
Other characters for the most part don't appear outside of their chapters aside from BT's grandma who doesn't play too much of a role. Even though the side characters are for obvious reasons not nearly as fleshed out as the main pair they're still curious because of how believable but weird they can be. Sadistic mall shop guard is not too much of a stretch and the way he's built up makes him an interesting threat to two teenage boys since there's no way they can overpower him, or almost any other antagonist. When they do the the things are twisted once again and they boys have to figure out a way to force out the kind of people that when force is applied to them would instantly go the police to exaggerate or flat out make things up to get you in trouble.
I can't say enough about how much I love these kinds of battles and Araki throughout his whole career was insanely good at coming up with them.

If you like anything he made or have an interest in unusual shonen protagonists as well as stories it's so worth a read, it's obvious how biased I am but I hope people give this a chance nonetheless.