Creator / Koji Kumeta
specialising in often surreal Shōnen Gag Series
. Most known for Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
, his first work to receive an Animated Adaptation
. After the success of said series, some of his other works; Katteni Kaizo
were also adapted. Also notable for his Art Evolution
. Eternal enemy of Ken Akamatsu
. Kenjiro Hata of Hayate the Combat Butler
fame was formerly his assistant editor until early 2000s.
If his Author Avatar
is to be believed, he is poor, lonely and constantly under stress.
Also far less successful than in real life.
His works include, in chronological order:
- Yuke Nangoku Ice Hockey Bu: Japanese student returns from Canada and attempts to introduce ice hockey to his new school... but before long the manga becomes more preoccupied with silly penis jokes and even more silly sexual puns (Wagner (the composer) -> Vaginer). According to the author, "a manga that is embarrassing to buy and embarrassing to read, but even more embarrassing to the one who is writing it".
- P Root Paradise Haruhei is studying to enter the university. At his prep school, he meets Natsuki, the girl of his dreams. He is shocked to learn that she is working as a hostess and comes up with various plans to make her stop this, but despite his efforts, Natsuki keeps working, and Haruhei himself just enters deeper and deeper into the hostess club business.
- Sodatte Darling Urara is not satisfied with any of the guys around her, and decides to raise her own ideal man from the elementary school student she so conveniently happens to be engaged to. Kumeta's first and last romantic comedy manga, for good reason.
- Taiyou No Senshi Pokapoka: In the Style of... a Shonen Jump-esque action-comedy, a boy obsessed with digging finds a magical bracelet, and then goes on an adventure to find the mythical Shambhala, together with the prehistoric boomerang-wielding warrior Pokapoka. On the way, they encounter the school's World Domination club, gigantic clay robots, black drills and many other things.
- Katte Ni Kaizo: Follows Cloud Cuckoo Lander Kaizo, a delusional high school student insistant that aliens, conspiracies and cyborgs are all very real, and his friend Umi, apparently the Only Sane Man but really a total loony. Possibly the spiritual predecessor to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, although on a much more disturbed angle and not as Trope Overdosed.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Suicidal teacher meets class full of crazy. Hilarity Ensues. And plenty of Mind Screw.
- Joshiraku: Five girls who are Rakugo artists, talking about random things that usually get out of hand. Unlike his previous works, he does not do the illustrations but rather Yasu of Toradora! fame does.
Tropes in his work
- Art Evolution: An extreme example. In the beginning, his style was an uninspired, typical shounen style. It's since evolved to be more expressive, blocky, and thickly lined. A very positive example; his work nowadays is very distinct and unique.
- Black Comedy: Katte Ni Kaizo is about a prodigy who suffers brain damage after hitting his head on a swing. Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei is about a perpetually suicidal teacher and a girl with a Hilariously Abusive Childhood and a Dark and Troubled Past.
- Blush Sticker: A variant. A faint circle with three straight lines drawn vertically on it.
- Hartman Hips: Combined with Noodle People.
- Ho Yay: This is used in a lot of his work, either as a Take That or for the Rule of Funny.
- Noodle People
- Old Shame: His first manga, Yuke Nangoku Ice Hockey Bu, which was about hockey. According to Chiri Kitsu, it went from hockey to penis jokes and making fun of politicians. And she's exactly right.
- Only Six Faces: Manages to turn this into a major plot point in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei. It doesn't come up until the ending, though. Otherwise, it's used as a stylistic decision.
- Punny Name: His assistant, Maeda Kosaku. "Kosakuin" is Japanese for "spy". Guess who gets featured prominently in a chapter about spies who are not Chinese?
- Take That: All of his work is absolutely loaded with this. Pretty much everyone is an Acceptable Target.
- Scenery Porn
- Self-Deprecation: His Author Avatar is a sleazy hack with no self esteem and a gross Perma Stubble, and several pages at the end of volumes are dedicated to him telling the reader how impossible ugly he is.
- Spoof Aesop: A specialty of his.
- Stylistic Suck: Some of his manga lapse into this.
- Widget Series: Seriously.
- Wife Husbandry: The plot of Sodatte Darling.
- World of Pun/World of Snark/World of Ham/World Half Empty/World of Weirdness/World Gone Mad: All of his works have all of these elements, making the already surreal things happening even more confusing and insane.