I'm not entirely sure what I think of this manga. Sometimes I thought it was one of the most brilliant comics I ever read, other times I seethed with rage at how bad it was.
This story is a Deconstruction of Shonen conventions, but it's an Indecisive Deconstruction
. It will obviously parody some cliches - God Mode Sue
, Plot Armor
, Invincible Hero
- but then later play them painfully straight (most notably, the second to last arc in regards to God Mode Sue
). Besides, there are still plenty of elements of bad writing - Satellite Character
, Failure Hero
, Plot Hole
, inconsistent characterization - without the slightest hint of irony or self-awareness. Even if it's all subtle parody, the author has failed at making it less obnoxious than what it's parodying. When that happens, you have failed as a parodist.
The characters were definitely a mixed bag. Some were completely insufferable (Medaka), pathetic (Zenkichi), or simply annoying (Kumagawa). There were interesting characters whose personalities took a complete 180 all of a sudden, and those who didn't change at all. There were times when character development would be organic, except that it turns out the character actually didn't change, as well as times when character development occurs completely off-screen for no good reason. Thankfully, there were some characters I liked, such as Naze, Hitomi, or Nienami. I wish they were used more often, but that may just be favoritism talking.
The thing I detested most about this manga is the ending. I still find it to be depressing, rushed, confusing, and leaves open too many questions for no purpose. It seems to be controversially among the fanbase, with most people on GameFAQs
loving it, while it's near-universally reviled on Manga Fox
This manga can get good with its Deconstructions, such as with Invincible Hero
, even if it later used that trope anyway. It's funny at times, no complaints there. Characters will often perform feats of awesomeness, but they're negated by something terrible pages later. In short, when it's good it's really good, but when it's bad it's near-unreadable. So, I have no idea if I can confidently recommend it to anyone.