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Manga / Shiori Experience

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Jacking in!

Shiori Honda's life didn't pan out the way she wanted to: She gets little respect from her students at school and her family life in tatters ever since her brother ran off and left them twenty million yen in debt. However, on her 27th birthday, she starts seeing the ghost of Jimi Hendrix, who can take control of her through a plug at the back of her neck, turning her into a virtuoso with the guitar. It turns out she has unwittingly become a Crossover - someone who's given the guidance of a musical legend, with the caveat that if she doesn't become a legend before her next birthday herself, she's going to die. What follows is part coming-of-age story, part supernatural thriller and part gorgeous artwork.

Shiori Experience - Jimi na Watashi to Hen na Ojisan (My Plain Self and an Odd Old Man) by Machida Kazuya and Osada Yu-ko that started serialisation in 2013 and, as of 2020, is still ongoing.



  • Afterlife Antechamber: The Crossroads, in a field of thousands of guitars stuck into the ground like headstones.
  • Arc Number: 27.
  • Art Evolution: In early chapters, the character art was noticeably rougher and rounder. As the series goes on, the designs are streamlined a bit, with stronger lines and sharper angles.
  • Artistic License – Music:
    • In general, because this series deals with real rock musicians brought back from the dead, it necessarily has to play pretty fast and loose with the details of their lives.
    • In chapter 8, Daiba kicks things off by playing the intro to "Purple Haze" on the drums. Problem is, "Purple Haze" opens with a guitar riff; the drums come in a couple measures later.
    • During the band's training arc, Meguro's training regimen included shooting for high scores in a karaoke app.
    • In chapter 37, Mitsuoka chugs a bottle of juice before practicing trumpet, which should make any brass, wind, or vocal performer cringe.
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  • Ascended Fanboy: In-universe, Kurt Cobain cries tears of joy when he realizes Jimi not only knows who he is, but also starts playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
  • A Lesson in Defeat: The Light Music Club's first original song is an unmitigated disaster. Jimi knows the song they composed sucks, but tells Shiori to perform it live anyway.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Subaru, the ringleader of the brass orchestra. The "sheep's clothing" part is completely dropped whenever she drills her students or when she gets angry at Shiori for even suggesting that the light music club is comparable to her efforts.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The simple but refined artwork ensures that, even among the background characters, there are few if any "generic" faces.
  • Celestial Deadline: Starting from her 27th birthday, Shiori has one year to become a musical legend.
  • Character Focus: Each character gets their own arc, generally contained within a single volume.
  • Comic-Book Time: The story takes place over the course of a single year, but the manga has been running since 2013.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The story follows both the adolescent and adult musicians as they grow from amateurs to masters of the craft.
  • Cryptid Episode: Kawasaki agrees to help the Occult Research Club track down "The Grave Polisher", which turns out to be Shiori, practicing in an abandoned building and wearing a motorcycle helmet to block out distractions.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: Discussed as a major attribute of The 27 Club.
  • Deal with the Devil: What the Crossroads ritual amounts to: Get possessed by a musical legend, but die if you've failed to become one yourself before you turn 28. Since the ritual isn't something you can do by accident, both Shiori and Jimi wonder how they ended up with each other, given Shiori had no idea of the ritual's existence until after Jimi explained it to her.
  • Demonic Possession: This is technically what the crossroad contract is.
  • The Documentary: Komatsu is a journalist who occasionally shows up to document the band's progress. The climax of volume 10 is presented as footage from the documentary, complete with hand-drawn digital distortion and camera effects.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: Being a manga about music, this is inevitable. Especially powerful music is often shown literally blowing the audience away.
    • The jam between Jimi and Kurt Cobain is shown blasting out of the club like a tidal wave.
    • One of Black Bus's performances causes a literal bus to burst through the wall of the club and sail over the audience.
    • The final track in Shiori Experience's set at BTL causes hundreds of audio jacks to burst out of the stage and jack in to every member of the audience in an absolutely gigantic and unprintable four-page spread.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Shiori's quest to become a legend on par with Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain takes place over the course of a single year.
  • Frame Break: At one point, Shiori plays a chord so powerful that it cuts the panel in half.
  • Garage Band: This is the backstory for at least two of the bands which appear in the story.
  • Grand Theft Me: At the beginning of the story, Jimi hijacks Shiori's body to crash Subaru's concert.
  • Historical Domain Character: Each musician who appears as a spirit in the series is a real rock star who died at 27.
  • Insert Song: In spite of manga being a silent medium, several volumes have ended with these. The songs will usually have special significance to the characters, such as Daydream Believer for Meguro and Kawasaki, Love Is Over for Subaru, or Shunkashuutou for Kuroi. Other times, the songs carry commentary/lessons on the events of the story, such as Jouji's arc being punctuated by the theme song of Mito Komon, a popular Jidaigeki TV drama.
  • I See Dead People: Spirits summoned by the crossroad ritual are visible only to others who performed the ritual, animals, and Kawasaki.
  • Just Fine Without You: When Isuzu quits the band, the rest of the group hammers together a new song that doesn't need her through grueling trial and error. Then when they think it's finished, Isuzu comes back and proves how essential her part really is.
  • Mobstacle Course: During the intro for their BTL performance, each band member walks on stage one at a time. Meguro starts in the audience and has to muscle her way to the front. She gets an assist from the rival bands. The lead singer of Drill Hills parts the crowd, while the leaders of Red Tide Wide and Gatakey provide the... boost that gets her up to the stage.
  • More Than Mind Control: Only the first half of Shiori's concert-crashing solo was under Jimi's control. The rest was all her.
  • No-Dialogue Episode: The chapter depicting the group's first song in their BTL performance is presented with no dialogue or narration.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: The artist frequently uses the borders of the comic panels to create outlines of characters, creating a silhouette of negative space.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • Most speech balloons are taller than they are wide, as is standard for manga. But the speech balloons for Jimi and other English-speakers are wider than they are tall, which is normal for American comics.
    • Quite literally in chapter 46, when Mitsuoka finally breaks free of Subaru's oppressive training and embraces the joy of music in an explosion of color.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Several, including Shiori's "Jo-z" persona (an afro wig and mustache drawn on with sharpie), and Ryou's incognito mode (his normal band outfit with some tape over the logo).
  • Punny Name: Almost all of the characters are named after car models or car companies. Shiori Honda and her rival teacher Aoshima Subaru are the two most notable examples. Some are a bit more subtle:
    • Daiba, Kawasaki, and Meguro are all riffs on Japanese car companies. The inspiration for Ford Mustang's name should be fairly obvious. Lastly, and perhaps most bewildering, is Kuroi Bus.
    • This also goes for locations as well. The school where most of the story takes place is called Mitsubishi Academy. Several clubs host performances, including Jaguar, Corvette, and Saab.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: After they bomb on stage, the light music club temporarily disbands, only for the potential evident in Shiori's new song to pull them back in.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Light Music Club is effectively this, seeing how they're so unpopular that even the Go-Home Club is higher on the pecking order than them. The odd one out to this is Daiba, who actually was very popular by the time he joins, but due him abandoning the baseball club to do so he's treated little different from the rest.
  • Rescue Arc: Volume 10 is framed this way, with Mitsuoka's mom begging the band to save Mitsuoka, who is in the process of self-destructing through overwork in an attempt to meet Subaru's expectations.
  • School Clubs Are Serious Business: For Shiori, the success of the Light Music Club is literally life-or-death!
    • Even beyond the time limit, the clubs the students attend at her school are so paramount to their social standing that at one point, it gives the members of the brass orchestra enough justification to essentially walk over Shiori and Izusu and then act like it was their fault for being in the way.
  • Shout-Out: Considering the subject matter, it took them a surprisingly long time to bring up School of Rock.
  • Spirit Advisor: Spirits act as mentors to the musicians that summon them, and can even "jack in", taking over their body, playing music for (and with) them.
  • Students Playing Matchmaker: The rest of the club wingmans hard for Shiori and Hino.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Subaru and Shiori respectively.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The bullying on display at Mitsubishi Academy is pretty intense.
  • Title Drop: In chapter 35, and it ends up being the name of the club's band.
  • Tournament Arc: Bridge To Legend, five bands going head-to-head for the top spot in the region and a mysterious grand prize.
  • Training from Hell: Isuzu goes through this under the supervision of Subaru.
    • Later Deconstructed: As it turns out, practicing an instrument day in and day out without ever giving yourself rest can leave you with serious injuries and potentially give you permanent motor damage, as Mitsuoka finds out.
  • Training Montage: After the disastrous first live show, all the members of the Light Music Club spend their break pushing themselves hard to get better, and each one gets a chapter dedicated to their efforts.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: When Jouji and Prince steal Black Bus's uh... bus, Kuroi chases them down on a kiddie bike.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Subaru, of all people. Ten years before the story starts, she's a cheerful saxophone player who ends up inspiring Mitsuoka to take up the instrument as well. However, by the time Mitsuoka enrolls in Subaru's school, that optimism seems to have left her entirely, after having her musical spirit crushed by her own equally ruthless music instructor.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Used occasionally to convey the backstories of certain characters.