More brutal and mature than the anime … yup and then some
Viz Media’s Sig Ikki line of manga has delivered one hell of a thrill ride in the manga version of Tenjo Tenge. The anime was plain awesome even if its ending left viewers wanting more and actually needing more (lots of loose ends not tied up) but there is now hope for the manga to deliver the goods, the full tale but how is it? Oh! Great’s combative excellence is in full swing and it shows quite a similar path to the anime and is plain great … if you liked the anime, a must have. How does the story line up and what about the art? Let’s take a look.
The Story – Soichiro Nagi and Bob Makihara, two first years at Todo Academy and these two brawlers are about to find out they won’t be able to establish alpha as easily in this insanely brutal school of fighters of all disciplines. An encounter with the leader of the Juken Club, Natsume, leaves Soichiro looking up at her younger sister Aya … in the buff. An odd first encounter but one which leads to both Soichiro and Bob joining the Juken Club in order to gain the strength they’ll need to survive in this unique school, especially after the monstrous Executive Council targets them for discipline, a punishment which extends to Bob’s girlfriend. As the five member Juken Club trains a hidden power inside Soichiro presents itself as does a family trait in Aya that is more dangerous than any member of the Executive Council and knowing this a trap is set. A battle for their lives begins, at a bowling alley of all places, and each member will need to reach into their souls for the will and power to survive.
This is how the story unfolds in the anime also but the pace feels a bit faster. Soichiro and Bob meet Natsume, then Aya, get involved in bad things, join the club, train and a big battle begins with multiple members of the executive council which ends volume 1. The big difference is the graphic attack on Bob’s girlfriend but otherwise it’s a great telling of the action fans of the anime should expect. For those new this is a great, action packed series that moves along at a great clip. The action is a high school based fighting series but what separates Tenjo Tenge from other series is the great cast of characters. Aya and Natsume are as alluring and deadly as any action heroine while both Bob and Soichiro are funny while full of potential. The rest of the cast, large as it is, is also as unique and different; a great story indeed.
The Art – Poster worthy as these are great looking characters. Anime in look, but a mature anime where the ladies are curvaceous and busty while the boys are ripped and ready to rumble. The clothing style in cover art as well as story would sell very well as not only the characters but their dress is stylish and bad ass. The focus of each panel is more about the characters, their emotions and actions as the background blends in and only partially receives detailed treatment. The action is the star here folks and Tenjo delivers in droves.
Miscellaneous – Staying with the art them, the included colored pages, fold out poster are delicious. This really shows off the awesome style that Oh! Great brings and that should attract the majority of shoppers to this book in-store or online. A great look to attract wrapped around an excellent story that delivers the goods.
Overall the anime was great but it’s easy to say the manga is just as good, if not better. The story flows and character design shines. It’s a mature book with some graphic scenes so beware younger readers, but manga and anime are not just for kids. This is a book for an adult that’s as great as any action movie, novel or show out there so take it for a spin if martial art is your thing.