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Review: M×0

This will be my first review of a manga.  I read manga on a daily basis and spent a good chunk of my life on them, so I figure it would be good to share some of my thoughts on a few mangas that I read.  I will try to stick with less popular mangas for a number of reasons.  First, most people who would visit my site have probably read OnePiece, Bleach, and Naruto at some point.  There’s really no point in me talking about a manga that everyone is familiar with.  Second, people who enjoy Bartender are probably of an older age group, and most popular mangas are geared toward a younger audience.  And lastly, the purpose of my review is to recommend good, not-so-popular mangas so others may enjoy them as well.  I will try to keep my reviews spoiler-free, but there are things that just can’t be avoided.  That said, let me start talking about the first manga I’m reviewing, M×0

General Info: Mx0 – Wikipedia

Read at: MangaFox

Review:

Mx0 was completed back in 2008, but it’s still one of my favorite mangas.  I think the most appealing feature of this manga is how it blends different elements.  Mx0 is primarily a comedy, but it also have action, romance, and some drama.  At several points of the manga, I was afraid the author would resort to changing the approach to emphasize on fighting.  Mx0 could have easily transitioned into a fighting manga, and it would appear less awkward than others such as Hitman Reborn and Defense Devil (which are both sell-outs).  However, they did not, and I commend them for staying true to its comedy roots.

The plot follows a high school freshman Taiga Kuzumi through his life in a magical school.  He made quite an entrance when he entered the school.  He defeated the strongest teacher in the school, wielding a gold card, which only teacher-level personnel has.  The other students feared him for his powers, but in reality, he could not use magic at all.  The manga follows him as he lives out his high school life in a magic school without using magic.  The setting wasn’t the most original, but it opens up a lot of possibilities and gave the author more room to work with.

The magic world the author created is also quite complete.  There are many instances in the manga where the author explained more than necessary.  For example, he went into details on different magic cards and what they specialize in, even though most of them never made it into the manga.  It’s always great to see authors think ahead and try to plan for a long serialization, instead of making things up later on, and would possibly create contradictions.

The magic that appear in Mx0 are also quite unique.  Most magic-fantasy mangas such as Negima would stick with using elements (i.e. fire, water, thunder) as the basis, which is so over-used that it’s just lame.  However, right off the bat, Mx0 uses interesting magic such as fusion (fusing Kuzumi’s neck with a screw so you can unscrew his head).  I’ll let the readers find out what other cool magic are in Mx0.

One of the elements that this manga lacked is an arch-nemesis.  Kuzumi’s biggest foe is Hiiragi’s dad, which also happen to be the strongest teacher in the school and an overprotective dad.  But no one really threatened his throne as the “most powerful” student on campus.  The author introduced two characters that did challenge Kuzumi, but their roles diminished later on, and no one really stood up to Kuzumi any more.

The drawing looks superb, especially compared to the author’s earlier work, Pretty Face.  It’s always drawn better than the popular fighting mangas out there.  I suppose it’s not fair to compare the drawing in a comedy to a fighting manga, since action scenes are harder to draw (I think..).   The drawing style matches the story very well.

One of the biggest flaws in this series is that it ended on a weak note.  Mx0 ended earlier than I would’ve liked, and it ended quite abruptly.  The manga wasn’t getting enough popularity on Shonen Jump, and that was the reason for it’s cancellation, however I would’ve liked to see it end more smoothly.  To be fair, I also didn’t like the direction the manga was headed in the end.  Kuzumi was able to use some magic, which contradicts the whole idea.  The author mentioned that in his closing comments as well.  The series is 99 chapters long, which is good, not too long, not too short.

Aside from the ending, there’s no real problems that standout, but if I had to nitpick, I didn’t like how the author build up Kuzumi as a character.  In many instances, Kuzumi would do something, and then someone else would be thinking and rationalizing his actions and then leading to the conclusion that he is awesome.  I would rather that the author stick with allowing the readers to make that connection more often.

Audience:

I think anyone who enjoys comedy or slice of life would enjoy this manga.  There’s no inappropriate topics, not that much ecchi to keep younger kids away.  It is a casual read that any student would enjoy.  (Not sure why this manga is listed as Mature on MangaFox)

Rate:

7 / 10 Story

9 / 10 Drawing

9 / 10 Presentation

9 / 10 Enjoyment

9 / 10 Overall

Categories: Reviews
  1. Garga
    October 7, 2010 at 10:10 am

    You know. I began reading this manga when it first came out and I too feel the ending was to abrupt. I assumed it was for lack of popularity. A shame really, it was a good manga. Not the best out there but I enjoyed it.

    Ah, I am a fan of your scanlations. Not for the series you deal with. But because of the thoughs you put when you realese one chapter. I love to read an opinion like that. It’s like when you are reading with a friend the same series and every time a new chapter comes arounbd you tlak about how it was. The goods and bads. It a very nice touch and something I like very much. To the point that even if I read the chapter in mangareader I always come to this site exclusively to read your thoughts of the chapter.

    PS: And I would love to see what else you have to review. I promise I am going to read everything you recomend. I’m sure it would be a pleasent reading ^^

    PS2: I’m from argentina and my main lenguage is Spanish so sorry if a make any mistake with my Engrish =P

    • October 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

      Thanks for the reply Garga! It’s always great to know that there are people out there who reads my thoughts on each chapter, and even happier to know that people enjoy them 🙂

      It really pains me sometimes to know most people only care for super popular mangas like Naruto, and just assume mangas are all about action and fighting. There are so many mangas like Bartender that makes you think and even teaches you something.

      Thanks again for replying and I’ll try to keep my thoughts interesting and insightful 🙂

  2. Nura
    October 14, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Hey, tbh, I think I’ve been to your site maybe twice. >.< Both visits were to lurk and see if I could gleam any new info on Bartender (one of my fav manga's by far). Reading this comment (and being a fan of Mx0 and the author), I thought I had to leave a comment. I liked your review and your evaluation of the series. I also agree that a lot of the super popular mangas lack substance. One of the only problems I have with Mx0 is that breast chapter at the end. The way I see it, that was the author trying to get last minute votes by appealing to the masses, while I hope this isn't the case, I can't help but wonder (also think this is why MF gave this the mature tag). I disagree that the ending was poor, I think, all things considered, it was ended rather well for how the author was told 5 chaps before that he needed to end it. I'm just sad that the chances of this continuing are so slim.

    Keep up the good work (w/ both Bartender and the reviews), I think now, I'll be inclined to return. =^)

  3. Garga
    October 26, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Nura :
    Reading this comment I thought I had to leave a comment.

    Ha, it seems I’m inspiring people to post or at least I’m having delusions of influence =P
    Nevertheless please do comment and thank people. As a former scanlator I know how good it feels to have your work appreciated. It feels like you didn’t work for nothing. It may be something simple, but a thanks means a lot when there is only silence ^-^

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