Sunday, September 7, 2008
Harukaze Bitter Bop, vol 1 (GN) by Court Bettan
From back cover: Chiyoharu used to be the leader of the troublemakers, until one day an innocent prank results in a major fire at the school. When his three cohorts take the blame and are expelled, Chiyoharu tries to go on with his mundane life, beating himself up with guilt. Then he meets the mysterious, muscle-man Souza of the North Wind and a ditzy self-proclaimed detective who are trying to solve the mystery behind Souza's amnesia...
It is billed as nonstop action comedy, and there is frequent action, especially with the characters yelling at each other. Chiyoharu is slowly remembering where he's seen the image on the back of Souza's shoulder told in flashbacks. The teacher that Chiyoharu has a crush on is having money troubles. There competition among Chiyoharu's friends about what to do when they are together - is reading manga rude when other people are talking or playing Playstation?
I can't see it standing on its own as a solitary title, and don't see it as a significant contribution to teen literature, although I do see it's appeal for manga, and there are positive messages in the storyline which will continue to unveil as the series progresses. NAY