26 Nov / MAOH: Juvenile Remix (vol. 1) original story by Kotaro Isaka, story and art by Megumi Osuga, translated by Stephen Paul
Ando, now in 11th grade, is more or less going through the motions of fitting in: “If I said I didn’t feel empty inside for putting up an act … I’d be lying.” His younger brother Junya tells him to stop overanalyzing everything, but Ando knows he always has to be the responsible one ever since they lost their parents in a tragic car accident.
As a precocious young child, Ando had the unique ability of making people say out loud what he was thinking. He convinced himself it was all just coincidence, that ESP couldn’t possibly be real. But now, almost all grown up, he witnesses a subway pervert harass a young girl in the crowded train, then bully her into silence. The crowds are doubtful … until the girl screams out the very words Ando is thinking!
Ando’s skill will prove both a gift and curse as his home city’s crime rate is on the rise. A vigilante group called Grasshopper, led by a over-coiffed dandy named Inukai, seems to turn up whenever trouble is brewing. Inukai publicly announces that in five years, he’ll reclaim the city for its citizens from the greedy grasp of developers ready to create a new concrete jungle.
But just who is Inukai? Why is it that his Grasshoppers incite as much violence as they claim to control? With Inukai’s followers spouting Machiavellian chants of “The ends justify the means,” good and evil become increasingly blurred … and Ando finds himself trapped somewhere in the unknown middle …
Rated for older teens, this debut series is testosterone-fueled to appeal to (mostly) young male readers. Behind the pictures of impossibly endowed schoolgirls (GADS!) and bloody body parts, however, are more serious, relevant issues of bullying. The ‘means’ toward empowerment against that bullying vary wildly. Ando enables the young subway girl to find her voice. Ando’s much-abused schoolmate uses his smarts to cause more harm than good. When those lines of right and wrong intersect, Ando must be the one to figure out the truth … tall order for our young hero, but that much more opportunity for future adventurous volumes!
Readers: Young Adult
Published: 2010 (United States)
MAOH JUVENILE REMIX © Kotaro Isaka and Megumi Osuga
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.