Maoh: Juvenile Remix 4

August 17, 2011

Kotaro Isaka / Megumi Osuga – Viz – 2011 – 10 volumes

This… this is pretty effective psychological horror. I’m a little bit surprised by how good it’s gotten over the past couple volumes. The special powers part of it seems so silly in comparison to the rest, but it’s actually handled pretty well. After all, without something to fight back with, how would Ando ever convince himself to stand up to Inukai?

There’s a really powerful scene at the beginning of this volume where Inukai decides to accept Ando as his rival, and Inukai shows off just how much influence he really has. This devolves into an action scene, complete with assassin, but the scariest part of the series are these scenes that show just how effective a charismatic leader and mob mentality really are.

The mob mentality carries over into a later story, where the son of the developer Inukai is against transfers to Ando’s school. The boy is at the wrong end of a lot of bullying, and when Ando tries to stand up to him, he sees only a school full of Inukai’s disciples. Again, in the context of the series, this is quite terrifying. It’s difficult to explain without reading, but seeing Ando come upon a group full of impassive, evil faces again and again, and he begs and pleads and yells at them, tries to get them to see the evil in their actions… and then none of them see things any different from what Inukai tells them… it’s pretty scary stuff.

There’s some exposition at the end of the volume, the assassin from a few volumes ago enters the story… some resolve comes for Ando, but nothing good has started happening yet. I’m extremely interested to see how this will start working itself out. I’m a few volumes behind right now, so I plan to rectify that very soon.

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