Tenjo Tenge 9

April 6, 2013

Oh! great – Viz – 2012 – 22 volumes
this is an omnibus containing vols 17-18

This is the end of what I’ve read of Tenjo Tenge, so the last two volumes will be new stuff. Can’t wait! I’ve got both of them sitting on my desk right now.

Also, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this since I started reading the Viz edition, but volume 17 is one of my absolute favorites in the series. It has one of the very best fights, and it has Mayutsubo, who has my favorite of the Red Wing powers.

Now, we’ve spent volumes building up the members of the Juken Club, and if you’ll remember, all this stuff is building up to the tournament that the school holds to determine the new student council members. There’s no way this tournament wasn’t going to be awesome. There’s the whole Ultimate Immortal Evil thing still hanging over the story, and Maya is still out of commission, but things get a lot more fun here. We get introduced to the various clubs and the quirky personalities that run them, and we get a delightful return to trash talk. The other clubs aren’t a match for the Juken Club, but the Juken Club is still sad and small, and can be outsmarted easily. There’s a lot of funny stuff going on.

But the best part is Sugano’s fight. Sugano knows that there’s some bad stuff going down. He doesn’t know what, but he sees something infecting the strongest members of each club, and he knows if the strong Juken Club members were to fight the infected fighters, there’d be a repeat of what happened two years ago. So he volunteers to fight these pumped-up zombie monsters. And then we see just what an incredible badass Sugano is, after all those volumes of playing the fool. He’s a normal person, so he’s not the unstoppable monster that the rest of the Juken Club is. But he’s still really good when he fights normal people, and he trains hard to be a good boxer. The double entendres during his training are also fantastic, but the fight itself is beautiful. It’s elegant. Triumphant. In a series about fighting, it’s one of the very best, and there’s nothing over-the-top about it. He’s just very good.

Good enough that I re-read 17 volumes of Tenjho Tenge so that I could read it again. It’s still good.

Also good is Mayutsubo, who everyone calls a Witch. The infection that’s plaguing the strongest members of the clubs and turning them into zombies is actually a parasitic worm that she uses to control people. It’s a great power, and she’s also an awful person who is receiving protection from Sohaku’s goons, so she gets to stand sneering and taunting Aya while she does a major battle with Kabane. The Kabane fight is technically more impressive and puzzle-y than Sugano’s, but I still like the boxing match better. Sugano’s coming-from-nowhere victory was triumphant, and I don’t care what anybody says.

There’s also a big fight between the Takayanagi brothers brewing at the end of the volume. First, Tawara gets a turn, though. He’s just about as awesome as Sugano, and probably a better character, so that’s another good one.

Other than that, there are a lot of portents to the future. All the major stuff is starting to come together, and you can feel things gearing up for a big finish. I’m READY.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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