Maoh: Juvenile Remix 8

March 18, 2015

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

This one was something I followed avidly, then after a major bump in the road in volume 7, I didn’t pick it back up.  Not sure why, this is a pretty intense and clever series, and it was super underrated.

Actually, I do know why.  It kind of ends in volume 7, and I was worried about the continuation from there, because I liked those volumes so much.  But so far, so good.

The premise is basically that a charismatic high school boy named Inukai begins to gather a cult of people (initially youths, but eventually everyone) in an effort to overthrow the local government and get things moving their way.  What starts as a modest movement turns powerful and creepy very quickly, and seeing the nature of the group, Ando tries to stop them.  Some characters in the series have modest special talents.  Inukai’s may be that he inspires blind worship of his ideals.  Ando’s power is that he can perform a kind of ventriloquism and make people say whatever he wants.

Ando struggles as Inukai’s group, Grasshopper, gets more powerful and a more sinister group of people are hired to stop him.  Inukai himself believes strongly in fate, in that he was meant to do what he’s doing, and Ando is likely meant to stop him.  But this doesn’t stop him from cutting Ando out of the picture.

In this volume, the story picks back up with Ando’s brother, Junya.  Junya is now after Grasshopper, but is basically at square one for trying to figure out what is going on with them.  After witnessing a murder framed to look like an accident, he follows the killer home and finds out about the mild special talents.  He also finds out about Grasshopper, and even gets an interview with Inukai himself at the end of the volume.

This is basically setting things up for Junya’s story, but there’s still plenty that goes wrong.  Formerly happy and care-free Junya is now a smidge homicidal, and he wants blood and answers.  The murder in this volume was, frankly, fairly disturbing, if only because something equally sinister was expected.  And the aftermath involved some undeserved torture.

There’s some pretty visceral stuff in here, and it’s plenty disturbing.  This volume didn’t touch on the politics of Grasshopper, but I wonder if the end of the series will dip back into that.  I actually am very excited to see how things turn out.  Hopefully I can wrap up the last couple volumes tonight.

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