I think I’m going to start using quotes from the title to showcase what the series is really all about. Of course, this won’t be with everything, but it will be for mostly horrible titles… such as Tora Kiss.
“Academy Island has no laws.”
Let that sink in. Let this sink in, too: this manga has an average rating of 9.84, based on eighty-something user votes on goodmanga.net (before my vote). God bless those who hold no strife.
Now, going back to the quote above, Tora Kiss: A School Odyssey is like a combination of No Game No Life and Baka-Test. Now, a lot people might think “Oh, that’s a pretty good combination!” This isn’t the case. It’s basically everything WRONG with those two titles, wrapped up in a short, twenty-four chapter story with horrible pacing and obscene amounts of women flaunting their bodies.
It stars a boy named Tora (Y’know, like Tora Kiss?), who’s placed in a fictional setting called Academy Island, where students duke it out via creatures they can summon through the use of “data,” that is provided by “The Monument.” Now, a huge number of questions arise from this premise; what is this “Monument?” How does is supply data? Does the amount of data determine the strength of an individual’s creature? How does one get more data? Why is data important? These are but a few questions that could be asked about the title. How many are answered? Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) few.
The story is so unbelievably rushed. The story is so unbelievably unreal. Tora Kiss is literally an excerpt of every teenage boy’s wildest anime-influenced fantasies. Here are some key points to this: how do you get more data? By kissing people. Because saliva produces data? No reason why it has to be kissing. Fan service. How many male characters are in this series, and I mean the ENTIRE series? Four. How many are even slightly as important as Tora? Zero. Fan service. How many girls are in this series? Way too many. Fan service. How many panty shots do we get in this series? Way too many. Fan service. How many naked girls do we get in this series? Way too many. And are nipples shown? Nope. Typical. Fan service. How many different varieties of women are shown? Way too many. Jealous tsundere childhood friend. Kuudere smart girl. Wild, animalistic girl with huge tits and revealing outfits. Oh, and she’s dark-skinned, too. With light hair. Okay. We have the lolis (Oh, so many lolis.), and genuine children. We are genuinely showing naked little girls. Fan service. Is Tora overpowered to all hell? Absolutely. Fan service. Do we get the “UWAAAAAAAH! WHAT ARE YOU DOING, TORA?! YOU’RE A PERVERT! STOP PEEKING ON MY PANTIIIIIIIIIES! OUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!” You bet your fucking ass we do. This is an ecchi manga. We can’t DARE have anything other than this, can we? Fan. Service.
I completely forgot to include why this story is so rushed. I’m just gonna take the time to explain the entire story:
Step #1: Introduce characters. They already have established creatures and it takes place as if it were already in the middle of a two-cour series.
Step #2: Battle! You want people to read your manga about monsters? Make ’em battle WHENEVER POSSIBLE! Oh, and those who control the monsters? All cute girls. Literally all of them. All of those with power are all gorgeous, teenage girls. Remember this! And what’s even better than gorgeous teenage girls? Gorgeous teenage girls kissing! Let’s make it so all “data” is transferred through kissing! And the loser has to kiss the winner of the battle! So NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, AT THE END OF EACH BATTLE, THE TWO WHO BATTLED WILL KISS! OH, IT’S SUCH GENIUS WRITING!
Step #3: Harem. All girls who battle with/associate with/look at/listen to/know the existence of Tora will become his bitch. No exceptions.
Step #4: EPIX STOREH. Make sure you have the most dramatic and hardcore story ever in order to appeal to those looking for something edgy! Childhood friend died in an accident? Yeah, that’s good! A hierarchy manipulating those without power into doing their bidding in the hopes of achieving the ultimate power of The Monument? Dude, you should be Shakespeare! What’s that? You want to know how you can explain all of this in just twenty-four chapters? Don’t worry! Just flood the story with tits and kissing until all of your audience no longer has a brain strong enough to allow them to decipher the MASSIVE, GIGANTIC, ENORMOUS plotholes within the story!
Step #5: PROFIT!!!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
“Academy Island has no laws.” If there are no laws, why are there schools with rules? If there are no laws, who’s stopping you from raping every beautiful girl in the story? No laws means no police. It is literally the biggest plothole I have ever seen in ANY story. ANY. It’s hilarious, one other character responded to this comment with “But there are such things as ethics and morals!” Really? If you grew up in a society with NO LAWS, would you even be able to comprehend the idea of morals and ethics? No one is stopping you from doing anything! You aren’t able to interpret what’s wrong or right, because you wouldn’t know better! No one is teaching you! Oh, how lazy this writing is. It’s truly, absolutely astounding. And you know what brought up this whole “no rules” comment? The animal girl convincing everyone that it’s okay for Tora to have multiple wives.
I spent far too long on story. Let’s get to the characters! Tora is both a horrible and a likable character. He’s sarcastic and witty, which is the only good thing about his character. He’s also incredibly overpowered and epitomizes the “HMPH. I’M COOLER THAN YOU, BRO.” that I despise with the youth of today. Arrogance incarnate… but at least he uses that for good, occasionally. There’s the tsundere childhood friend. He’s exactly what she is. Y’know what? I’m not even gonna bother. The title that goes with each character shows exactly what they are. I’ll just list them all:
Childhood friend tsundere.
Horny male friend.
Comic-relief female friend (who is barely shown).
Wild, animal girl.
Good-for-nothing teacher who has no boyfriend despite being gorgeous.
Various other stupid people.
The art was fine. Of course it’s fine. It’s an ecchi. An ecchi with bad art doesn’t exist, or it’s spat upon by everyone and slipped under the rug. It’s become a habit of mine to disregard the art of an anime or manga simply because at this point in time, good art is expected. If the art is below standards, it’s a flaw. If it meets expectations, it’s expected, not praised. Only those with breathtakingly good art or animation deserves praise, and that’s sad. But, y’know, why inflate the score based only on art? Bad art with a good story is millions times better than good art with an awful story. See: Ping Pong.
I’ve been writing this for too long. I need to stop before my lap becomes too heated from my laptop’s exhaust. Long story short: Tora Kiss: A School Odyssey is shit. Don’t read it… or do, I don’t care. It’s still shit regardless.