I won’t say much. I’ll just cut to the chase.
Onanie Master Kurosawa is a good story. I enjoyed it a lot. There were things about it that I felt were a tad overexaggerated (Kurosawa’s body’s reaction to falling in love, Afro dude’s abnormal optimism), but overall, it had a lot that most didn’t. It paid attention to its characters, even those one wouldn’t expect to see again after a certain point. It didn’t give each character equal development, but it allowed for others outside of the primary cast to have some time to shine. The themes that were explored were age-old, but handled well enough to make the story interesting (with a sprinkle of crawling). The art was kinda shitty, but it’s doujinshi, so whatever. In fact, the shitty art style could be considered a strength to better represent the moments of dementia.
I also felt the plot had developed a tad too quickly. The pacing was a little awkward, especially once Takigawa begins to become a major character. There were too many times where I thought Kurosawa had reached a conclusion without properly thinking about the situation, much like his personality showed at the beginning of the story. This could also be excused by his age, which is fourteen. Fourteen year-olds don’t tend to think everything through, even if they talk as if they do. (That rhymed.)
Speaking of which, Kurosawa reminded me a lot of Hachiman from Oregairu. By the end of the story, he ended up becoming better than Hachiman. Because he grew out of his discontent for the world around him, which was only based on presumptuous misconceptions of the underdeveloped people around him. He was really preachy at first, which I really didn’t care for, but he became more likable later on, if one can look past the self-loathing that follows him throughout the story.
That’s all I really feel like saying. If anything else, it’s a story that was hampered by some pacing issues and some somewhat unbelievable characters. Nevertheless, the care that was put into this story is evident. I know I say that often, but it becomes more of a compliment with every title. I’ve read a lot of stories in my day. Not a lot feel as though the author gave a shit. Onanie Master Kurosawa definitely feels like it exudes a sense of spirit that isn’t present in most current manga titles. Almost as if the author knew how to carefully avoid all the plot cliches that come with manga, because they’ve read more manga than they can count.
Personal Score: B
Critical Score: B
On an unrelated note, thank you Satoru Iwata for helping to make my childhood great. You will be missed.