When you see a name like Takeshi Obata on the front of a new manga you’re about to read it’s hard to not be excited. He’s well known for his work on highly popular series, most notability for his work on the wildly popular Death Note series. This time he is Joined by new manga writer Nobuaki Enoki for this new series.
These two geniuses in their respective crafts have come together to bring us a *ROMPA filled story of mystery, fun, and really, and I mean really good art.
*ROMPA - to use argument to refute another’s theories; to verbally defeat someone.
School Judgment is the story about elementary school students that sort out their differences in school via a courtroom system similar to the real thing with attorneys, prosecutors, Judges, and witnesses. It’s pretty much the real deal, except that the entire court is ran of elementary school, including the judges who happens to all be preschoolers, based on the logic that their rulings would be biased if they were older. These babies all happen to look older than their actual age however. In fact they all look like old men with receding hairlines and all, and the explanation we get for this is because of the stress they endure from their jobs they all take on this aged appearance.
OK, so I’m just gonna break this review up for a second to state how much I was already hooked as soon as the judges were introduced to the story. “ I mean c’mon this is all over the top nonsense”, but it all fits with the style of manga that I fancy along with the likes of titles like One Piece which many of you that have been following this site long enough should know is my favorite long running series to date.
Ok back to the review!!
The main characters in this tale of mystery and humor, as of the first volume are Abaku Inugami a 12 year old pretentious attorney who loves to ROMPA, Pine Hazuki (also 12), a prosecutor who becomes obsessed with defeating Abaku in court, and Abaku’s assistant, who I’ll leave nameless in this review so as to allow those of you who pick up this manga to experience it as the mangaka would have intended. An intent that I believe will be well worth it to those that are into these types of manga, because it’s by far one of the best manga I’ve read all year, and I’m already considering it one of the regular series I’ll be reading for the foreseeable future.
As for the Art by Obata-san, It is gorgeous. His line work, attention to detail and just the really stylized way in which he illustrated the characters on each page, the angles he uses for his subjects, all of it. It’s all so well done that I can’t find any fault in it at all.
Now I could go further to describe the similarities between School Judgment and the Pheonex Wright series, or I could make reference all the Nintendo video game references that are made throughout the manga like Yo-kai watch and the 3DS, but that’s not really going to matter all that much because this manga is not about all of that. It’s about an overarching mystery surrounding Abaku’s past that I believe won’t present itself until the manga has a couple volumes under it’s belt.
School of Judgement is the best new manga I’ve had the pleasure of reading in recent times, and if its story continues along the same path that it is on it will probably be one of the top 3 Shonen manga for years to come like Naruto, and Dragon Ball before it. My recommendation is for you to give the first volume a read. It’s well written, has amazing art work and for now seems like a great investment for fans of long running series.
School Judgment release today (02/02/2016) as a Paperback: here’s a Link for those interested in getting a copy.