WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS.
I have been reading hungry joker ever since it began last November and I have yet to be disappointed. yet it is manga readers that are disappointing, with their lukewarm reception of this manga. Seriously, if shonen jump wants to see better numbers for hungry joker before determining to keep it in serialization, maybe they should consider making shonen jump weekly available in Africa.
Then again it all comes down to votes, which means we can also do our part to ensure this manga stays afloat.
Chitose has been working as assistant for a brilliant scientist and boy genius only known as Haiji. Haiji is a cold straight forward, direct speaking intellectual whose only interest is in the unknown and undiscovered. Haiji has a secret. He doesn’t know who he is or where he came from.
His earliest memory is standing on a field of shining corpses, with a creepy looking man in black watching him from a distance. His name, Haiji, was given to him by those that found him. Haiji seeks to find out who he is and where he came from.
Chitose is his ever faithful intern whom he drags into his crazy experiments. One day, because of his expertise, Haiji is called to a crime scene. Someone died gruesomely and more importantly, by the time the police arrive, they find the corpse shining/burning. This acts as a link for haiji to his past and that one memory that might explain who he is.
Here begins his journey into the world of the Eureka and the Mavro. Eureka are devices of truth, that are said to possess great knowledge about the world and eventually, God, and have been used in the past by great and well known men and women to develop and create life changing mathematical theories and biological, physical and chemical break throughs, the likes of which include Einstein and Newton.
These great persons possessed an inhuman ability to glean the truth behind the object. Special people like Haiji have the ability to glean this truth in a way that unlocks some truth about them, in the form of a great power or ability.
With Haiji, his Eureka is the black apple he was found with back then. A single small bite of it bequeaths to Haiji incredible gravity powers of a very devastating nature. The apple will heal each bite haiji takes so he can never fully consume it. One bite endows this ability to haiji for a specific amount of minutes.
Two bites increases not only the period of time that he can use the ability but also the level of power. But the more power he uses the greater the damage to his body, so he must learn temperance, even when faced with danger. When Haiji access this power, his eyes change. The second time he faces off against a marvro, haiji is able to lift an entire building off the ground and hold it in the air while he and the marvro fight upon it. Even when he would leap off it, he was able to maintain it in the air.
The word marvro translates as the army of the black gods. They are superhuman beings with great powers that see humans as nothing but insects who they will destroy eventually.
White joker is a powerful organization of eureka users that fight the marvro. Haiji joins white joker to stop the marvro, but mostly to learn more about himself.
I can’t stress enough how awesome this manga is. The problem is how fast it is going. I am not complaining, it isn’t really bad, but you can tell that the mangaka is afraid he is about to be cancelled and it is like he is doing everything in his power to make a difference, or at the very least end things on his terms.
In the last chapter we had discovered who Haiji was, a marvro, and that the man in black in his memories was his brother. This isn’t something we would learn normally for another 40 chapters, but whatever the case, it was an awesome revelation.
I just love watching Haiji. He is so direct in his speech and actions. He is kind of like a Sheldon (big bang theory) of sorts, in that he doesn’t understand normal convention. He will also say things that most people are thinking but won’t say.
Most things that amaze and confound normal people won’t even affect him, and most times, he will treat danger like an experiment, never really showing that he understands the fatality of a situations.
ON other occasions however, the most mundane things, incidents and events and objects that most people wouldn’t give a second thought bring Haiji to excitement and laughter. The best moments are when other more normal characters are reacting to haiji’s directness. It manages to be hilarious.
But my absolute favorite character is Allan Blackman, member of white joker and Haiji’s immediate rival. Allan wields the hammer of Archimedes and he comes off as cool a character as they get. He will challenge monsters and enemies with cool one liners and face danger without batting an eye.
And he will deliver, except that he usually does so with absolute fear. Inside, Allan is a coward and hungry joker will show us his inner thoughts along with his external attitudes and the two are always in conflict. He is a joy to watch.
Hungry joker has a very consistent and progressive story. it is also very well paced, with each new marvro fought revealing another peace of the puzzle. As expected we keep getting new Eureka and users with each passing mini arc, but each new character is a necessary peace in Hungry joker’s puzzle and they bring something new to the table as members of Haiji’s team.
Then there is chitose, who haiji will treat with disregard but whom he admits he greatly needs, even going to so far as to admit that in the six months she has been assisting him, he has made more progress than in the last few years he has been experimenting, especially with the apple; though he doesn’t know why her presence has made so much difference since she is a mere human, and when she quits, he coaxes her back by telling her that he would like to investigate more, to find out why she makes his work so much more successfully, with the promise of using his power to defend her against the very threats she quite because of
MY RATING:> Perfect 5/5
I would recommend this manga for everyone. It is only 17 chapters, so it is easy to catch up; the art is fairy average, but the battles are unique and well illustrated.
I intend to review this manga, so a quick recap is in order. We now know that Haiji’s real name is Barscheit, and that his brother is the one that took away his memories and apparently separated his blood. Nothing that haiji remembers is real.
Haiji likes to experiment on others, but it turns out that his brother was doing an experiment on him. he mentions their mother who was worried about Haiji, but apparently haiji exceeded his brother’s expectations in the power in has gained.
Dodomekis, the creepy dude that poisons beautiful girls, kills them and keeps them as maids survived Haiji and Nils’ combined Eureka attack, but Haiji’s brother is less than pleased with his defeat and annihilate him.
It seems like he can bend space to his will. There is that line he delivers to Dodomekis, who asks him if he would sends him back to their home, and he answers that ‘Sure I will send you back, I will send you back starting with your stomach.’ and then he opens a portal of sorts in his stomach, which spreads out and devours him.
You had to see the expression on his face to realize why that line was not only cool, but it established this guy as the big villain here. Dodomekis came off as more creepy (disturbingly) than evil.
Two events have impressed me so far. One was Nils’ grandmother, who is found dead in a labyrinth of mist surrounding a city, with powerful illusions of creatures to defend the mist and destroy intruders. After the sad event of finding his grandmother dead, I thought It was heartening to know that she was the one who had set up the mist; because she couldn’t beat Dodomekis, she instead chose to seal him in with her dying breath, because she knew just how dangerous he would be.
Then there was Allan and haiji and that combination attack they did with the apple and hammer; the destruction was just sick.
A worthy mention is the first ever battle, where the villain and haiji are fighting atop the building, and the marvro is about to take Haiji down without realizing that all that time, Haiji had been moving the building and it was now over the water. The expression on the marvro’s face the second before Haiji dropped them all into the sea was priceless.
After a few days of reading I have had to admit that assassination classroom is amazing (and hilarious) but Hungry joker is definitely the best new manga of this year.