Onani Master Kurosawa Review
Onani Master Kurosawa, literally translated as “Masturbation Master Kurosawa”, is definitely different from one might expect the manga was going for gawking at the blatant title. It is a doujin, but strangely retained polished qualities that could even compete with other professional manga.
The premise of Onani Master Kurosawa was so ridiculous it’s laughable – a middle school boy secretly jerking off in the girl’s washroom. Every time classes were over, he always stayed in school until almost everyone had left the school, and then he proceeded on to his “daily activities” – choosing a girl from his school as his source of lust, and masturbated. The young boy, Kurosawa Kakeru, was really enjoying his “sexual life” at school, until one day, he got busted, by a quiet girl who seem to always got herself bullied – Kitahara Aya. Seeking revenge, she forced Kakeru to help her through blackmailing – threatening to expose his “secrets” should he refused. For all those who bullied her, in return, they are sullied by Kurosawa’s “white juices”.
The story is disturbing. It painted the darker side of school life to a realistic degree – bullies, blackmails, revenge – it is an unbelievably gloomy story, and is definitely not just a simple fapping tale. With Death Note’s signature psychological fashion, the manga portrays a very engaging, yet realistic plot. While the manga is intense however, I like how it had a calming conclusion – themes of redemption and acceptance befalls our characters, turning to a much more light-hearted second half of the manga. Reading those towards the end, it really makes one feel just how much the characters, especially Kurosawa, had grown, and I believe that’s the essence of the manga itself – growing up.
The atmosphere of Onani Master Kurosawa is a solemn one, and reading the manga from Kurosawa’s perspective really strengthen the feeling immersion and realism. It also helps one empathize with Kurosawa – his joys, his anger, his melancholy – all emotions he felt, we perceived as incredibly strong and potent – overpowering, and perhaps even exaggerated emotions. Aforementioned, I like how the manga had a conclusive point, throughout all the gloomy years of school life, the characters, both the bullies and the victims change gradually. To the bullies, it was about accepting the consequences of your actions, and to better yourself as a person; and to the victims, it was about forgiveness, after all, fighting fire with fire will just turn it into an never-ending cycle of hatred and revenge, and the manga shown us all too clearly. In short, once again, it was all about growing up.
Being a doujin, I can’t say the manga had the best artwork there is. The drawings look like incomplete sketches, and no proper filling or inking had been done. Lines look dirty, uneven and unclean, and sometimes, the effect lines just go all over the place. Such artwork however, oddly fits with the overall dreary and twisted ambiance. To give a metaphor, it’s like watching a psychological horror film in black and white TV, something feels “amiss”, and it’s imperfect visual presentations strengthen such vibes.
Onani Master Kurosawa was a surprisingly fine read, and an intense emotional ride at that. It’s artwork leave a bit to be desired, but it offsets that shortcoming with an extremely compelling storyline and empathizing characters. The manga is a truly excellent coming of age story and I definitely recommend to give it a read, despite it’s misleading title.