If there is anything that keeps me into the medium of both anime and manga, it's the unexpected surprises that you get from some of these works. Onani Master Kurosawa matches that kind of description perfectly. One of the biggest turn-offs with this manga is the translation of the name in addition with the synopsis. However, hidden behind all of that is an amazing coming of age story.
Onani Master Kurosawa follows the daily life of Kakeru Kurosawa, a guy who enjoys fapping in the certain stall of a certain girls bathroom at his school around the same time everyday. While in class, he sees one girl getting bullied always, so he takes revenge for the girl in the way of his masturbation secrets. However, after bumping into that girl after school one day, she finds out about Kurosawa's ritual and decides to use that to her advantage, creating much tension to Kurosawa's daily life.
One of the most obvious pluses of this story is the psychological aspects of it. Kurosawa constantly wants to keep his secret just that, but is constantly threatened by the only person who knows of it to do her dirty work in order to keep the cat in the bag. This creates situations in the story that can cause things to easily turn into the worse and Katsura Ise does a great job of creating this build-up for events as such.
As I mentioned earlier, this manga is a coming-of-age story that builds itself up perfectly. Certain themes are presented in this work, with one of the most obvious examples being the question of revenge actually being worth it, relationship and social issues in general, who are the people who can be called your friend and trying to find your own faults and fixing them. These are all placed perfectly throughout the story which makes the story interesting chapter by chapter, as well as to create some well-timed dramatic moments, such as Kurosawa's famous monologue midway into the story.
The only issue that I honestly had with this manga is the ending. Part of it can be due to personal taste of a certain relationship that occurs, but there's also this part in the later chapters that start to slow down everything. It isn't necessarily boring to read, but there isn't as much flavor to it as there was in the moments leading up to these later chapters. However, this is really just a minor fault with all the other pluses included into this.
The characters are easily the strongest part about this work, with the character development easily being spot on. An example of this would have to be Kurosawa, in which he shows off how his decisions and outlook on life and people start to change as more events start to occur throughout the story. Even the supporting characters start to change their opinions of Kurosawa as you travel to the conclusion, whether it be for better or for worse.
I was honestly a fan of the realistic depiction of these characters, especially when it came down to not only their archetypes, but also their relations with each other. No character ever acted out-of-place over the course of the story and they really stuck to who they were at the time. This causes their relations to have much more impact and meaning, especially when the more romantic factors of the story start to come into play.
The art wasn't something that was necessarily bad, but I wouldn't call it amazing either. If you want it to go off the standard of other Doujin's, then it's acceptable in some sense. Yokota has this style to his characters that make them look a little off at times, but not to the point where it can distract to the story. Again, it isn't an issue that I would really stress about it much, but it should be brought up nonetheless.
Overall, the surprising story of Onani Master Kurosawa can prove to be one enjoyable read. Behind the slightly disgusting tone of the synopsis comes this package with a beautiful present on the inside. Mixing in psychological, dramatic and romantic factors really worked out well for this story. The characters are realistic and relatable while showing off amazingly written character development. If you're looking for a realatively short manga to read that has a bunch of substance to it, then look no further. Onani Master Kurosawa is easily one of the most underlooked stories that deserves much more praise than it has received.