Bloody Monday

Vol: 11; Ch: 96
2007 - 2009
3.971 out of 5 from 1,145 votes
Rank #4,740
Bloody Monday

Takagi Fujimaru may seem like a regular high school student, but behind the cheery facade lies a genius hacker by the name of Falcon. When his father is framed for a murder, Falcon uses his brilliant hacking skills to try and protect his sister and clear his father's name. However, he finds that his father, an agent in an elite government agency, was involved with something far more complex than a simple murder. A terrorist group is plotting against the city of Tokyo and it is up to Falcon, with the help of his friends, to unravel the twisted plans set in place to kill millions of people.

Source: Kodansha

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Since this manga only has positive reviews so far, I figured it was time for a less positive one (I dropped this at 6/11 volumes). This review will contain spoilers of those 6 volumes. Most people who will read this review have probably watched or read Death Note, one of the biggest gateway-manga/anime lately (and also one of my first manga). Lots of people liked the "battles of the mind" in that series (as did I), and especially the battle between Kira and L were well-received. Now, meet Bloody Monday, a manga that seems to have tried to become a second Death Note, but failed miserably.  Characters The biggest reason why this failed can be found in the character-section (which is why I'll address this section first), and mainly the main character: Takagi Fujimaru. This guy is a "normal high-schooler, but..." (yeah, how clichéd can it get?) "...he's also a genius hacker who goes by the name of Falcon" (becaue the 'taka' in 'Takagi' means falcon). *sigh*... And then this guy is supposed to fight against an organisation of terrorists to stop them from unleashing a killer virus called Bloody-X (my guess is that they want to unleash it on a Monday, because everybody hates Mondays), with his most prominent opponent being a guy who is referred to as "J". (And no, this isn't some prequel to Death Note) So what's so bad about the MC, apart from the cliché I mentioned already? Well first off: all aspiring authors should note that having a hacker as your MC is almost never a good idea. Why not, you may ask? Well, because you need a relatively "flexible" main character if you want a dynamic story, and a guy whose only merit is being good at hacking can't get that kind of "flexibility" ("flexible", for lack of a better word). What most authors then do to make their character more "flexible" is make them "genius hackers who can hack the most unhackable things in 5 minutes or less", completely forgetting the fact that it's impossible for computers to have that kind of speed. And that's also what happens in Bloody Monday: "Falcon" hacks into most networks in 1-2 minutes, until... there's a sytem with a defense he designed himself, in order to make it unhackable even for him. Some terrorists demand he hacks into it in 5 minutes, or his sister will die (more about that later). Falcon complains that it's impossible even for him, so one of the terrorists goes outside and gets orders to give him 3 more minutes (like that would help) if necessary. She goes back inside and... ta-da! He hacked into it in less than 4 minutes! When asked to explain how come he was faster than he said he was, he explains that he used his gomu gomu abilities to go into gear second and evolved and got better... And then people complain about ass-pulls in Fairy Tail. A second problem I have with the MC is that he's just so ******* stupid. He finds a traitor, but decides to listen to the things an enemy says to make him doubt his judgement, which makes it possible for said traitor to shoot an ally and abduct him. When he meets J, the big baddie, he also acts stupid. He also involves all his friends, which has to be the dumbest thing any shounen protagonist ever did. Aside from pure stupidity, he's also too damn naive. It's as if L would play mindgames against Naruto or some other dumb shounen character.  Third problem: the MC can't decide whether he has resolve or not. One moment he has lots of fighting spirit, the next he's as indecisive as some generic harem-girl who has yet to decide whether or not she'll confess. The fourth problem isn't actually purely about the MC, but more about the supporting cast: the MC and one of his friend are the only people who are a little competent, while they have the support of "Third-I" (some kind of FBI/CIA/NSA-thingy). Having a your teenaged MC be the only person who's competent just makes me roll my eyes as much as I did in Aldnoah.Zero, and that means a lot of eye-rolling. "Enough about the MC, talk about the rest of the cast. " - my inner voice. So yeah, a bit about the side characters:   - the MC has a little sister, who is sick and weak, and gets abducted about as many times a Naruto says "dattebayo". This element may also remind you from that other semi-mind-battle series, Code Geass.   - his best friend and "back-up", who is also an archer: Otoya Kujou. Archers are cool, nothing to say about this guy. He's arguably the most interesting person.  - a bunch of other friends: meh, they're there and they're involved because the MC is stupid, but most of them were bland or not very well fleshed out  - Third-I: an organization of people who are incompetent 99% of the time and can only do something when they have a target to shoot that isn't even moving.  - the terrorists: J is a boring version of L. The others are barely worth mentioning. Characters: 3/10 (bland, boring, and stupid are the keywords here) Story This section is rather short: although the premise is exciting, it quickly becomes repetitive, bland, and at times even flat-out stupid. The author should know that we really didn't need to see the same people get abducted everytime! And he shouldn't bring back dead people if he wanted to have a serious manga (because that's what the manga seems to want to be). The "impossible hacking skills" of the MC also diminish the realism the manga was aiming for. The most important parts this manga is missing is also easy to describe: excitement and enjoyment. The manga feels so flat that I felt barely any suspense, creating a boring and unenjoyable manga.  Story: 2/10 (repetitive, boring) Art I'm not very good at rating art in manga, but it was good I guess? I've seen better, but I've seen lots of worse stuff too. Art 7/10 Overall 3.5/10 Not recommended  Recommendations: Death Note, Liar Game, Code Geass (Onani Master Kurosawa)

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