Onani Master Kurosawa

Alt title: Masturbation Master Kurosawa

Vol: 4; Ch: 30
4.32 out of 5 from 2,716 votes
Rank #1,560
Onani Master Kurosawa

Every day after school, the quiet and introverted student Kurosawa goes into the empty girls bathroom and "relieves himself". Besides this extremely odd ritual, Kurosawa also has a thirst for justice and a judgmental attitude towards his classmates. Upon seeing the bullying of an awkward girl in his class by two of the "popular" girls, he decides to bring justice to the bullies the only way he knows how. His plan for revenge goes "just as planned" until met by an unsuspected accomplice.

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STORYThe opening scene of Onani Master Kurosawa shows the titular protagonist vigorously pleasuring himself in an abandoned girls’ lavatory. The bottom of the first page offers a full, digitally-rendered shot of the stain he leaves on the wall. What else should we expect from a manga whose title begins with the Japanese word for ‘masturbation’?Certainly not a Death Note parody, I’m sure. As we watch the aloof Kurosawa drift through school via vainglorious monologues, arrogant smirks, and carefully plotted toilet breaks, the manga appears nothing more than a puerile attack on a more popular title. The artist even goes as far as having the protagonist declare ‘I am Kurosawa’ with the same infamous over-the-shoulder shot as Light Yagami. This spoof seems an amusing but nonetheless quizzical choice for a beginning, as though it exists only because the mangaka wanted a light distraction. However, later, it proves the perfect way to show exactly how Onani Master Kurosawa differs from other shallower stories about disenfranchised youth.The manga’s true intent worms its way out of the ludicrous premise as soon as Kurosawa meets the downtrodden Kitahara, a victim of bullying suffering from psychological breakdown. She’s small and reticent and utterly helpless, which makes a strong enough impression that Kurosawa decides to become a sick sort of avenger. In an unguarded moment of humanity, he betrays his ability to connect with someone more pathetic than he is, and everything from there is pure, marvellous character development.Now, a straightforward revenge story would end with the victims finding relief in their torturers’ misfortunes. But this manga keeps things ambiguous in two ways. Firstly, victim and avenger find each other only because they both happen to wander the outer fringes of high school society and not because they in any way like each other. Furthermore, there is disturbingly little evidence that their relationship is a healthy one. Onani Master Kurosawa nurtures these ambiguities, ensuring that, even as we sympathise, we never become comfortable with the characters’ aggressive solution. It thus spins a moving tale of redemption while maintaining an unflinching eye for human weakness.Of course, the chosen sexual motif is base and disgusting, but the intense personal drama simultaneously reveals an uplifting truth that many will identify with: even seemingly irredeemable people are anything but. Just as Kurosawa’s caricatured antipathy is mere scene setting tossed aside as soon as the story gets underway, his selfish pleasures prove a brittle mask intended only to keep people from discovering his fragile, love-starved soul. ARTWith rough, sketchy lines that fray and overlap, the mangaka delivers a bold, unapologetic style that leaves every pencil stroke naked to the eye. On the one hand, this coarseness grants Kurosawa’s face the fluidity to shift easily from sinister glee during monologues to wide-eyed innocence when addressing others. And his design succeeds brilliantly at demonstrating his anonymity: he wears nondescript clothing and has the lank, longish hairstyles seen on heroes of plenty of other manga. Sometimes he looks like Light, other times he looks like no one in particular. However, most of the supporting cast also sport disappointingly mundane traits - cute cartoon faces with large, bulbous eyes and small mouths. Moreover, since atmosphere is utterly irrelevant to this character study, backgrounds look perfunctory and exist only to provide a vague school setting. At its most radical, the manga doesn’t shy away from cum stains, presenting more detailed shots of gloopy, stringy stuff than the average reader will be used to. Miraculously, these depictions never seem gratuitous or exploitative - after all, if the manga’s intention was to titillate, then the last thing it would show is actual spunk. Rather, the shock quickly wears off and the graphic images become vital, if also ugly, glimpses of a person in his most intimate and undignified moment.CHARACTERSKurosawa’s beginnings as a petty Light allow him to shame the latter’s caricatured portrayal of apathetic youth. He is at first a stereotypical blank slate who interacts as little as possible with his peers and harbours a blunt hostility towards the world. Initially, he seems like a train wreck that’s already happened, offering only sinister laughs and depraved sexual fantasies. But the mangaka finds a glimmer of humanity in all that darkness and uses that leverage to pry him open panel by panel. By the end, he seems not just to have changed, but to have evolved into a uniquely inspiring sort of delinquent.Onani Master Kurosawa’s cast generally includes people who think they are dirty and dark inside. Their insecurities make them bitter about other people’s happiness, but never inspire them to change or think of themselves as deserving of love. They are the kind of people so used to pushing others away that they cannot accept others accepting them. How can such persons ever escape their spiral of dejection? How will they reconnect with society and make friends? It’s this painful process of relearning their worth that will keep viewers turning from page to page as, I suspect, it speaks a blunt language to anyone who has felt self-doubt.OVERALLOnani Master Kurosawa is no ecchi trough from which fanservice animals can feed - it’s too graphic and direct for shallow titillation. And though it starts like a  nihilistic piece set only to ride the opportunistic wave of Death Note satire, it eventually carves a new path with moving character studies. Here, high school children are not aloof geniuses but vulnerable beings who make big mistakes. If the Death Note-lite beginning is necessary, it is only to show that cartoon characters can be anything but.


"I'm truly sorry."People can change. A simple theme that Onanie Master Kurosawa manages to delicately capture and portray through a coming of age story that weaves the lives of two social outcasts as they maneuver through school. Kakeru Kurosawa is a Junior High School Student who masturbates in the girl's bathroom. He is a loner, not wanting to have friends and preferring to keep himself out of any involvement with anyone in his school, even with people who genuinely like him. He adopts a facade of intellectual superiority. Aya Kitahara, on the other hand, is bullied by her classmates to no end. Both find themselves in a situation where they wreck havoc among their peers, which leads to a rollercoaster of emotions and drama that is heartbreaking but also optimistic, inspiring change in a genuine way. Onanie Master Kurosawa chooses to stay grounded with its story, allowing Kakeru to grow meticulously alongside the happy and sad moments of the manga. The manga is pretty intense, with some chapters leading to triumph, and others leaving the reader with their heart pounding. This is due to how believable the drama is and how Kakeru and Kitahara themselves are easily sympathisable and empathisable characters. The manga does a great job at connecting the reader to the main characters with the way it conveys the thought processes and mindsets of both of them. It is easy to say that a lot of their deeds are wrong but it is also easy to understand why they are doing the things they are doing. It is clear where they are coming from. They are not perfect characters, and it is exceptionally shown just how ugly their ugly sides are but also how beautiful their growth is as well. And that is why the redemption of both of these characters is so beautiful. Because it is genuine and sincere, and it does not hold back. Kakeru's redemption is not something that happens in the blink of an eye. People do not just easily forgive him. He suffers for his actions, and the aftereffects are not easy to overcome. The consequences are perfectly reasonable, and the manga shows that actions do indeed have consequences in a blunt and realistic way. But it also shows that redemption can come if you can endure, and Kurosawa chooses the path filled with thorns for a glorious and extremely satisfying redemption arc. Kitahara, on the other hand, has a harder time coping with her self-destructive habit of revenge. Not everyone can take the hard path, and Kitahara is one of them. This does not make her pathetic or weak-willed in any way, however, as her background and reasons for being the way she is has already been meticulously established throughout the course of the story. It is easy to sympathise with her own circumstances, not just because of her being a victim of bullying, but also because of the fact that she finds it hard to let go. It is hard to look to a better future, and it is hard to start the change yourself.  But change inspires change. Kurosawa's change helps Kitahara to change. Through Kurosawa's redemption comes his desire to help Kitahara overcome her own inner-conflicts. This is all manifested in an authentic way, with Kurosawa's reformed line of thinking pushing through to inspire Kitahara to also take that first step forward. The outcome is sweet and grants a nice sense of closure for her character. Bullying, revenge, consequences, and change are prominent themes of Onanie Master Kurosawa, and both are conveyed deeply without any bounds. The manga does not shy away from the hard and ugly truths, but it also communicates the idea that there is a lot to hope for from the "outside world" as Kurosawa describes it. Being lonely sucks. Being bullied sucks. Revenge sucks, too, because it only grants a fleeting sense of happiness. These messages are things that one can easily understand. What Onanie Master Kurosawa communicates most, however, is the idea that with change comes true happiness, and the way it conveys this notion is genuine and sincere, leading to a wholesome outcome that grants a wonderful sense of closure for the reader and which also leaves a positive lasting impression.

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