Shamo

Vol: 34; Ch: 334
1998 - 2015
3.848 out of 5 from 575 votes
Rank #9,754
Shamo

After sixteen-year-old Ryo Narushima brutally murders his parents, leaving his sister alive, he finds himself at a juvenile facility where numerous horrors await him. Between getting gang raped and tormented at every turn for his crimes, the boy turns to martial arts, taught by the prisoner Kenji Kurotawa, in order to become stronger. Thus begins Ryo’s quest for power, no matter who tries to get in his way.

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Reviews

bunda6662
7.7

Unfortunately, the synopsis on this site misleads potential readers into thinking that the manga is about a troubled individual who accidentally killed his parents, was sent to a correctional facility, and then goes through 300+ chapters of suffering and challenges while using karate for rehabilitation. The volume 1 cover does not help either... Frankly, no one in their right mind would want to read such trash. Thankfully, the manga is nothing like that, and the main character is only briefly imprisoned for a few chapters before being released and left to navigate the world. Once this is understood, it becomes easier to see why the story is interesting and engaging. However, there are still several issues.Up until volume 13, the manga is excellent, and I consider it the true essence of the story within those volumes. After that point, the plot unravels, and it becomes evident that various problems are occurring. The main character undergoes significant changes, and even three volumes of filler are written, which I never seen before in a manga. Unfortunately, everything that the MC does, learns, and participates in during this filler is completely forgotten and ignored in subsequent volumes. Not only that, but many arcs and subplots are concluded with a deus ex machina or left unresolved after everything that led up to the there, implying that they were poorly planned or, worse, written in a way that makes no sense in the context of the story, leading the reader to believe they were added merely to extend the story or create shock value.To summarize, many elements were written without coherence from the beginning, but until volume 13, I believe the story is relatively solid if certain aspects here and there are disregarded. After volume 13, it becomes impossible to ignore the significant number of inconsistencies, forced situations, and elements that serve no purpose other than extend the story to nowhere. Despite this mess, most characters do receive some resolution, although it's evident that some resolutions are forced to remove them from the story, while others are added to extend it or for similar reasons. However, within the context of the story, I believe the characters without resolution make sense and shouldn't be considered as loose ends.Regarding the art, it is good but not without errors, especially in the initial volumes. However, as the story progresses, the art improves gradually, and the artist's style becomes more serious. The artist also seem to have a small repertoire of poses and shots, frequently repeating many panels (geez, how many 3/4 mouth close-ups do we need?). That being said, most of what he draws is solid.The characters themselves are all interesting and quite realistic, with the main character stealing the show and being one of the most fascinating protagonists among the many manga I have read. You won't feel disappointed that he didn't do what you would have done in his place; on the contrary, he exceeds expectations and goes beyond! In my opinion, he is a great main character. Unfortunately, after volume 13, he loses much of what made him cool. For no apparent reason in the story, he is toned down, and his actions become milder, losing the edge he had before. It feels as if someone decided he was too intense (which I would agree with) and decided to tame him (which I don't agree with). As for the other characters, as I mentioned before, they are also good and realistic in their own way, but unfortunately, some of them become somewhat unrealistic in their actions, although it happens sporadically.In conclusion, the only reason not to read this manga is if, like me, you were deceived by the synopsis. Therefore, I aimed to clarify potential readers in this review to avoid falling into that trap and to ensure that this manga is worth reading. I recommend it without a doubt.

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