As we come to the end of summer we have yet another cycle of manga series ending in Shonen Jump. For a series like Yuki Tabata’s popular Black Clover ended its run on Weekly Shonen Jump and is now publishing in the quarterly released Jump GIGA. For others the news has been worse Daisuke Enoshima’s Fabricant 100 and Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki’s Tenmaku Cinema series have been cancelled in the last two weeks. That has left room for new manga series to debut, which we will be getting in the next three weeks.
The first new manga series that is debuting is Yoshihiko Hayashi’s MamaYuyu. This will be Hayashi, who previously won the Jump New World Manga Award in 2021 with their one-shot manga titled Lovely Runners High. Let’s see how Hayashi does is their debut ongoing manga series with MamaYuyu Chapter 1: “The Day I Became A Hero.”
Writer & Artist: Yoshihiko Hayashi
In a world where humans and demons live together in peace an 18-year-old named Corleo, who was born with the Hero Sigil, has been raised by Mamama, a 38-year-old who has the Demon Lord Sigil.
One day a hero from another world named Evan All Green appears with a warning of the Demon King of Disaster showing up. Evan is ordered to be executed as having two people with the Hero Sigil could fatally disrupt the world’s laws.
At different points Corleo admits to Evan and Mamama he feels he lacks a purpose as a “Hero” and wishes he was never born. Mamama apologizes for not properly listening to Corleo and promises to do better moving forward.
Suddenly Corleo is pulled into another dimension with Evan where the Demon Lord End appears. Evan easily defeats Demon Lord End. Evan reveals his world is no longer inhabitable. Because of that he brought Corleo to this dimension to kill him so he can be the only Hero in Corleo’s world.
Demon Lord End suddenly revitalizes and when they go for an attack Corleo pushes an unaware Evan out of the way and gets cut in half. Realizing he wasn’t living the life of a Hero who protects Evan, after killing Demon Lord End, trades his life for Corleo.
Corleo suddenly wakes up with a crying Mamama checking on all his wounds. End of chapter.
MamaYuyu chapter one does not read like the first chapter of a new story. Rather it reads as a one-shot that presents the full story from beginning to end. There isn’t a wonder of what comes next. That certainly comes with the benefit of giving Corleo, Mamama, and Evan All Green full character arcs. But when you are looking for a new manga series to get into MamaYuyu doesn’t present the hook to come back for more.
The biggest problem that Yoshihiko Hayashi has is with their plotting. Hayashi is so focused on Corleo’s form of Hero-complex there aren’t seeds planted for additional plotlines to follow in this world. The lack of world building is the biggest detriment of this series. The world is presented in such a clean manner that there is no real investment in seeing what else there is beyond the story in this first chapter. There isn’t even a sign of a conflict until Evan All Green shows up.
Which gets to how it does come across as we fast forwarded through an entire story arc with this first chapter of MamaYuyu. Hayashi is so focused on paying of the story with Evan All Green right away everything else like the 18 years of peace status quo or demon kid being bullied is pushed to the background. There are things about the story that if given a page or two of more attention could been developed in a way to capture the readers attention as sub-plots. But with the lack of marinating time the rush in this hero from another world appearance is fast forwarded.
The thing that does save the plot overall is Corleo as a lead. On that Hayashi does well in highlighting how everything about the world, including the presence of Evan All Green and Mamama, further remind Corleo of not living up to his Hero Sigil. There is an understanding of why Corleo gets to the point of feeling he shouldn’t have been born. Even though it is an extreme thought there’s a feeling this Hero complex is part of the nature of Corleo’s Sigil.
With this type of development for Corleo it is why there is feeling that MamaYuyu first chapter should’ve been dedicated to how Corleo interacts with the characters and world around him. That is the more intriguing hook of the series with Evan All Green appearance easily being saved for the hook ending instead. Showing those interactions of Corleo not feeling the same way about going to college as his peers at school would’ve added to the entire presentation. That way when he gets into the argument with Mamama later it is not something we are told Corleo doesn’t want but something shown.
The lack of time in this world before the left turn particularly didn’t help Mamama’s character. Hayashi spent to much time portraying Mamama as a nagging parent that her emotional story beats just fell flat. We’ve seen this type of parental figure in media over and over again. Adding in that Mamama has the Demon Lord Sigil just makes her character have the obvious plot convenience rather than proper development. Which adds to the rushed nature of this story.
On a more positive note, Hayashi artwork is the show stealer of MamaYuyu. The artwork already looks like a finalized product rather than one that will be refined as it goes. The characters and backgrounds are all well detailed. This at least helps with Corleo’s emotional arc in contrast to the rough nature of Evan All Green. The design for the Demon Lord Disaster also shows Hayashi has good range for creating wicked villains.
MamaYuyu Chapter 1 is a debut chapter that once it is over you feel as though you got your fill of the stories Yoshihiko Hayashi is looking to tell with this world. If this was a one-shot that would be great. But since this is the start of an ongoing series the lack of a bigger hook is the biggest downfall of this opening chapter. Its to bad because there is potential in the story that not having the feeling of wanting to read what comes next is disappointing.
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10