Mashle: Magic and Muscles is a kick-ass new manga. Honestly, when I first saw the teaser for Hajime Komoto’s Mashle: Magic and Muscle I was not all that excited or interested. But, once I read Chapter 1 of this new manga I was completely and utterly hooked.
This manga is a bit like a mash-up of Kinnikuman and Harry Potter. It reminds me of manga like Kinnikuman in that the protagonist, Mash, is a bit simple and goofy sometimes but has a big heart. There is a good sense of humor. There is a ton of fighting. The theme of friendship is important. Also, Mash’s friends are all people that he first defeated in battle and then earned their respect.
Then you take those Kinnikuman elements and add to it the Harry Potter elements including the setting of Mashle: Magic and Muscles at Eastern Magic Academy being like Hogwarts. This manga has three houses in Adler House, Orca House, and Lang House that are similar to the four Houses of Harry Potter. Lastly, you have royal established families who view themselves as superior to common magic users and the rare non-magic user.
At any rate, I am pumped for Mashle: Magic and Muscles Chapter 26. I am confident that Komoto has another fun read in store for us. Let’s go ahead and hit this review!
Words: Hajime Komoto
Art: Hajime Komoto
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Mash Vandead: Mash is the star of the manga. In a world where everyone is a magic user, Mash stands out as an oddity who has no magical ability at all. However, Mash does have his superhuman strength, speed, and toughness. Mash is a simple-minded hero with a good heart. Mash never seeks a fight but is quick to end one. Mash wants to become a Divine Visionary, so he can protect his father and himself from persecution due to Mash not being a magic-user. Mash is a member of Adler House.
Lance Crown: Lance is a powerful two stripe magic user from an influential and powerful family. Lance wants to become a Divine Visionary, so he can save his sister from being taken by the Bureau of Magic. Lance is a member of Adler House.
Daut Barret: Daut is hot-blooded and easily excitable. Daut views himself as the main character in an action manga. Daut just wants the attention from girls. Daut is a member of Adler House.
Finn Ames: Finn is Mash’s meek and mild roommate. Finn is chicken and tries to avoid fights. Finn is the straight man of this bunch of students. Finn is a member of Adler House.
Lemon Irvine: Lemon is a bit of an oddball. Lemon is much like Finn in that she gets scared easily and tries to avoid fights. Lemon is in love with Mash. Lemon is a member of Adler House.
Synopsis: We begin with Mash squaring off against Abyss Razor (Fantastic name!!) who is one of House Lang’s Magia Lupus. Abyss Razor uses his Acceleraise attack to move so fast that Mash cannot see him. Abyss Razor inflicts a cut to Mash’s side. Abyss Razor says that Mash cannot win. Again, Abyss Razor moves at super-speed and causes blood to spurt from various wounds all over Mash’s body.
Abyss Razor says that Mash can continue to challenge him, but that he will not go easy on Mash. Mash replies that none of it matters. None of it. Abyss Razor replies that Mash’s driving goal behind everything he fights for is so that Mash can live in peace with his family. Abyss Razor says that Mash’s goal and motivation are revolting.
Abyss Razor says that he cannot believe that he and Mash share the same circumstances and yet Mash still thinks the way he does. Abyss Razor then conjures an image of Lemon hooked up to a device. Abyss Razor says that the device drains magic-powers and that in 30 minutes Lemon will lose her mark and her ability to use magic forever. Then Lemon will be just like Mash.
Abyss Razor asks if this makes Mash happy. Mash says that Abyss Razor can’t be serious. Mash says that if Abyss Razor is serious then Abyss Razor’s mask is coming off in pieces.
Abyss Razor then unleashes a modified attack called the Acceleraise Sphere. Mash puts up his arms like Kinnikuman’s Muscle Curtain to block the multiple attacks. Abyss Razor then moves at sudden speed and stabs his sword through Mash’s torso.
Abyss Razor sassy that anyone can spout high-minded ideals. But, in the end, it is just talk. Abyss Razor then notices that he cannot pull his sword out of Mash’s torso.
Mash looks at Abyss Razor and says that he caught Abyss Razor. Abyss Razor realizes that Mash is flexing his abdominal muscles to keep the sword from moving. Mash then grabs Abyss Razor and pulls him toward him. Mash headbutts Abyss Razor in the face shattering Abyss Razor’s mask. End of chapter.
The Good: Hell yeah! Mashle: Magic and Muscles Chapter 26 is another bad-ass read! I love this manga. Each chapter is so much fun. Mashle: Magic and Muscles Chapter 26 loads up the action with the showdown between Mash and Abyss Razor. We had been teased this conflict a few chapters ago. Hajime Komoto did a good job establishing Abyss Razor as a mysterious character who had the ability to pose a legit threat to Mash. Well, Komoto certainly did not disappoint when these two characters finally came to blows. Chapter 26 absolutely lived up to expectations.
Mashle: Magic and Muscles Chapter 26 is all about the fighting. This is the clear strength of this manga. Komoto has to be a fan of pro wrestling. The reason I say that is because Komoto’s fight psychology is brilliant. The fight between Mash and Abyss Razor delivered the kind of excellent psychology that I would expect from a Jericho v. Kenny Omega match.
Komoto understands how to properly set the stage for a fight. Komoto effectively got over Abyss Razor as the first legitimate threat to Mash. Until now, Mash has not had to exert too much effort in defeating his opponents. Which is a smart route to take because it allows Komoto to build up Mash’s abilities and to show the reader why they should take Mash seriously and root for him.
However, now that Mash and his fighting prowess and powers have been firmly established it is time for Komoto to give Mash a more legitimate threat. And that is what we get with Chapter 26. Abyss Razor brings the heat far more than any of Mash’s prior opponents.
I dig that Komoto allows Abyss Razor to get the upper hand at the beginning of the fight. This allows Komoto to show off Abyss Razor’s abilities and make him an imposing villain. Komoto wisely builds up Abyss Razor as a seemingly unstoppable foe. For the first time, the reader actually feels that Mash is in true peril. The reader legitimately began to worry about Mash.
This smart fight psychology then allows Komoto to deliver a mind-blowingly cool hook ending. Up until the final two pages, Komoto had convinced the reader that Mash was about to suffer his first loss. It appeared that Abyss Razor had landed a kill shot. Then, Komoto stuns the reader by revealing that Mash allowed Abyss Razor to stab him. This allowed Mash to grab the sword with his strong abdominal muscles and trap Abyss Razor close enough to him to finally grab him and land a blow.
This excellent fight construction made the final two pages a surprising swerve and got the reader to pop big time at the sudden reversal of fortune in the fight. Plus, Mash’s moves are unpredictable, unique, and completely bad-ass. I mean, come on! Komoto had Mash use his AB MUSCLES to grab a sword! Who saw that coming?!
The entire fight is perfectly constructed and has an organic flow to it. Our hero is finally being tested and is rising to the occasion in a surprising fashion. In the end, Komoto’s building up Abyss Razor for almost the entire chapter will serve to make Mash’s victory seem like a truly special accomplishment.
Abyss Razor is a cool villain. Komoto has a great look and some cool moves and attacks. Komoto also gives Abyss Razor a great personality. This is so important. There are cool villains and there are tragic villains who are misunderstood. Then there is a type of villain that we see often in pro wrestling. The irritating heel. Komoto takes a cue from pro wrestling and understands that effective fight psychology is boosted when the villain has a personality that makes the reader want to see the villain get his ass kicked. Komoto does that with Abyss Razor who is such a jerk that the reader cannot wait to see Mash beat his ass.
As always, Mash is a great character. Mash is as laconic as ever. Komoto continues to write Mash as all business like a young Clint Eastwood. Mash remains unflappable even in the face of his most difficult and threatening opponent.
Komoto continues to come up with creative ways for Mash to use his superhuman strength and agility. Mash using his abdominal muscles to trap Abyss Razor’s sword from moving is possibly the most badass moment that we have gotten up to this point. I love how creative Komoto is with Mash’s powers and fighting moves.
Mashle: Magic and Muscles Chapter 26 continues the themes of family and friends. Komoto reminds the reader that Mash is at Eastern Magic Academy trying to become a Divine Visionary because of his family. Then Komoto constructs the turning point of the fight in Chapter 26 around Lemon being in peril. Seeing Lemon in danger is what allows Mash to summon the extra strength inside himself to make a comeback in this fight. I like that Komoto continues to place an emphasis on friendship and its importance to the various characters.
Lastly, not only does Komoto deliver a great story, but Komoto also cranks out plenty of fantastic artwork in Chapter 26. Komoto’s art has noticeably improved over what we got in the first few chapters of Mashle: Magic and Muscles. As this manga progresses, Komoto’s artwork keeps gets better and better. I love how Komoto draws the action scenes. Komoto understands how to properly frame a fight scene. The panels always have a dynamic and interesting look to them.
The Bad: I have no criticisms of this chapter.
Overall: Mashle: Magic and Muscles Chapter 26 is a blast to read. Komoto continues to deliver fun and exciting reads with each installment of this manga. If you like fighting mangas with cool characters and good comedy then you absolutely have to give Mashle: Magic and Muscles a try. This is a gem of a manga.
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