Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Manga Review: SCHOOL JUDGMENT Volume 3


STORY: Nobuaki Enoki
ART: Takeshi Obata
TRANSLATION: Mari Morimoto
LETTERS: James Gaubatz
ISBN: 978-1-4215-8568-0; paperback, (June 2016); Rated “T” for “Teen”
216pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

School Judgment: Gakkyu Hottei is a shonen manga / courtroom drama set in an elementary school classroom.  This manga was published in the pages of Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump and was written by Nobuaki Enoki and drawn by Takeshi Obata (Death Note).

School Judgment focuses on the two new transfer students who enroll at Tenbin Elementary School in Himawari City.  Both students become members of Class 6-3, and both are lawyers.  The first is Pine Hanzuki, and while she may be cute, she is a ruthless prosecutor.  The next is Abaku Inugami; he is a superb defense attorney, and his hobby is “ronpa.”  Here, all quarrels bypass the teachers and are settled by some of the best lawyers in the country, who just so happen to be elementary school students.

As School Judgment: Gakkyu Hottei, Vol. 3 (entitled Civil Trial Arc; Chapters 17 to 21 to Finale) opens, Tento Nanahoshi is in trouble again.  He was Abaku's first defense client at Tenbin.  Now, Tento is charged with the attempted murder of fellow classmate, Reiko Shiratori, and ultimate student prosecutor, Yui Kijima, is determined to put Tento away for a long time.

Abaku, however, believes that this case involves more than what initially seems obvious.  This trial, or classroom session, could solve the mystery of the “Red Ogre.”  Now, Tento, Kotaro Sarutobi (fellow attorney), and Yui can learn who killed their classmates at their old school.

[This volume includes two School Judgment one-shots.]

The School Judgment: Gakkyu Hottei manga has come to an end.  On a few occasions, I found the series a bit tedious, but I thought the series could run for awhile.  After all, kids are always up to no-good.  Besides this series is drawn by Takeshi Obata, an artist known for some truly unique manga, especially Bakuman。and Death Note, and I always want more of him.

School Judgment: Gakkyu Hottei Volume 3 offers a satisfying conclusion, in so much as it answers questions about the characters' pasts.  I have to say that I am impressed at how writer Nobuaki Enoki and artist Takeshi Obata can draw out the suspense, making several characters seem like bad guys when they really are not.  It's a red herring holiday.  It is a shame though, that Pine Hanzuki is pushed into the background these final chapters.

The final volume also gives readers a chance to see the early manga from which this series was born.  Still, School Judgment could have judged at least a few more volumes.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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