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365 Days of Manga, Day 1: Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation


Welcome to 365 Days of Manga, the online continuation of Manga: The Complete Guide! I’m Jason Thompson, your host for this adventure into the depths of manga. Each day, I’ll be reviewing a new manga series AND giving away manga from my collection to a random site visitor.
How do you get free manga? It’s simple.
(1) Sign up on the form on the left-hand column, underneath the dark blue bar
(2) Choose what type of manga you want: shonen manga (”boys’ manga”, a la Shonen Jump); shojo & josei manga (manga for girls and women); seinen manga (”men’s manga,” a la Gantz, Lone Wolf and Cub, and Gacha Gacha); or yaoi manga (man-on-man romance manga for women). You must be 18 or older to receive seinen manga or yaoi manga.
(3) Each day, one person will be selected from that day’s random submissions to receive 5 free manga! The entry form resets each day, so if you sign up every day, you have a higher chance of winning.
(4) There’s a way to get even more manga, but I’ll explain that in the next blog.
And now, for the first manga review. I love horror manga, I love battle manga, and I love manga with weird and stylized artwork, so MUHYO & ROJI seemed like a natural favorite for me. But does it sustain the excitement all the way to the end, or like many manga, does it suffer from a late-season slump?
muhyo11.jpg
MUHYO & ROJI’S BUREAU OF SUPERNATURAL INVESTIGATION (BSI) (Muhyo to Roji no Mahôritsu Sôdan Jimusho, “Muhyo and Roji’s Magical Law Consultation Agency”) (?????????????????) • Yoshiyuki Nishi • VIZ (2007-ongoing) • Sheisha (Weekly Shônen Jump, 2004-2008) • 18 volumes • Shônen Occult Horror Battle • 16+ (mild language, graphic violence, infrequent sexual situations)
Pint-sized Muhyo and his earnest assistant Jiro (aka “Roji”) are specialists in “supernatural law,” exorcists who punish evil spirits with the power contained in their paralegal spellbooks. (Unlike in Zatch Bell, a more parent-friendly version of the magic-books theme, this manga’s magic system is clearly based on necromancy and demonology, with both heroes and villains making pacts with infernal entities and condemning ghosts to colorful punishments like “Beelzebub’s Jewelbox,” “The Demon Eye Prison” and “Hades’ Banquet,” although the VIZ script tries awkwardly to avoid using the word “hell.”) In the early volumes the pair operates out of a shabby office, and the manga has a “haunt of the week” flavor, which it pulls off very well due to Nishi’s creepy, suspenseful storytelling and spooky children’s-book artwork. (As for Muhyo, his oval head and arrogant attitude suggest Stewie from Family Guy, although beneath his cold exterior, his deep dedication to Roji is the bromantic core of the series.) As the camera pulls back to show more of Muhyo & Roji’s world, the series morphs from horror into fantasy, focusing on the students at the Hogwarts-esque Magic Law Association, and their battle against rogue practitioners of Magic Law, led by the Muhyo’s evil ex-classmate. Gradually the series turns into a conventional summoner-vs-summoner battle manga, and the increasing scale and number of ghoulish creatures (all with bug eyes and zipper-like mouthes) strains Nishi’s ability to keep from repeating himself. The art also loses a bit of its original clarity in the demands of the action scenes. However, the mixture of horror, comedy and wizardry remains quirky and sometimes creepy despite the conventionally melodramatic turns of the story.
*** (three stars)
Come back tomorrow for more reviews, the answer to the question “how to get more than 5 manga,” and the announcement of the first winner!


87 Responses to “365 Days of Manga, Day 1: Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation”

  1. Shirley Y says:

    I would save this for a gift –doing my C’mas shopping early

  2. Robert Doscher says:

    Thanks Jason…I just received the books in the mail. I will read them with pleasure.

    Cheers!

  3. Eileen Lammers says:

    I’m always reading a book.

  4. Tim Yo says:

    A good book is always welcome

  5. Eileen Lammers says:

    I wanna win!

  6. Sheree Algie says:

    I would love to win!

  7. Sharren Brown says:

    My son would absolutely love these…

  8. Sadie Carey says:

    I think my daughter would think I was the best Mom in the whole world if she got some Yaoi manga for Christmas. She might even not be mad at me for a whole day. So, please help a desperate Mom out here.

  9. Debbie Lyon says:

    My kids have read all the Manga they have at the local library, they need more!

  10. kathy V says:

    Great xmas pressie for someone on my list!

  11. Helen S says:

    I love reading!! Would love a chance to win this!!

  12. Eileen Lammers says:

    Looking forward to reading

  13. CHARLES KASSING says:

    thanks

  14. cindy berg says:

    my kids would love this

  15. Eileen Lammers says:

    Make me a winneer!

  16. Janice Crespo says:

    shojo & josei manga would be the category for us – I’m a single mom with 3 daughters :) thanks for sharing this – don’t know how you would part with your books :)

  17. Lucky's Luna says:

    I love to get this, it looks like a good read!

    luckysluna(at)yahoo(dot)com

  18. Debbie Lyon says:

    My son could bring these books with him to the Manga Club he just joined

  19. Mary M says:

    My daughter would enjoy this.

  20. Eileen Lammers says:

    Just finished reading one, now need another good one to enjoy.

  21. Jessi says:

    My husband would love this.

  22. Kayce Crews says:

    I’d like this

  23. kathy V says:

    Great for Christmas!

  24. Diane Baum says:

    They would make great Chanukah presents for my sons

  25. Eileen Lammers says:

    i would love to win this!

  26. Carol F says:

    Love to win it for son

  27. philip halter says:

    great prize

  28. Penny Snyder says:

    These would be awesome for my grandson!! grammypennyann@yahoo.com

  29. Gianna says:

    shojo & josei manga (manga for girls and women)

  30. Darcy B says:

    yes please, my son would love these.

  31. Niki Moyer says:

    Great site

  32. Donna Clifford says:

    great gifts!

  33. christa marteny says:

    great site would love these for son

  34. Lisa Koenig says:

    I smell Christmas gifts!!

  35. Renate K says:

    Great site!

  36. JAMES P LYNAM says:

    I want to read this book.

    MY TURN TO WIN?

  37. [...] with Yoshiyuki Nishi’s Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation and ending with Masami Tsuda’s Castle of Dreams, Jason Thompson (with the help of some of his [...]

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