Jesus Manga Quarterly Review
[Since this MQR is about Jesus, I’d like to present to you, the final quarter of the God’s Spell of Tatsuya, outlining Madoka’s death and ascension into Heaven. Though Madoka suffered much less than Jesus may have suffered, and her sacrifice may not have been a sacrifice at all, both saved many people (except not really because magical girls still die and Christianity, well, I’m not going to talk about that.]
A top-class criminal assassin, a professional with no name or past, christened (no pun intended) Jesus only because that’s the last word every one of his targets has said: “JESUS MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST!”
He’s the protagonist of this manga. Having plundered an entire ton of heroin from an underground organization, the mafia, police, and many others are racing to capture him – dead or alive. Eventually cornered, thousands of bullets were blasted into his body, sending Jesus to an early death.
Except he’s not dead, because he switched his body with the fatally ill Fujisawa Shingo, a man who looks almost exactly like him. Jesus meets with old man Kashihara, who is getting ready to ship off the heroin for a solid seven billion dollars. But, until the preparations are made, Jesus cannot escape the country, and masquerades himself as Shingo until he can escape.
Shingo happened to be a teacher at Shinsei High, a school that will be demolished in a year for renovations. Jesus takes his place and starts teaching along with fellow new teacher Mizutani Sayuri. Being a professional assassin for all of his life, he’s not used to teaching, and just wants to bolt as soon as possible.
However, the stash of heroin mysteriously disappears, and Kashihara discovers where they’re located. He hid the heroin into a new set of super-solid school blackboards, but the blackboards were shipped to a school to be installed, replacing the old ones. Yep, that school is Shinsei High, and Jesus must extract all of the heroin from every blackboard before the year is up…
Various incidents happen around the school. Togawa Seiji is an evil gangster who rapes teachers and does whatever he wants, and he challenges Shingo to a duel, not knowing that ‘Shingo’ is THE WORLD’S MOST WANTED PROFESSIONAL ASSASSIN, JESUS CHRIST. He’s easily defeated but DOESN’T GIVE UP and continues to be an ass for the rest of the series. Meanwhile, his totally not girlfriend, Noshiro Yukiko, does random bitchy things and continues to be a bitch for the rest of the series.
You’d expect a manga with this type of situation (bad guy becomes a teacher at a school even though he sucks at teaching) would quickly become an Onizuka-type ‘beat-up-those-stupid-teenagers’ manga, with moral lessons about how not to be a angsty jackass student, but it’s really not. Jesus doesn’t focus on the teaching at all, because that’s not what professional assassins focus on. Instead, inconceivable events happen around the school – inconceivable as in Detective Conan ‘why-are-there-so-many-murders’ inconceivable, not inconceivable as in ‘suddenly… MAGICAL DEMON PONY UNICORNS’ inconceivable.
For example, Jesus and his students are on a bus, when suddenly it’s taken hostage by robbers. While this situation is definitely /possible/, it’s not likely that it would occur to any one person. It’s also definitely not possible that he would get taken hostage on a bus, have trucks hurtling at 30km/hr towards the school, have Sayuri almost raped by shady mafia men, and have Seiji get mercilessly beaten up by some members of a strange dojo in only, what, a month?
Indeed, a manga like Jesus should be able to show more school things – it did show how much Jesus sucked at teaching (note: he probably didn’t go to school as a kid), but it’s not showing how he’s gradually improving and warming up to his job. There are many levels Jesus could be interesting at – maybe we could see Jesus eventually going through multiple personality disorder, and forgetting that HE’S A TRAINED, RUTHLESS MERCENARY and not just some nice high school teacher.
I’m not complaining about the action though – there’s a lot of unconventional action, such as shooting nails at trucks’ wheels to stop the truck. Jesus even comes to fight with some other battle-hardened world-class mercenaries, such as Makiguchi Kazuya, who can single-handedly wipe out four squad cars without a sweat. These scenes are COOL, but they’re not as cool when you have Jesus fighting Kazuya, and Seiji suddenly bursting in without realizing that BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE ARE FUCKING BLOODTHIRSTY MONSTERS. Seriously, Seiji and Yukiko are just stupid people (and liars, too – Seiji says ‘man I haven’t been able to draw since that day’, even though he drew a picture of Shingo (and subsequently threw a knife at the picture) just like what a week ago). Maybe it’s intentional, showing how teenagers are really far too egotistical for their own good. I shouldn’t be talking because this entire post (and blog) reeks of egotism but at least I don’t openly show that I’m egotistical in real life.
I wonder if Jesus is a good guy who assassinates people for justice or anything? You’d expect him to have his morals pretty skewed up with his life. I’m sure his past will be very interesting to see – and I’m sure it’ll be explored in detail, as this manga has already been finished at over 200 chapters long!
The art style of Jesus is interesting. You can obviously tell that it’s an old (1992 – 1995) manga from the art, which is actually pretty realistic. Jesus looks very Asian (I thought he would look Western), and the Japanese people look very Japanese (unlike ‘Japanese’ people in modern anime, who just look white). While all of them look almost exactly the same, little facial details will probably become more prominent – eyebrows, noses, etc., as opposed to focusing on outer details – hats, clothing, etc. (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ZUN).
Yet, there are people who look distinctly Western – the person that Jesus killed at the start of some chapter’s nose is prominently Russian, and the shading and border of his eyes are definitely Russian as well.
The guns people use are extremely detailed, as with the rest of the art. Gun otaku can probably easily recognize them, while in other manga, the guns may not actually be real guns. Seriously though, why are there so many gun otaku in the world? There are at least two that I personally am friends with just in my school – one’s The Weeaboo, and the other I’ll just call ‘The Gun Otaku’. All they do is talk about guns and guns and how to make them cooler and where they were used and why one is better than another at firing and precision but not at reload speed and why it’s not better at reload speed and the bullets each uses and why they should use larger or smaller bullets or why the muzzle should be extended or why the cartridge should be smaller or why the sights shouldn’t be + shaped but should be x shaped on the sniper rifles because when you hold it the + becomes an x and I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE CAN FIND THIS MILDLY ENTERTAINING OR INFORMATIVE AT ALL. I really doubt they’re going to be in the military when they get a job, too – they’re too nerdy for that. Cue Highschool of the Dead, I die because I’m a normal guy, they become Koutas, save the world, etc.
tl;dr: Jesus is about naked men and women
P.S. X-Posed Scanlations scanlates the series, their extra panels are just hilarious. Seriously, more fansub groups need to be like them (they’re relatively small, and iirc they’re only doing two series, including Jesus?).