Gutter Mouth
Bodily Fluids - Manga You Shouldn't Read In Public

Grey Carter | 19 Mar 2016 16:26
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Onani Master Kurosawa is a challenging drama about loneliness, anger, bullying and growing up. Oh, and stealing people's stuff and waking on it.

Onani Master Kurosawa (literally "Masturbation Master Kurosawa") is a - god fucking help us - coming of age drama about a troubled teenage boy who vents his frustrations with the world by sneaking into the girls' toilets and masturbating in one of the stalls, usually to violent fantasies about his female classmates. This behavior escalates when he decides to "punish" two class bullies by stealing and ejaculating on their school uniforms.

As bizarre as it sounds, Onani Master pulls no punches about how unhealthy Kurosawa's behavior is while also using it as a source of some genuinely funny dark humor. Seemingly oblivious to how pathetic he is, Kurosawa narrates his life and his exploits in the girls' bathroom like he's a Machiavellian super-villain. He gives smug, detailed descriptions of how he manages to steal his victims clothes, he strikes ludicrous dramatic poses as they discover their soiled clothing (many of which are almost direct parodies of panels used in the similarly over-the-top Death Note, leading to Onani Master being affectionately labeled Fap Note by its fans) and he regards his fellow classmates with the kind of sneering disdain you expect from Lex Luthor rather than a chronic masturbator.

But it's when that joke starts to wear thin that Onani Master starts to get really good. It's clear from the start that Kurosawa is driven to act out by a sense of isolation and pain he doesn't understand. He sees himself as superior to people who are nothing but friendly towards him, but it's obvious that this stems from his inability to connect with them on an emotional level. He's a wonderfully observed character. People have made comparisons to Catcher in the Rye, and that's not just lip service. Both Onani Master and Catcher capture something quintessential about being a socially awkward teenage boy. I see shades of myself in Kurosawa, and not just because I also spend all of my time sneering at people and masturbating.

But while the story might focus on Kurosawa and his pain, it doesn't shy away from showing the consequences of his actions. Perversion, the genuine personal-space-invading kind, is often used as a goofy character trait in manga (how many times has a guy with stolen panties on his head been used as a punchline?) but here we see the genuine damage it can do to people. Kurosawa isn't just acting out his sexual fantasies, he's using them to attack other people and it the result is lasting psychological damage.

And that's honestly just the first few chapters. Onani Master goes some very unexpected places in its second and third acts. It gives us an unflinching look at how bullying can destroy a person, an intimate examination of developing friendship and unrequited love and a crushing example of how betrayal can shatter those bonds.

It's also never unlikely to get an official Western release because no publisher would ever want to run a series that's essentially called "Wank Master," so you can enjoy this one on a scanlation site of your choice guilt free.

This one's a master stroke. Or something. God. Make it stop.

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