Nangoku Shounen Papuwa-kun (1991-1995)

papuwa

A few years ago a I played a short, well-done SNES platformer and since then always wondered what the plot of its source material actual amounted to, as it is full of bizarre characters and other weird stuff that doesn’t make a lot sense. Turns out, the original 7-volume manga is one of the worst mangas I ever read.

It starts amusingly enough as more of a gag-manga interspersed with some action, but as the series went along (like a lot of shounen series) slowly focused more on action and plot. Sadly, the character designs, never much varied to begin with, became a big problem the moment more and more characters turned up, as a lot of them look very similar which makes it hard to identify who is speaking or to whom. The later volumes had parts where I utterly gave up trying to figure this out.

Added to this the plot is extremely ridiculous and preposterous, meandering and it looks like a lot of stuff is just made up on the spot. Characters exchange loyalties on a whim and often you aren’t sure who exactly is allied to whom right now and fighting against whom. The later volumes gave me the impression that either the mangaka working on it did it out of contractual obligations or because she had used up all the ideas in the early volumes and just threw more and more inane ideas at the paper in the hope that some of it would stick. What a mess.

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