So I wanted to attempt reading and reviewing a manga series. Now I know many people do chapter by chapter reviews of series but I don’t think I have the time to do each chapter because I read chapters in bulk so I thought I’d do volume by volume (who knows whether this will work but I’m going to give it my best shot). So here we go. My Aoharu X MachineGun Volume 1 Review:
Genre: Action, Comedy and Airsoft Military
Rating: Older Teens
Anime Adaption: Yes
This series was created by NAOE back in 2013. There are 9 volumes that are out at the moment and it is currently still being published (at the time of writing this). The first volume confused me at first as when I looked in the chapter list it has chapters 1 and 2 followed by another two chapters labelled 1 and 2. I found out after reading the first 2 chapters that they were written as a short before the manga series properly started so there were a few inconsistencies with the other chapters but on the whole everything worked well together.
The very first chapter of the series is the basics for the story were you meet a high school girl named Hotaru Tachibana. Hotaru is constantly mistaken for a boy due to her short hair, outfit choices (sound familiar?) as well as having a strong sense of justice and brute strength. She moves into a new apartment and just as she arrives she meets a (in rather handsome) guy named Masamune Matsuoka standing outside her place talking about boobs on the phone. The next day she finds out this guy is a host (I’m seeing some more familiar territory here) who supposedly ripped off Hotaru’s friend so she and her strong sense of justice go to teach this guy a lesson. They end up having a duel with toy guns (and make a huge mess within the host club) and it turns out he is innocent and he did not rip off her friend. Hotaru basically trashing the host club leads to her having to do whatever Masamuse wants to pay off her debt (*cough* Ouran *cough*) and she ends up having to join his survival game team named “Toy Gun Gun” (I should also point out that he mistakes her for a guy as no girls are allowed on his team which kinds of irritates me but oh well). This chapter was helping to set the story and it really caught my attention making me want to read more to find out what happens.
The second chapter is about Hotaru’s first survival game on this team and how she is forced into playing a game she has no previous experience with. In this chapter you meet the third main character for the series named Toru Yukimura who turns out to be not only on Masamune’s team but also a mangaka who specialises in S&M (they just HAD to make the cute looking glasses character a pervert didn’t they). Hotaru meets Yukimura on her first survival game and he takes a…hating to her as he doesn’t feel it necessary for anyone else to be on their team except him and Masamune. He ends up deceiving her and leaving her to fend for herself during the game so she will get upset and quit. He does end up helping her out (but it wasn’t intentional) as they are playing against a bunch of morons who don’t play fair. The three of them end up working together and end up winning the match (yay for Team Gun Gun) but unfortunately get eliminated in the third round meaning that non of Hotaro’s debt is paid back. I enjoyed reading this chapter as it was another introduction to a new character and it was a primarily action based chapter where I got to experience the survival game for the first time.
Chapter 3 introduces the fact that Hotaru has now paid off her debt (wow much quicker than Haruhi ever did) but her attitude has changed since she stopped playing with Toy Gun Gun and she is now longing to go back and play again as she gets such a thrill out of survival games. This chapter shows her trying to resist this dream but Masamune and Yukimura have other ideas. They know she wants to play again and so they trick her into Yukimura’s apartment where she sees all the equipment he has for the games and they “stumble in” on her pretty much drooling over all of his gear. They then welcome her back into their team and Hotaru misses the perfect opportunity to clear up the misunderstanding that she is in fact a girl (WHY DID YOU FORGET GIRL IT’S GOING TO MAKE IT SO MUCH HARDER LATER ON!). This chapter surprised me in the fact that she had paid off her debt but I found it was a better approach as it is pulling away from the Ouran vibe that I was so clearly getting from it and it has begun to take on it’s own shape and story.
I loved the forth and final chapter of the volume. This chapter focuses on the fact that Hotaru needs her own toy gun for the games and Masamune and Yukimura will help her to go and buy her own gun (as she is a minor so she needs an adult to buy it for her and Masamune supplies the money for it). I found Hotaru’s excitement in this chapter both adorable and relatable (I get very excited when I see things I’m passionate about) as she walks into the gun shop in awe of all the different models before her (and also fear because the shopkeeper is intimidating as heck). This chapter also introduces a new character named Nagamasa Midori who from what I can gather is on another survival game team and he helps her in picking the right gun model. Unfortunately it turns out Masamune gave her a 1000 Yen bill (about £10) to spend on her gun which isn’t a lot and she is WAAAAY over that spending money. She ends up getting out of this sticky situation by telling the manager “I’d like to go upstairs” which was a message given to her by Masamune in case of emergency. The chapter ends with her disappearing upstairs and Yukimura having a run in with this new (possibly shady?) Midori and the chapter ended right on the good bit (it always does and it drives me mad).
I am really impressed with this series so far. What started off with an Ouran High School Host Club vibe (with toy guns) has now matured into it’s own intriguing story. This manga isn’t super series which I enjoy but it still has those intense moments that make me want to read on mixed in with funny moments that made things more fun and lighthearted. I’m definitely continuing this series with a very positive start and I can’t wait to read Volume 2 and find out more about Toy Gun Gun and their survival game antics.
Now I’m not sure how good this post is but it’s my first go at reviewing/discussing a manga series so please excuse me if it’s not brilliant. That being said I hope you enjoyed reading about the chapters and my thoughts on them. Hope you are having a great week!