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MAOH: Juvenile Remix vol. 1

A dark and gritty story with supernatural elements built around Friederich Nietzsche's famous quote "And if though gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."  That is MAOH: Juvenile Remix in a nutshell.  Ando, a high school student, has the ability to force other people to say whatever he wants them to.  Fearing that he would be ostracized if people found out about his ability, he does his best to appearing bland and blend in with everyone else.  Until the vigilantly group, Grasshopper (yes that is their real name...no I'm not kidding), starts patrolling his city and putting a stop to corruption and crime.  Ando is drawn to the words of the Grasshopper leader, Inukai, who is only nineteen himself.  Inukai preaches nonviolence and that everyday citizens should stand up for themselves.  Inukai gets Ando to start rethinking his philosophy of gliding through life without ever getting involved.  But he wonders if Grasshopper and Inukai are really as good as they seem.

The supernatural elements don't play a huge role in the manga, really MAOH is about urban vigilante justice and where the line between protecting and terrorizing people is.  Think of Inukai as an anti-batman.  Highly charismatic, sure of his morals and his sense of right, and terrifyingly frightening when he decides that someone needs to be punished.  Let me put it this way.  Batman hands the bad guys over to the police.  Inukai makes them wish they had been handed over.  To make matters worse he has the face of an angel and looks completely innocent.  Ando is a very believable character.  He's torn between needing to hide his power and wanting to do something with it to improve the world.  There were times I just wanted him to make a decision, but about half way through the manga the plot picks up and things start moving.  Be warned the themes are not for the faint of heart and there is a fair bit of violence, bullying, and cruelty.  Nothing excessive, but if you like your manga light hearted stay away.  If you want a darker, more realistic manga that's not full of aliens, strange magical worlds, or talking swords or robots, I recommend MAOH

-Lauren

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