By Leroy Douresseaux
December 14, 2010 - 09:39
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
When Utsuho Azako was a small child, he told the truth and the result was a catastrophe. Now, the irascible teen is an unrepentant troublemaker, a self-professed “Itsuwaribito,” a master of all the skills of a crook. However, Utsuho was raised in a village for orphans where the monk Osho-sama somehow inspires him to help people. Now, Utsuho is on a mission to help people by lying.
In Itsuwaribito, Vol. 1, Utsuho’s life takes a big change, but he makes a new friend when he fights a vicious hunter to save a talking tanuki and his mother. Later, Utsuho battles a gang to save a young woman’s brother, but to win Utsuho has to tell better lies than the gang’s leader.
THE LOWDOWN: Although it seems to borrow elements from a number of different sources, Itsuwaribito isn’t hard to describe. It is an episodic, martial arts action shonen (comic for teen boys). Utsuho Azako is a bit like boy ninja, Naruto, but he also has some of the style attributes of Steve Ditko’s character, The Creeper. Thus far, the series is in the vein of the samurai comedy, although Utsuho is not a samurai, and while it is not full of belly laughs, it is indeed humorous. I think this series has potential, and Utsuho certainly has the potential to be a popular character in the wider media.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of Shonen Jump titles will like the Shonen Sunday title, Itsuwaribito.