By Leroy Douresseaux
February 20, 2012 - 13:49
|Tenjo Tenge Full Contact Edition Volume 5 cover image
Rated “M” for “Mature”
Tenjo Tenge is a seinen manga (comics for adult men). Featuring profane language, nudity, and sexual situations, it is a martial arts manga from Oh!great, the penname of Ito Ōgure who also created Air Gear. The Tenjo Tenge manga is set at Todo Academy, a high school dedicated to training students in the art of combat. The series focuses on the members of the Juken Club and their opposition, the Executive Council, which is also the student group that rules Todo Academy.
VIZ Media is currently publishing Tenjo Tenge as Tenjo Tenge: Full Contact Edition 2-in-1 which gives readers two volumes in one large volume. Unlike the earlier English-language publication of the series, the Full Contact Edition retains the violence and nudity. Tenjo Tenge: Full Contact Edition 2-in-1, Vol. 5 collects Vols. 9-10.
In Vol. 9, the mysterious group “F” (Feathers) makes a smashing debut. Sochiro Nagi, still in training, takes on “F” badass, Tessen Ishiyumi, and his archery-like powers. Meanwhile, “F” assaults the venerable Enmi family. In Vol. 10, Soichiro and Juken fight to save Moki, the heir of the Enmi family, while the monstrous Mataza Isumuji and his mechanical appendages mark Juken for death. But Juken finds an ally in Mataza’s father, the buff, loincloth-wearing, Yorihira Isumuji.
THE LOWDOWN: I like that the Tenjo Tenge manga is, in part, a grand melodrama. Creator Oh!great (the penname of Ito Ōgure) builds the series on ages-old rivalries, conflicts, and bonds between families that all resemble the yakuza or mafia fiction.
Of course, Tenjo Tenge is known for scantily clad women and martial arts battles that seemingly involve the energies and forces that bind existence. Vol. 9 implies the presence of a muscle-bound black man’s huge penis, and depicts women using sexual intercourse as extreme reward and punishment. Meanwhile, the battles are as big as the ones in Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. This is nasty sexy and crazy violence, but Tenjo Tenge catches readers’ attentions because it refuses to be not crazy.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for R-rated everything will get that in Tenjo Tenge.