by MATSUMOTO Daiji
Shounen Magazine Comics, 1996
I originally purchased this volume at random duing a huge used manga close-out sale at the Mandarake store in Torrance, Ca. They had such a huge sale on manga, and everything was going for so cheap, that I was just grabbing anything that looked even remotely interesting, especially books that were volume #1. I am glad I picked up this series in my frenzy. I only have one volume so far, but reading this makes me want to get more! The story is fun and the art is very... energetic!
Like so many shounen series, this story focuses on one determined hero fighting to be great in the field of his interest. Other series have the hero strive to be good at sports (tennis, soccer, baseball, etc) or their occupations (teaching, detective, pilot, etc). In this case, our 16 year old hero, Kaoru SHIINA, wants to play guitar. He loves rock music, especially cool bands like Led Zepplin and Queen. Guitar-driven music is the greatest. Kaoru's room is covered with posters of his music idols, and he has piles of guitar magazines everywhere. When he goes to local band live shows, he is really caught up in the passion of the music and the roar of the crowd. This is what he wants to do more than anything. Unfortunately he doesn't know how to play guitar. At school he is a loner. None of his classmates really understand his obsession with guitar playing and rock music. He is bullied by a group of students from another class. No, school life is not much fun.
Finally the day comes when Kaoru can afford to buy himself a guitar. He is so happy to be starting on his path to greatness. Unfortunately, before he can even get home, he runs into the bullies from his school, who threaten to destroy his new guitar! Oh no! But Kaoru's guitar is saved by the timely appearance of a stranger asking for directions. He is a guy about Kaoru's age, with really long hair in a loose ponytail in back. The stranger beats up the bully and enables Kaoru to rescue his guitar. But before Kaoru can say thank you to the stranger, he is gone. Naturally, they meet again the next day at school, when the stranger appears as a transfer student in Kaoru's class. The new guy is named Michiya KUROSU. He happens to be an expert at playing the guitar. Finally Kaoru has someone to be friends with! Kurosu is the silent, cool loner type though, so it is difficult for Kaoru to get him to talk. All kaoru wants is to learn to play guitar and form his own band. He needs Kurosu's help!
Yes, I really like this series. I like how the artist manages to convey the power and speed of the guitar playing in the artwork. I like Kaoru's enthusiasm, and well, Kurosu is really really cute with his long hair. What can I say! :P
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