Monday, February 8, 2016

Manga Review: School Judgment: Gakkyu Hotei, Volume 1, by Nobuaki Enoki and Takeshi Obata

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Volumes: 3.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In order to curb the crime running rampant in the elementary school system, a new solution has been enacted in the form of the School Judgment System. Now the young students themselves will be responsible for solving the issues that befall them. But are they up for the task?

At Tenbin Elementary, there is only one way to settle a dispute—in a court of law! All disputes bypass the teachers and are settled by some of the best lawyers in the country…who also happen to be elementary school students. The accused this time is a boy named Tento. His crime? Murder of the beloved class fish Suzuki! Luckily for him, the state has sent him a defense attorney, Abaku Inugami. But is this wild young lawyer skilled enough to argue his client off the hook?


I thought this sounded cute, and with Obata’s name on it, I was at least intrigued. Plus, I like me some mysteries.
I have to admit, though, that I had a hard time distending my belief enough for middle-school lawyers. Not to mention baby judges. And given that they have real training, and their judgments have real consequences? I just had a hard time believing in all this.
The main character is Abaku, the defense attorney. He’s rather closed off and rude to his classmates, but it’s hinted that he’s witnessed a real murder. A massacre, even, and he has plans to avenge it maybe. There’s the average school boy who befriends him, Tento, who’s just a nice kid in the end. There are a few side characters, friends to the main ones, and a crazy teacher. Abaku’s real enemy is the prosecutor, a girl who puts on a cute face to win people over, and her minion who likes her rough side.
It’s an interesting cast of characters, and I like the hints to what happened to Abaku. The trials are interesting to see, and the mysteries are okay, though not very surprising in the end. Mostly, I have a hard time believing in the whole set up.
I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I probably won’t be picking up more.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

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