Review: Shonen Fight 1

Indonesian comics are getting more and more interesting, and the comic magazine Re:ON was being praised and having fans all around Indonesia. Another comic magazine than Re:ON that recently steals the attention of media while being praised is titled Shonen Fight. Unlike Re:ON which had comics from all genre, Shonen Fight focused on one genre as its title suggest: Shonen!

This might contains spoilers for the first chapters, by the synopsis.

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Shonen Fight is a comic magazine that I heard was being assisted with Japanese professional editors, so I really expect a lot from this, and it seems to deliver so far, for a first edition! This will publish once in two months and second edition was expected to be released on August. The presentation is totally like a Japanese comic magazine and I find it an interesting take as compared to more traditional Re:ON.

There are ten comics in Shonen Fight, and not everything is about fighting despite how its title suggest. I’ll be giving short synopsis for each of them with my own opinion! Pictures of each comics may or may not be added later.

Ghost Loan by Mimi.N

A school girl named Alina dies, but was given a second chance in life by signing a contract. Death was erased from her fate, but she must work for the mysterious Ghost Loan. By the help of her mentor and partner Reza, Alina have to fight… phantoms?

Opinion and impressionTo be honest, my first impression was that Alina is really cute and I will totally like her but other than that, this manga have the strongest ‘first chapter of a Shonen epic’ vibes in it. This kind of ‘mysterious second chances’ story seems to be already done before in different shapes however, so I really wish the author would drop some amazing twists and storyline this would stood out of the rest. Anyways, Alina’s character is interesting and I do wish to see her develop.

Jakanova by MAGE

Satria, a reporter from a TV channel was tasked for a coverage on a dispute between two groups Praja and The Palace. Except, it wasn’t going that smoothly since the Dutch lawyer woman on the side of Praja hates the mass media.

Opinion and impression: A fresh and interesting take on a Shonen genre! I’m curious how will things turn out, it’s hard to tell from the first chapter alone. Theme of mass media and land disputes aren’t something you’d see on Shonen genre every day and it gives a huge plus already. Aside from that, the gag was delivered nicely and Satria seems to be a lovable protagonist— and I wish he stayed being interesting.

Jeenie by Dani Kuswan

Terri was going to have the best day in his life; a date with his crush Rena! However, when he waited for her, strange things happened and he met an old man who tasked him to ‘save their princess’ by going into a book. He did help the princess Jeenie out, but it ends up in a misunderstanding with Rena…?

Opinion and impression: Looks like going to be the To Love Ru of Shonen Fight, if I had to compare it with something on Shonen Jump. Basically a love triangle of a guy with a mysterious, supernatural (a Djinn?) girl and the boy’s crush, and to be honest I’m not that much interested yet. Hopefully it broke the tropes of such genres and for Terri be an interesting protagonist, I did find the art beautiful.

iNheritage Incarnation of Chaos by Mukhlis Nur

Arfi, Indra and Rieska are friends who could see mysterious phantoms since ‘The Forgotten Day’. eight years ago. One day Arfi got curious of a disappearing shadows that used to haunt an unused building, and checks out the building with his friends….

(BTW, this is a spinoff of the Indonesian Touhou Indonesian bullet shooting game iNheritage)

Opinion and impression: I never played iNHeritage so I don’t know much, but the concept intrigues me that I might go see some Let’s Play. What happened in The Forgotten Day eight years ago? Why those three? Those and many more questions are enough to make me feel like I should wait for the second chapter. The art is really neat and pretty and the characters are well-designed, by the way.

Lost in Halmahera by Maulana Faris

A gag 4koma about a guy (if I wasn’t wrong, a self-insert of the author)’s life in Halmahera, Maluku. 

Opinion and impression: Simple and funny are enough for 4koma and this is a nice break for the more serious Shonen content. Especially since this was put in the middle of iNHeritage and Perennium which is the serious kind of comics of this magazine, lol.

Perennium by K. Jati

300 years ago, aliens came to the earth. They soon took over of Earth, and turns the world in peace after their invasion— however, earthlings are treated down below the Sky People (aliens).  Chindil, not his real name, was invited to the home of Pangloss family by his schoolmate Robert. He expect Robert (a descendant of Sky People) to make fun of him who is 100% earth human, but he ends up in a serious talk with her new half-blood friend Annelies’ human mother, and…?

Opinion and impression: I don’t get anything yet. Chindil came to the past and– which is the reality and which is the flashback, seriously? But it does have a nice sense of thrill, theme and world view, I expect this to have a nice explanation on the next chapters!

OH! Blood by Cessa

Kuncoro a.k.a Coro, a college students, moves to his new rented apartment, only to be confronted by a vampire named Aidestanti Maskito, who desires his blood for her research for a vampire-exclusive…. Aphrodisiac? Things happened and Coro finds out that Aidestanti, nicknamed Tanti, becomes his new lecturer in campus.

Opinion and impression: I’m not a big fan of dirty jokes and ecchi kind of shonen, really. However, for some reason I found myself interested big time in this. It might be how clever is the main protagonists’ name and how it was related to their design (Coro is a slang for ‘cockroach’ and Maskito is obviously from ‘Mosquito’), or how the author deliver ‘college student humor’ nicely.

Winternesia by Dewanto Izfah

Jakarta is covered in winter, and people fights for survival in the thick snow, and even have to be dealing with some Snow Bandits. A kid named Astari have to deal with some problems in these winter snow….

Opinion and impression: I have hard time remembering characters for now, but the theme is really interesting and the story could evolve to endless possibility. I wish the author would delve digger on the reason of why Jakarta ends in a winter apocalypse.

Rabbit Vault by Bebekterbang

Sets in a town that feels like Victorian Era, Abby is a young girl who have the secret identity of a thief nicknamed by media as ‘Rabbit’ because the witnesses describes her as ‘bunny-like’. She steals from the rich for the sake of the poor. One night, she nearly got caught and a mysterious boy saved her…

Opinion and impression: I found the art style totally cute, and Abby’s design was really adorable. The story have so much potential despite how the first chapter didn’t tell much, it could go to a lot of interesting direction! Though I wish they would explain more on how Abby steals aside from ‘she’s being fast’…..

Kalasandhi by Azisa Noor

Sets in Batavia, 1914 where Indonesia was still colonized by the Dutch as Hindia-Belanda. Ratri, came from Yogyakarta, is a brave medical student in the school STOVIA. There was some strange killings happening in Batavia, with dead bodies of men found lying without any signs of violence, and people warned Ratri to not wander at nights. However, one night Ratri becomes a witness of the seemingly supernatural murders….

Opinion and impression: The amount of research and accuracy put in this was amazing, and the plot sounds interesting too! Ratri have a very strong character that I wish she would develop nicely in this comic, and hopefully we got more about Maria and other characters too. The artstyle is unique and it was what I adore the most from Azisa Noor’s comics since her Koloni published title, Satu Atap.

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Overall personal opinion: this is a must read for Indonesian comic enthusiast! I absolutely love it, but I must admit the cover still felt too much of a mess so I wish they’d improve the cover quality later. Also, I wish for more variation in genres for its newer title later on, since some comics still take similar themes (Vampires, phantoms…).

I personally favors Kalasandhi, Ghost Loan, OH! Blood and Rabbit Vault, and totally will be buying the next edition to see how it’s going. Most stories have potentials and I do wish they’d make use of the potential nicely. And another personal opinion, I felt more attached to this than other Indonesian comic magazines and I don’t know why…

BTW, I was in rush so I didn’t take any pics for each comic but I might be able to put them later. For now, you can see it in a fellow friends’ review for this, but her review is in Indonesian.

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