The decade passed by Weekly Shonen Jump it was quite important, having brought to an end epochal works like Naruto is Bleach, but also other high impact titles like Assassination Classroom, Gintama is Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. The latter was for a long time among the best selling Weekly Shonen Jump manga of the period and was born in 2012 from the mind of Yuto Tsukuda, with the accompaniment to Shun Saeki's drawings. After seven years, the chef's story ended in a comic book format, while the final season of Food Wars Go no Sara is about to air.
Now that Weekly Shonen Jump has begun the new decade and with all the defections that will soon arrive in the magazine, it is necessary to report the stories of leading authors among the pages. And the duo formed by Tsukuda and Saeki has decided to return less than a year after the conclusion of their most famous work. On May 24, 2020 it arrived on the pages of the Japanese magazine Yugen's All-Ghouls Homeroom, or Yugen to Jorei Gakkyu for lovers of original Japanese names, a 49-page self-contained chapter. The two mangakas will have succeeded in making up a story capable of captivating as it happened with Food Wars?
The eternal battle between exorcists and demons
La Falbion is a private academy reserved exclusively for women and has been a hotbed of talent for years. The girls behave impeccably, all manage to graduate and become established members of Japanese society. Mishiro Sato is a very young teacher who has just started working in the institute and is obviously proud to have reached such a level. Spend the days between lessons to the students and to avoid the intrusion of annoyers on the school ground, since the girls of the Falbion are continuously at the center of many attentions.
However, there are concerns at Falbion as well, and one concerns the case of a student who suddenly became a prisoner. To resolve the matter, the manager instructs the mysterious Yugen Tojinbo, a self-professed astrologer, expert in feng shui and mental health, to resolve the issue. Mishiro does not immediately endure Yugen and his ways, in particular for his mania of wanting to find a wife and therefore make advances to every woman he considers beautiful. The duo goes to visit the student at home, now imprisoned and in an almost cathartic state, where Yugen will reveal that he is a medium and that the girl is possessed by an infesting spirit. Studying how to move this spirit away and bring the young woman back to her normal psychological state, the duo of professors split up looking for information. It will be Mishiro to come across the root of the malaise that will trigger the attack of the monster who took possession of the young Midorisawa. Yugen will intervene just in time to exorcise her and save her from negative thoughts, getting the compliments of the school management. His role at school will then be confirmed with the arrival of other problems in one of the sections, starting the career as a professor.
Eroticism and horror in shonen sauce
Yugen's All-Ghouls Homeroom immediately presents itself as a self-contained chapter but with the clear goal of becoming a real series. The story unfolds as a first chapter and the final interruption foreshadows developments and a potential follow-up clearly. Pending this sequel, the 49 pages of the oneshot give a fairly clear impression of the path that Tsukuda and Saeki want to follow.
First, with an atypical choice for the genre, the two main protagonists are not simple students but teachers. In the shonen it is common to choose adolescent figures as protagonists, so that the reader can identify with them. This choice will therefore lead to very different dynamics from the usual, in particular in the professor-student relationship which will be completely reversed. The other choices instead bring us back to those of Tsukuda's classic narrative style, starting primarily from the characters. Although in their adult versions, it is the impression of having to do with Soma and Erina as adults. Yugen has his head in the clouds and becomes quite serious when it comes to work (or to find a wife), while Mishiro is always in one piece, he is duty-bound and takes the students' problems seriously. Although they work together, there is also a hint of rivalry between the two protagonists which leads to nice interactions. Another point of conjunction with the old work of the duo was born from the sensual scenes inserted.
The world of cooking, in Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, joined that of eroticism. Already from the first chapter, in fact, the work of Saeki and Tsukuda presented itself with a distinct sexual charge that enveloped anyone who ate delicious dishes. This becomes a distinctive element of the mangaka pair given that these pleasure assaults will also return to Yugen's All-Ghouls Homeroom complete with shots masterfully designed by Shun Saeki. This time obviously the moment focuses on the act of exorcism which will make the reader discover all the beauty of the girl.
History shows good ideas in general and above all the issue of external beauty versus internal beauty, which in a future series could be studied much better. Instead, the clash between Yugen and the monster is resolved in a few cartoons and does not have the same pathos created by the acclaimed battle shonen battles.
The solid style of Saeki
One of the main points of Food Wars was certainly the drawing. Shun Saeki is a master and proves that he hasn't lost touch in this year of stop. The characters fall a bit in the recycling of previous designs but it is a negligible problem while at the level of direction and design of the scenes there is absolutely no complain about the mangaka style.
Everything is depicted in as many details as possible but by dropping the reader's attention always in the right place and the shots make the action clear. Saeki does not even miss the chance to start designing monsters to be presented slowly during a hypothetical main story. There will therefore be fun thanks to the mangaka drawings, since since the times of Food Wars there were good prospects for an action manga illustrated by him.