I hope today’s review will be a bit of a surprise. I know you’ve all heard of Hayashiya Shizuru. She’s the creator of Hayate x Blade, which has been one of my favorite manga series for the past few years and Yuri fans know her as both the creator of Yuri Hime series Strawberry Shake Sweet and as (frequently Yuri) doujinshi circle Jesus Drug.
What you may not realize is that, along with her monthly chapter of Hayate x Blade, and a quarterly chapter of SSS, she was *also* working on a second quarterly series called Bijine! Beat Punk Generation . Hayashiya has always been a fan of sports manga (as those of us who collect old Jesus Drug doujinshi know.) And in BPG she tries her hand at a boxing story. But, since we are talking Hayashiya Shizuru-sensei, you can be sure there’s a couple of goofy twists to the plot.
Natsuki is bored. Bored with school, with her neighbor Mina who thinks she’s a friend, with the people around her, with life. Everything is such a waste. When Mina drags her to a street-boxing match called the Beat Fight Summer Knuckle, Natsuki opines loudly that this is the most boring thing ever.
Former Beat Fight female champion Shou overhears Natsuki and challenges her to a fight to see how “boring” it is. As she knocks Natsuki out with her first punch, she declares that Natsuki is the one who is the most boring in the world. Natsuki decides that she has to take up boxing to get her reputation back.
While the beginning of this manga is a little on the dark side, Hayashiya’s physical comedy gags begin as Natsuki begins to train. Since she’s always blown off gym, along with everything else, she’s in terrible shape. Beyond terrible. And so she has to climb from the very bottom to reclaim her own self-esteem and, ultimately, her pride.
There is no Yuri in this series. There *is* a classic rivalry in which Natsuki takes on a person with skills that far surpass her own. She will gain respect for her rival and admiration as she gains skills. In return, Shou will inevitably give her grudging respect at first, and ultimately see her as a true rival. You know the deal. ;-)
This is a one-volume series. As much as I’d love to see it continue, I think this is all we’re going to get. (Remember, she changed publishers recently. I imagine that affected everything she was doing.)
For a little blood, sweat and guts with your fighting women, take a look at Beat Punk Generation!
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 0
Service – 1
Overall – 8
What fabulous motivation to do anything – not wanting to be boring. I think that’s awesome. More people should use that as a motivator. “Don’t be boring.” ^_^