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First Thoughts: Samon The Summoner – Devil In Disguise

Samon-The-Summoner-Jump-Start-Cover-Image-02Every so often, Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump decide that it may be time to kick off, or “Jump Start“, a brand-new Manga series. One that will delight audiences, one that may be the “next big thing“, and maybe even one that will surpass those who’ve come before it. It’s a great idea, especially considering the amount of people across the globe who’re trying to make it as creators of the medium. The latest Jump Start, the series that premiered in the September 21st issues of the English Weekly Shonen Jump is one by the name Samon The Summoner which, like many Jump Starts that came before it, has been lucky enough to be the main focus of the front cover…but is that focused deserved?

The story is simple, very simple: A young girl by the name of Sakura Teshigawara runs into a strange young man named Shosuke Samon who happens to have quite an interesting hobby; he summons demons. A devil of a man, once learning that Sakura is one of the nicest human beings he’s ever had the displeasure of meeting, he makes a bold decision, one that our hero Miss Teshigawara quickly comes to detest: Samon hates all that is good and, in fact, absolutely loves all that is bad. Seeing as Sakura is good, he vows to keep her alive until she gives in to natural human temptations and renders herself Hell-worthy…but who or what exactly is threatening the life of this young girl? Well, of course, it is all the demons who’re out for Samon’s blood and, seeing as they’ll be spending a lot of time together, chances are she’ll be right in the middle of some serious cross fire.

Samon The Summoner has one striking feature; it’s art. Similar, in ways, to that of My Hero Academia, Samon The Summoner instantly captivated me with the bold, clean, overly-cartoony visual style. This artistic direction does not lead you astray, in fact, it stays constant from the front cover of the new issue all the way up until the final page of the premiere chapter; something that really does give me faith for the series, if it indeed continues longer than three chapters. The story of the new Manga wonderfully mirrors that of the artistic style, being that it is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Story-wise, it was enjoyable for a single chapter, but I’m not sure just how long something so simple is going to last. We’ve all seen something like this before; a reluctant hero, a flamboyant anti-hero, demons, summoners, etc. This is nothing new, which is fine if Mangaka Shun Numa can keep it fresh chapter to chapter, but if it is the same algorithm repeated week to week…Samon The Sumoner will fall flat almost instantly.

The chapter was easy to read, which is great for a Manga, and that was due to some obviously precise panel placement. There was enough dialogue throughout to keep the story flowing as well as it could have yet I never got the feeling that the pages were overcrowded, in fact, I had this overwhelming feeling of absence which helped me glide through the chapter without missing a beat. Samon The Summoner was a great quick read, there’s no denying that, but I feel as though it is missing something despite the fact that, while reading, it came across as mostly complete. It is this afterthought that has me doubting it’s future but, in saying that…I would actually like for this Manga to continue. Shun Numa has an interesting enough art style to keep me hooked and I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he’ll do a story of this calibre quite well but until more chapters are released I can only base my opinion off of the first and that is, well…fairly positive.

It has all great Shonen elements and even though they’re not as explored in the first chapter as I would have preferred, it’s almost impossible to expect a Mangaka to do so. What Samon The Summoner needs is indeed a continued publication so it has a chance to truly flesh itself out. As far as first chapters go though, despite the slightly negative comments I made early, it has me intrigued and it has me wanting more just so I can make develop a proper opinion. I think the perfect way to end an opinion piece about a new Manga is by saying that I truly cannot wait to read what next week’s issue has to offer. What more can you say to properly compliment a new Manga?

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