Bozebeats – the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful

This post was an experiment – to see whether I could write a post’s worth of words on only 3 chapters’ worth of material!

(Meta context: With the untimely cancellation of Bozebeats, I better get this old post out of the way…)

Due to this being on a Jump Start – a serialisation of a potential Jump series which runs for 3 chapters – I’m pretty much obligated to pitch it to you, so here goes: Bozebeats is by Ryoji Hirano and it’s about Buddhist priests (or bouzu, rendered as “boze” in the series) who use modern technology to kick demon butts. However, one particular boze by the name of Ryudaiji encounters a boy raised by wolves and the two partner up, because the wild boy has an unprecedented amount of spiritual power. You can check it out here.

For a start, that seems like a lot of concepts to smoosh into a shonen series, but it doesn’t get very confusing at all. The amount of detail in each frame is impressive while being unintrusive. However, the number of time skips early on makes future progression somewhat questionable. Most shonen series’ progression occurs in the present, after all.

As for the narrative structure, it goes for the tear ducts early on and switches Madoka’s master from Ryudaiji to his underclassman Hagakure by the second chapter, which signals exactly how powerful the former is. On top of that, the Jump Start ends in a complete cliffhanger, including a character we might never even learn the name of!

In chapter 3, there’s a lot of echoing what made chapter 1 so great, including an appearance by some low level wannyudo (fiery demon wheels) that show the author Ryoji Hirano really knows what he’s doing…although his chibi style leaves a bit to be desired. If the name wannyudo sounds familiar, you might’ve heard of it from Hell Girl, since Wannyudo is the name of one of Ai Enma’s companions (the old butler-looking man, to be precise).

It’s all tied together by lots of spirit and some sleek, cool designs that will remind people of the best (or better) parts of big titles like Bleach, Naruto and Golden Kamuy. It does keep everything fresh, though of course some level of predictability can be made due to the idea that it’s in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Do you like Bozebeats, or is it too predictable? For those who don’t think highly of Bozebeats, do you like the Jump Start initiative, or is it too cutthroat?

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