Imperfect Hero (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 13 SEP 2008

Imperfect HeroYuji Midorikawa is your typical high school student who has a secret identity: He is Green in the high school battalion unit, Gakusei 5 (G5 for short). G5 is the special unit trained to fight and protect Earth against the invasion of the dreaded Galactic force Gurdark and its sexy queen Mayura. But Green has a problem. He can’t really fight, and always ends up hiding behind his other team mates. What ensues is a witty and wild ride as our Imperfect Hero struggles to maintain his reputation as a guardian of earth while keeping up his grade point average in school!

The Gurdark is an evil underground dwelling people who seem intent on conquering the surface world for the glory of their leader, Supreme General Zaros. However, their top warrior in the form of the malicious queen Mayura suffers a major setback when the heroic, colourful school heroes, Gakusei 5, blast off her horn, transforming her into a naughty spoiled brat who deserts the Gurdark for a mission of finding a new boyfriend on the surface world – much to the annoyance of the cowardly and slightly unpopular with the fans, G-Green… who also happens to be our hapless hero for this story.

Volume 1 introduces us to the Gakusei 5, five ordinary students who have been tasked with protecting our world from the Gurdark invasion and have been blessed with the power to transform into the mighty Gakusei 5, with each hero being assigned to a specific colour suit (which happens to look exactly like those of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers just by the way!)

Yuji is the particular focus of our story and we learn a little bit more about him and his insecurities before his entire world gets turned upside down when a slightly confused Mayura arrives on his doorstop and starts living with him – leading to all sorts of madcap adventures as Yuji juggles with his secret identity and the almost impossible job of keeping Mayura’s secret safe from the rest of his teammates!

Not too much is known about the creator of Imperfect Hero out here in the West, but for the record Nankin Gureko is the man behind the typewriter, pencil and brush duties for this title.

Now I’m not sure which came first, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers or Gakusei 5, but it is pretty clear that one of the two is parodying the other. Imperfect Hero really is a silly little romp that throws in cute, over the top humour dealing mostly with our wimpy hero and the situations he is placed into whereby his loyalty to the Gakusei 5 is often challenged by the loveable, yet demanding Mayura.

The depth of story is never intended to be anything more than some sitcom funny moments and as such the writing on Imperfect Hero is pretty light and aimed at stuffing in as many humorous situations as what Gureko can possibly come up with. It might be aimed at younger readers, but be warned that there is one or two little mild ecchi comedy moments and the occasional panty and nipple do get a quick flash – though if you see the costumes of the main villainess then you wouldn’t be all that surprised I guess!

Gureko’s characters have a very cartoony and fun feel and look to them and he manages to capture the tongue in cheek way the story is written with his pencils perfectly. There is a lot of exaggerated poses and facial expressions flung around, as well as a lot of super-deformed caricatures for whenever the situation demands it.

His backgrounds certainly aren’t too bad and are mostly nicely detailed, but the one complaint I do have about his art is the extremely heavy hand he possesses when it comes to screentone, literally spoiling almost all of his art with heavy and quite often inaccurate screentone application. This does detract a lot from his otherwise passable art and it really does become annoyingly overbearing at times.

Overall, Imperfect Hero is an over the top, silly little romp with hints of Power Rangers madness and some really funny little moments. It certainly isn’t a masterpiece and probably won’t have you laughing out loud, but it is an enjoyable little effort, especially if you looking for something cute, light and amusing to read.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.