Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: A young man is an outcast among his peers, and he spends each day barely interacting with them. When he’s alone though, his true personality emerges, and he makes grand displays of superiority, insisting that he is above everyone else.
Here’s the twist: Our intrepid hero is proving his superiority by masturbating daily in the girls’ bathroom.
And now here’s the second, vital twist: The story ends up, against all odds, actually being really good.
That is Onanie Master Kurosawa (Onanie meaning masturbation), a 4-volume doujin work which goes from being a sort of parody of Death Note and Code Geass-type manga, to a recounting of characters not unlike Anonymous messageboard posters who lash out at the world in pointless and self-destructive ways, to a stark and heartfelt look at redemption and growing up and, well, acknowledging the mistakes of your youth. Most likely what happened was that the creators, Ise Katsura and Yoko, realized that they couldn’t just keep milking the same gag (no pun intended…maybe), and that it needed something extra, something dramatic.
And the most amazing thing of all is how well the comic transitions from absurd comedy into down-to-earth drama. It’s something many a webcomic have attempted, with few ever succeeding. For one thing, Onanie Master Kurosawa transitions far better than Megatokyo did, and I suspect it might not be even be a fair comparison.
That’s not to say Onamas (as it’s called by fans) is without its faults. The transition was surprisingly good, but it did have quite a few bumps along the way, and for those who aren’t comfortable with that change in content it might not be an enjoyable read. Also the art is good but not fantastic, which when I think about it is hardly a negative, as it were. Like Megatokyo above and even parts of Nausicaa, the artwork is done primarily in pencil, which may seem sloppy.
The entire series has been scanlated, so go check it out. Raws are available as well, and if you can understand Japanese better than you can read it, the Nico Nico Douga Onanie Master Kurosawa Community has uploaded some dramatic readings.