Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"What've you been doing all this time?!
"I've been searching high and low for you, boss!
"There was frickin' chaos after you bailed on us.
"A couple of our guys got poached by other groups
so the Shinzaki group disbanded
and anyone left went their separate ways.
"Why'd you quit the Yakuza?!"
"Let's take a little walk, shall we?"
"All right, attention, everyone. Today we'll be making cheese croquettes."
Haha, the Immortal Dragon, the fiercest, most violent Yakuza of them all is an extremely good cook. It must be all those lessons he's been taking alongside middle aged housewives. His very bemused former sidekick Masa, who 'Boss' Tatsu has brought along to the class to show him precisely what he gets up these days, is convinced he must be working some sort of angle.
He really isn't. Though that's not to say he isn't still more than capable of dispensing lightning fast beatdowns as Masa finds out to his cost when he foolishly tries to slap his Boss to show his disgust.
This is quite simply one of the most fun manga I've read in a while. A collection of silly set pieces such as dealing with a dodgy door-to-door knife salesman looking to rip off unsuspecting pensioners, battling a rogue robotic vacuum cleaner or just the agonies of buying his wife a very specific nerdy birthday present are all an opportunity for the Immortal Dragon to demonstrate his own peculiar new-found approach to dealing with life, the universe and moderately stressful situations such as unexpectedly babysitting a neighbour's young son
Even when caught up in the midst of an attempted hit on his life by a former enemy, he still finds time to dispense some hard-won words of domestic wisdom, reducing his nemesis to a crying mess after whipping his gun off him and giving him a warm pair of gloves to wear instead
I frequently found myself chuckling at the sheer absurdity of it all, but therein lies its charm, albeit its only one. It strongly reminded me, strangely enough perhaps, of YOTSUBA, in that the main character is relatively one-dimensional, whereas it's the amused / appalled reactions of everyone else to them and their bizarre behaviour that provides the laughs.
I have no idea whether this series has any longevity, whether there will be any ongoing story development, or it will just remain a set of comedic sketches. I mean, I'm still avidly reading YOTSUBA after some fourteen volumes, so I guess it really doesn't matter if so. There's some potential there, mind, particularly with the character of Masa, who begins to believe he can see the 'wisdom' in the way of the househusband and decides he needs to make himself Tatsu's 'disciple'