Send My Regards To Kenshiro: Hokuto Not Shinken

No, the title of this post is not a typo, and neither are the subtle connotations of sass and comedy that you’re picking up from the name of this manga. When I first came upon this manga, just browsing online, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely interested in the premise of this manga., and it does not fail to deliver. This is a hilariously satirical, parody type manga, twisting a classical ‘Avenge my parents and kill the evil guy’ story into one beyond the realms of logic, driving it straight into the realm of laughter and hilarity.

Just look at this beauty

Come on, look at that amazing cover art, and the detail present in the separate volumes of the Fist Of The North Star manga volumes. This cover art is so amazing, like most manga have pretty wacky covers at times, you know like the ones with just the characters or the ones which really don’t capture the theme of the manga? In my opinion, this cover perfectly portrays the type of setting and experience one should expect from this manga.

Send My Regards To Kenshiro, or Kenshirou Ni Yoroshiku, is written and illustrated by Jasmine Gyuh, the master behind this gem, Back Street Girls. It’s also very funny, and officially available in English, so you should go buy it. This author is very good at portraying satirical comedy. I won’t go into specific details so as not to remove from the actual experience of reading the various shenanigans by yourself for the first time, but trust me, Jasmine Gyuh-sensei is very good at overturning illogical nonsense with even more illogical nonsense, and while that may seem like a boring concept for execution, in practicality, it’s executed better than nobles were during the French Revolution, and boy those revolutionaries were efficient.

The story itself begins with this young boy, Koichi Numakura, whose only parent, his mother elopes with a yakuza head, leaving all alone. He was a big Fist Of The North Star fan, and ended up studying the manga like a textbook to learn Kenshiro’s certain death pressure point attacks to assassinate the yakuza head, but since they’re from a work of fiction, his certain death pressure points obviously don’t work. Koichi works even harder to understand the human body and pressure points, ending up as one of the nation’s leading massage and pressure point experts. It’s never stated outright, but the a lot of his clients are high profile people, because he earns a lot of money, which becomes apparent later. He also takes a sex worker under his wing, having her act as his assistant, and pays her a hefty salary, allowing her to pay for the treatment for her father’s illness.

I seriously love the deadpan style of humor prevalent in this manga, from Koichi spouting absurdities on a regular basis and being absolutely divorced from common sense to his clients having the most casual standards for maintaining appearances, to his assistant practically being the tsukkomi(straight man/reactionary) to Koichi’s boke(fool/person who says absurd stuff). This is the same kind of humor one would find in Seitokai Yakuindomo, but without all the casual sexual straightforwardness.

Each chapter has it’s own charm, and each chapter is a joy to read, leaving a guffawing with choked laughter more often than not. You’ll find yourself absolutely falling in love with this manga if you enjoy this kind of parody type, satirical humor(and who doesn’t really?).

Unfortunately there’s no official english translation, so if you want to read it, you’ll have to make like Joseph and nigerundayo over to mangadex and find the manga there(here). If you want to support the author, and I highly recommend you do, for Jasmine Gyuh is an amazing mangaka, you can purchase the chapters and contribute your money over at Comic Days(here), where the raws are posted. Navigating through the site might be a little hard because it’s entirely in Japanese, but I do believe Google has an option to fully translate entire web pages, though it is more than a little wonky for languages such as Japanese.

Have I also mentioned that the actual art of the manga is very, very good. You wouldn’t expect such high quality art work from a comedy manga, but seriously, this manga is drawn very well. It’s a mixture of a webtoon type sharp and crisp looking figures, along with the grace and elegance of proper martial arts manga. Seeing massages take place with all the pomp of an actual Fist Of The North Star manga type action scene is something else entirely. You have to read it to understand the feeling.

Don’t ask me why it’s in french, it just is

Farewell for now my dear readers, I hope you are all doing well this quarantine season. Being cooped inside the house is a quite taxing, as humans are social creatures, and one can only tolerate family nagging for so long, but it is also an opportunity to do what you’ve always wanted to do(as long as it does not involve going out). A lot of our fellow human beings have no choice but to put up their lives on the line due to this pandemic, and if those of use who have the privilege to sit at home and work from home do nothing productive in this time, it’ll eat away at our minds. Do something, anything, read, learn a new skill, take that tea making course you’ve always wanted to take, build a backyard brick oven, finish that book series you’ve been planning to finish for years, catch up on your homework, or upgrade your work related skills, because inactivity leads to lethargy and getting into your own head.

So for your own sake, do something, and have fun doing it. Maybe you’ll turn into the Koichi Numakura by practicing your massage skills. Have a good day and be safe my dear readers, I shall be leaving you for now.

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