Otaku USA Magazine
Hikkatsu, Volume 1

Publisher: Go Comi!
Story and Art: Yu Yagami
Rating: 16+

In a semi-lawless future, electromagnetic waves are causing appliances to break down, buildings to blow up, and general social inconvenience. One man has the ability to bring order out of chaos-Shota, a martial artist whose master technique is the “one-shot no-fail repair blow,” based on the time-honored principle of banging a broken TV to fix it! Unfortunately, 99% of the time it fails, and Shota instead smashes his target to pieces.

Accompanied by Momoko, a girl who falls in love with him at first sight after he helps her get ramen out of a vending machine, Shota roams the Earth practicing his technique and optimistically offering to break-I mean fix-people’s appliances for free.

It’s hard to imagine Hikkatsu! (subtitle “Strike a Blow to Vivify!”) living up to its premise, but it does. Like Yagami’s Those Who Hunt Elves, the humor is absurdist, mostly involving physical comedy and blissfully stupid characters doing incredibly dumb things with sincere motives. The basic plot setup is that of an action-adventure manga, with the characters wandering around and fighting mutants, robots, gangs, and Shota’s martial arts rivals. Rather than detract from the humor, though, the nods toward story make the jokes more deadpan when they do occur, unlike gag manga like Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo that simply overwhelm the reader. The geometric artwork vaguely resembles the work of Hiroyuki Takei, or the untranslated mangaka Koji Kumeta.