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RaW Hero Vol. #01 Manga Review

7 min read
This was one of the most bizarre things I have ever read. I was not prepared.

Creative Staff
Story: Akira Hiramoto
Art: Akira Hiramoto
Translation: Ko Ransom
Lettering: Phil Christie

What They Say:
Just remember this. In this world of ours…

…the first to die are those without guts.

A portion of humanity has obtained special abilities, and two groups emerge in conflict. On the side of justice are “heroes.” On the side of villainy are “monsters.” For Chiaki, however, all that matters is finding work to support his younger brothers. But when a simple train ride to his latest interview takes a perverse turn, his sense of right leads him down an unexpected and uncomfortable path! From the mind of Prison School creator Akira Hiramoto comes a raw new story of a man caught between good and evil, lies and truth-and light and shadow!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Chiaki is just a normal guy looking for a normal job. He’s the oldest of three siblings. He really needs a job so he can support his younger brothers. Sadly, finding work is proving to be difficult. Chiaki keeps getting rejected. How is he supposed to put food on the table if he’s not making any money!? Hopefully, his interview tomorrow will go well. The next day, he takes the train to go to the interview. He’s cutting it close though. He can’t afford to let anything distract him or else he’ll be late. But life works in mysterious ways. Chiaki notices a woman being groped. Should he say something? Should he ignore it? He needs this job! He can’t get involved. But Chiaki is too nice a guy and instinctively grabs the man’s arm and confronts him.

Chiaki tells the man to get off at the next stop. The man is confused. Why would he do that? Because he’s a molester, right? The man thinks there has been a misunderstanding. He’s not a groper at all. By the way, he says that while continuing to grope the lady! Chiaki doesn’t believe him at all and I can’t blame him. The guy is being serious though. He claims that they’re roleplaying a train groper scene. Uh, okay? He probably shouldn’t be doing this kinky stuff in public, just saying. More importantly, Chiaki won’t be able to make it to his interview on time. Dangit! The guy offers to talk to the interviewer for him and straighten things out. I don’t think this is the wisest choice but he lets him do it anyway. Needless to say, the guy just makes things worse. Chiaki is told to not even bother showing up. Poor Chiaki. His day is ruined.

In a bizarre twist, the groper dude offers him a job. And he’s still groping that lady! Chiaki makes sure to point that out. The guy is actually very impressed that he continues to catch him in the act. No one has been able to do that before. He’s got talent. Alright!? The man hands Chiaki his business card. His name is Hyouichirou Tadano and he works for the Justice Management team of the National Police Agency Security Division. He wants Chiaki to be a hero. He can tell that he has a strong sense of justice. Chiaki admits that he would love to have a job. However, he can’t trust someone who continues to rub a woman’s crotch in front of him in broad daylight! This seems too shady. Chiaki decides to leave but not before being told that he could make up to a million yen a month. That’s a lot of money! But he still decides to walk away. Probably for the best.

On his way back home, Chiaki notices his youngest brother being offered a bag. At the moment, he’s using a trash bag as his backpack. His brother denies the bag and then starts crying when no one is around. Awwww! Chiaki is heartbroken by this scene. So am I. He buys his brother chicken skewers to cheer him up. He can’t let his brothers continue living like this. He needs a job and he needs it now. The next day, Chiaki reluctantly accepts Tadano’s job offer. And he’s given an undercover mission right away. He’s to infiltrate an evil organization by passing an interview to join it. Oh boy, that should be simple. He’s given a suitcase with his disguise and told to go to a certain location. When he opens up the suitcase, Chiaki discovers women’s clothing. There’s also a picture of an anime girl with her entire backstory written on the paper. Is he supposed to cosplay as this girl!? This all seems very strange. In case you’re wondering, he was given the wrong suitcase. That suitcase actually contained a costume of Tadano’s original character that he usually has a sex worker cosplay for him. My mind is blown. Tadano is something else.

It’s too late for Chiaki to turn back now. He needs the money so he’ll dress up as a woman. Whatever it takes! He makes it to the interview where he’ll be interviewed by three people. Two of the interviewers are intimidating women. The other is an elephant monster. Yup, you read that right. This definitely feels like an evil organization. Also, the elephant guy ends his sentences in “ephant.” I just want you all to know that I’m shaking my head right now. Anyway, one of the gals is pissed off. She thinks Chiaki is mocking their organization. Honestly, I’d think the same thing. In fact, she wants to kill Chiaki right now. Alright, let’s calm down for a second! The elephant guy suggests hearing her out at least. Chiaki proceeds to recite Tadanao’s OC fanfiction backstory which involves her being exploited for sex, a lot. The interviewers don’t even know what to think! This interview isn’t going well. Chiaki won’t give up though! He decides to use a technique from the fanfic story. I don’t like where this is going. Chiaki grabs the elephant man’s trunk and starts passionately stroking it. Oh my! He goes to town on it and eventually, the elephant guy blows his splash elephant goo all over Chiaki. It’s exactly as you’re imagining it. Did I accidentally pick up a hentai doujin?

After that interesting performance, Chiaki thinks he messed up. Is he going to die? In a hilarious twist, he has gained their sympathy. They feel bad for what he’s been through and promise that he won’t experience that in their organization. Does that mean he got the job!? Yes, yes it does. Success! No time to celebrate as he’s thrown into a mission right away. He joins up with another group and they take a ride towards their destination. Time to risk their lives and cause trouble. Are they about to do something dangerous!? Totally! They’re going to graffiti a politician’s place. How evil! Actually, that doesn’t sound that evil at all. One of his fellow members, Ryuu, makes it clear that this is dangerous work! Graffiti doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’re caught. Being caught also doesn’t sound like the worse thing in the world. Well, unless you’re caught by a hero who possesses special abilities. Okay, I guess that Ryuu guy was right after all. The crew is forced to escape and Ryuu nearly dies! Yikes. Heroes are no jokes.

At the end of the day, Chiaki can finally go home. Phew! What a crazy day. But hey, at least he has a job now! His brothers can finally stop feeling ashamed. He buys a bunch of chicken skewers to celebrate! Later that night, Chiaki wakes up in bed only to see a sexy, half-naked lady standing over him. Huh, I guess Chiaki got some dessert while he was at it.

In Summary:
I don’t even know where to begin. This was one of the most bizarre things I have ever read. I was not prepared. If I’m being honest with you, I probably should have. I didn’t realize until I finished the volume that the author who wrote this also did Prison School. It made perfect sense at that point. First things first, I loved Prison School. I considered it one of the funniest series I have ever read or watched. Its raunchy and dark humor just constantly made me laugh out loud. That being said, I can’t say the same for Raw Hero. Well, not yet at least. It definitely had raunchy and dark humor but it was hit or miss with me. I’d even say it was more miss than hit. I can definitely see people being uncomfortable while reading this. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. Most certainly not for children! I’m not really sure if it’s for me either. I also think that some of the dialogue felt off. I don’t usually talk a lot about the actual translation in my reviews but I thought I should mention that at least. In addition, I think the translator missed an opportunity by not translating “Jerri E. Fish” as “Jelli E. Fish” or something similar. The name is clearly supposed to be a pun of jellyfish. I think that would have been a better choice. Anyway, Raw Hero was an odd experience. If you want to get on a weird ride with ecchi and raunchy humor sprinkled in, hop aboard! If that’s not your cup of tea, you’re better off staying away.

Content Grade: C
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B-

Age Rating: M for Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
MSRP: $15.00 (US), $19.50 (CAN)

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