With Max’s brain and Mash’s brawn, anything is possible!
Story & Art: Hajime Komoto
Translation: Nova Skipper
Lettering: Eve Grandt
What They Say:
Mash teams up with a fellow classmate to overcome the first exam. Komoto pens his best chapter in weeks, showcasing Mash’s potential for absurd feats and sight gags.
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Mash’s show-stopping punch lands cleanly, but the Deadervants have incredible regenerative powers. He may be dummy strong, but Mash can’t brute force his way out of every scenario, so he utilizes the secret Joseph Joestar technique and runs away. Mash comes across another examinee and his senior at Adler dorm, Max Land. Max decides it would be best for them to team up. Mash isn’t the brightest bulb in the room, so he goes along with it.
Quietly following the Deadervants, the two of them find the first balloon. Mash’s initial instinct is to just smash the balloon – as you might imagine, this doesn’t work. Any physical contact with the balloon sounds an alarm, alerting the Deadervants to their location. The two would have to use their abilities in tandem to figure this one out. Using his size-changing magic, Max expands the balloon while Mash stands underneath it, prepping the stage for another bizarre exploit of his physical powers. With his stylish breakdance moves, Mash conjures a mighty tornado, filling the balloon with air until it bursts. The spectators watch in astonishment (and fear) as the non-magic user performs a trick more mystifying than any magic. Mash and his new ally overcome the first trial!
Mashle managed to wring out more laughs from me than usual this week. Where most shonen stories utilize a character’s strength for action set-pieces, Mashle uses it for punchlines. The Michael Jackson anti-gravity lean had me dying, and Mash’s deadpan expression is just the cherry on top. The formula has been established since chapter one, but I’ll never get tired of people’s flustered reactions to the crazy stunts that Mash pulls.
Komoto continues to flex his creativity as we approach the 50th chapter of Mashle. I’m glad Mash can’t just punch his way to victory here. It’s only the first test, after all. There’s still plenty of room for the exam to test Mash’s resolve.
Source: Shonen Jump app, Manga Plus app