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Mashle: Magic & Muscles Chapters #129 & 130 Manga Review

3 min read
MASHLE © 2020 by Hajime Komoto/SHUEISHA Inc.

Creative Staff:
Story & Art: Hajime Komoto
Translation: Nova Skipper
Lettering: Eve Grandt

What They Say:
Like a bad case of déjà vu, Doom dominates our heroes one chapter at a time. Will Ryoh be the first to best him, or is he fated to be just another jobber?

The Review
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Doom, the eldest son of Innocent Zero, continues to wreak havoc on the Easton crew. Like clockwork, each mage is hopelessly overpowered by the dark swordsman. Dot and Lance stood no chance, Rayne and Finn didn’t fare much better, and now Orter Madl is up to bat. But not even one of Easton’s strongest Divine Visionary’s can hold a candle to the indomitable Doom. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Enter the self-proclaimed “greatest creation of humankind”, Ryoh Grantz. Unfortunately for the narcissistic Ryoh, Doom doesn’t have time for introductions, sucker-punching Ryoh before he can finish his line. But Ryoh is on a different level from his peers. He emerges from the rubble unscathed, launching a counterattack, landing the first notable mark of damage to Doom. Does Ryoh stand a chance, or will he simply be another pig to the slaughter?

MASHLE © 2020 by Hajime Komoto/SHUEISHA Inc.

Chapters 129 and 130 (as well as 127 and 128) mirror each other in structure almost to a fault. The Easton boys try to fight Doom, they completely fail, and then the next strongest mage tags in. Like a conveyor belt of story beats, the story trudges forward, which only makes the anticipation for Mash’s return all the more excruciating. Mashle has all its eggs in the Doom basket, which puts a hefty responsibility on the action to keep readers engaged from week to week. While 129 had some good shots (the scene of Doom piercing Rayne’s foot with his finger sent a shiver down my spine), chapter 130’s paneling felt lackluster compared to previous entries. On a more positive note, it is nice that Doom is showing off some unique abilities that aren’t just overwhelming strength, like the X-move he used in 130. The longer these fights drag out, I wonder how much more Doom will evolve as he comes closer and closer to fighting at full strength. With Ryoh taking the stage, we’ve just about run out of opponents not named Mash for Doom to fight, so I’m hoping we can break through this narrative ferris wheel in due time.

MASHLE © 2020 by Hajime Komoto/SHUEISHA Inc.

In Summary:
The anti-Doom force adds one more member to its ranks, but is it still not enough to topple this beastly foe? Hajime Komoto is fully invested in Doom-coin and at this point the only the way the market will swing is with a healthy influx of Mash. I’ve put down my investment, I just hope we start seeing those dividends soon.

Content Grade: C+
Art Grade:
B-
Text Grade:
B

Age Rating: Teen
Released By: 
Shonen Jump app, Manga Plus app
Release Date: October 23rd, 2022 & October 30th, 2022

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