The Reason Editors Exist – Qwaser of Stigmata Vol. 1

Warning, Qwaser of Stigmata is rated M (17+) for nudity and sexual content, and the following review refers to these actions and may also contain spoilers.

Title: Qwaser of Stigmata Volume 1
Art/Story: Kenetsu Sato/Horoyuki Yoshino
Genre: Action, Supernatural, Shonen
Rating: Mature (17+, rated for explicit nudity and extreme breast sucking)

Overall: 2.5/5

“Hello, do you love breasts?! I love them very much!!” It is with these words that Hiroyuki Yoshino starts his comments section at the end of Qwaser of Stigmata, he goes on to say: “No, this ‘Qwaser ‘ story has really been accepted as ‘a manga about sucking breasts’.” It may seem a little absurd, but it appears that Yoshino has successfully managed to forge some sort of plot based around the idea, commenting that the story idea came about when his editor gave him free reign over his next series.

The ‘plot’ follows Mafuyu Oribe, who has sworn to look after her cousin, Tomo, after her uncle’s mysterious disappearance. Although this mainly involves protecting Tomo from school bullies, rumours of a sinister villain have been spreading through St. Mihailov Academy, and when a young russian boy named Sasha appears on the grounds, the academy is forced to face some intense battling over an ancient relic. Could this have something to do with Mafuyu’s missing uncle?

For a main character, Mafuyu comes across a little bit plain, a weakness shared by many of the characters. Her only distinguishing feature appears to be her compassion towards cousin, Tomo, and though it is frequently brought up, it is rarely emotional or heart warming. Tomo herself appears to be a characterization of numerous anime girl stereotypes. She is busty, attractive, ditzy, and appears entirely dependent on the strengths of other characters, with an apparent inability to take care of herself.

Looking towards the leading male, Sasha, doesn’t bring much more depth of character. Sasha is a typical hot headed, grumpy young boy with grand ideals and naivety in buckets. Though his ‘cute’ appearance wins the admiration of many girls, his cold personality does nothing to help his appeal to them.

In fact the entire cast appears somewhat devoid of personality, one dimensional and relatively shallow minded. After the death/disappearance of a classmate late on in the book, it strikes me as quite surprising that nobody seems to question their absence…

The story is a bit more elaborate. As lengthy and exotic religious words are thrown around here there and everywhere, it takes a bit of deduction to put all the pieces and phrases together. It appears that St. Mihalov Academy is at threat from a collection of evil beings known as: ‘Qwasers’, who possess supernatural powers. They are after the legendary icon, the ‘Theotokus of Saritsyn’, which depicts Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus.Though touched upon, at the end of the first volume it is unclear as to who the ‘Qwasers’ are, and what their ultimate goal is, all that is clear is that they want the Theotokus, and they will stop at nothing to get hold of it.

It may be a little hard to get your head around, but the complex story is probably the strongest feature of Qwaser of Stigmata, it’s mysterious, it’s complex, and it certainly has a lot more to reveal throughout the series.

I have to credit Hiroyuki Yoshino. It takes a wild imagination to be able to build a story around the key concept of “sucking breasts”, and he appears to have managed to create some form of plot. It may not be a particularly clear plot as of yet, but I still applaud the effort.

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