MANGA REVIEW | "Mashle: Magic and Muscles" - Vols. 5 & 6
When we last left Mash Burnedead and his friends…
Well isn’t that a pleasant sight to behold. It’d be a shame if someone tried to ruin all of the fun in Mashle: Magic and Muscles. Or, hypothetically speaking, someone found out that Mash can’t use magic at all. Oh, what’s that? That’s exactly what happens in Volume Five? Huh. Bummer.
Mash and his friends continue to celebrate their victory over Magia Lupus. But the party ends as soon as it begins, when a member of Innocent Zero comes to make an example of his minions and Mash. Thankfully, Mash’s strength makes him a formidable opponent, with every attack thrown his way either deflected or literally crumbling before it connects. Unfortunately, Mash’s friends put two & two together, and realize that their friend can’t do magic!
Despite him trying to hide it, Mash has no choice but to reveal the truth to those close to him. Word spreads, and Mash’s life is placed in jeopardy when the Divine Visionaries hold a special session with him in-person. Yet despite their threats and, Mash attempts to sway them, even if the Divine Visionaries aim to still kill him in the future. Meanwhile, there’s a special magic wand that has Mash’s name all over it…
It was pretty obvious that Mashle would let the cat out of the bag to Mash’s friends somewhere down the line. The fact that it’s happened after just the first big arc was kind of surprising. And yet, seeing how they protect and treat Mash afterwards is a nice sign that our muscle-using hero has some great allies in his corner. It also helps when even the Divine Visionaries are left speechless when Mash takes a magi parasite and turns it into a party trick!
One of the great things about Hajime Komoto’s manga is its means of spinning comedy and inspiration together. Yes, Mash lacks magic, and can be executed at any moment by the powers that be. But the way he deflects their threats and shows his way of performing magic is both laugh-inducing and worthy of many a fist pump! Even when the Divine Visionaries aim to make it impossible for Mash to become this year’s candidate, our cream puff-eating hero takes the challenge head-on with great tenacity!
Mashle: Magic and Muscles packs plenty of action, comedy, and inspiration into its fifth volume. While it’ll be interesting to see how Mash overcomes both the Divine Visionaries and Innocent Zero, one knows that both face-offs will be a delight on the eyes, the heart, and the funny bone. Until then, let our good boy continue to celebrate his recent victory!
Sigh. Down the hall, and to the left.
VOL. 5 RATING:
VOL. 6 REVIEW
The celebrating has come to an en—
We can’t go home yet, Mash. We’ve still gotta review Volume Six today.
So yes, the celebrating has come to an end in Mashle: Magic & Muscles. A trip back home has some unsavory folks hot on Mash and his friends’ tails. Fortunately, behind that evil is another man of honor. His name is Rayne Ames, the youngest person to acquire three lines of magical power.
Let’s take a brief moment to explain this aspect of Mashle. The lines on people’s faces determine the kind of magic and power a user may have. Those with two lines have a lot more power at their disposal than those with a single one. And those with three, well, there’s a reason why they say three-lined wizards were chosen by the gods.
All right, back to the story at hand. Rayne faces off against Margarette Macron in a battle to protect Mash and his friends. Despite being a powerful wizard himself, Margarette finds that he’s bitten off way more than he can chew in battle. Mash discovers Rayne post-battle, and offers his thanks in the only way Mash can: without an ounce of emotion.
This leads to the big story in Mashle: The Selection Exam. As Mash needs to win this event in order to live, a lot is on his shoulders. Of course, he’s not really the kind of guy who stresses over every challenge; he’ll simply just punch it square in its face! And boy, does he ever!
A challenge involving a brawny balloon demonstrates the fantastic comedic chops Hajime Komoto brings to his story. Teaming up with senior Max Land, Mash attempts to find a way to break a balloon. And what better means of breaking than…break dancing? Trust me, it makes more sense when you see it in comic form rather than just in word form!
Volume Six ends with the start of the next exam: The Life Crystals. Here Finn’s the one that shines the brightest, and not because of how strong he is. Nay, for it’s due to his weakness that his face-off with Carpaccio Luo-Yang that makes for Finn being a compelling character to watch. Even with all of his weaknesses, Finn does all he can to protect his Life Crystal to keep Mash safe from execution, and does so with a noble and kind attitude.
Per usual, Mashle’s latest volume ends right when the fight’s about to get good. But thankfully, Volume Six delivers an outstanding combination of action, comedy, and heart. Mash Burnedead may not become the most iconic Shonen hero, but he’s a good boy who deserves all the love in this magic world of his. So prep yourself a protein shake and cream puff, and enjoy what this volume of Mashle: Magic & Muscles has in store for ya!
VOL. 6 RATING:
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media