Review: En Passant
What do you think makes a good hero of a story? How about someone dashing and brave who sweeps in and saves the girl (or guy) with ease? Or someone strong with good morals that is easily respect and has an optimism that really brightens your day? Or, maybe, just maybe, none of the above?
Entre ‘En Passant’s ‘ main character, the ‘super negativity king’ Kujou Shin, a high school student who manages to darken the whole atmosphere of the classroom just by his presence… though the charcoal grill probably doesn’t help much either. At first glance he is simply a manic depressive with an inferiority complex, but as the plot unfolds, his… unique, outlook on life (and the strange abilities that seem to come with it) becomes all the more amusing and endearing to the reader especially as the darker undertones of the story are revealed.
At the very beginning of the manga you are introduced to the hidden power of the ‘Dark Squares’, and underground organisation that controls the entirety of crime in the manga, though, after the first few pages and the introduction of the mysterious ‘black king’ who is searching for his rival, they seem to disappear into the backgrounds once again. Unfortunately, this was not meant to last and soon they are back to challenge Shin and his rather unorthodox (though sometimes only grudgingly loyal) group of friends to a battle with a lot more at stake than there first appears. However, this ‘war’ soon becomes the spark to reveal many past secrets of the characters involved and some rather cute scenes which seem a little out of place compared to the fights they are placed between. Though, will all that is revealed, and a fight for criminal dominance that ensues, can there really be a happy ending?
Altogether, ‘En Passant’ is definitely a comedy, though with much darker themes (and just a dash of the super natural) running through out. Although the ending can be a little confusing at times, it is definitely worth reading if you are looking for an unconventional hero and a plot with many twists. Or, in short, anyone who just wants a short read with lots of laughs and a few fluffy moments.