Story & Art by Akira Hiramoto
Translated by Ko Ransom
Lettering by Phil Christie
It’s been a few years since Akira Hiramoto’s Prison School made a splash in the anime and manga community. Whether you enjoyed it or not, it’s hard to deny that its comedically lewd antics left quite an impression on those that experienced it. As such, it only makes sense that Yen Press has licensed Hiramoto’s new series RaW Hero. From the first volume alone, it’s clear that readers will be in for another raunchy and wild ride.
RaW Hero takes place in a world where a portion of humanity has gained special abilities, leading to the rise of heroes and monsters within society. When protagonist Chiaki encounters a groper on his way to a job interview, he is enlisted by the Justice Management Team (JMT), a division of the police that actively fights against monsters and the evil organization SALF.
Despite taking place in a world filled with superpowers, RaW Hero rarely focuses its fantastical elements. The majority of the cast has no powers whatsoever, and the world’s heroes and monsters are only present for brief instances. This choice helps shape the narrative to Chiaki’s own mindset. Chiaki has little interest in the ongoing struggles between good and evil, and he is solely focused on providing for his family. In turn, this makes the appearances of heroes and monsters more impactful. By joining the JMT, Chiaki is entering a new world, and these super-powered individuals represent that world’s unknown possibilities.
RaW Hero’s humor and visuals are tied closely together, and that serves both as a strength and a detriment to the series as a whole. Hiramoto instigates most of his gags through graphic displays of fanservice throughout the volume. These absurd visuals help break the tension, maintaining a consistent lighthearted tone even in its high stake moments. While many of these skits can be entertaining, your mileage will be heavily dependent on your tolerance for this sexual content. The manga’s numerous shots of crotches and sexual innuendos may deter many readers. Prison School fans may not mind this, but it’s something to be aware of when diving into the series blind.
Beyond the heavy fanservice, Hiramoto’s artwork is incredibly refined. Both characters and environments have a clean appearance that makes them easy appealing to the reader. That said, this doesn’t stop Hiramoto from taking liberties in his designs. The faces of characters will often contort during high tension moments, taking on a more “ugly” appearance. This visual flair matches the manga’s humorous tone, and allows for a more diverse set of expressions. Hiramoto’s talent as an artist is on full display here, and he delivers a solid final product.
RaW Hero is a crazy title that will easily leave an impression on readers. Between its ridiculous comedy and strong artwork, the series stays true to what you’d expect from the creator of Prison School. RaW Hero is not a series that everyone will equally enjoy, but to those that fit its audience, they will surely get a kick out of it.