Genkaku Picasso Vol. 1 by Usamaru Furuya (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 8, 2010 by  


Usamaru Furuya’s “Genkaku Picasso” is delightful, wonderfully drawn and a storyline that will no doubt entertain you!  Highly recommended!

© 2008 Usamaru Furuya. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Genkaku Picasso Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Usamaru Furuya (古屋兎丸)


PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 2, 2010

Hikari Hamura, nicknamed Picasso because of his natural artistic abilities, survived a horrible accident, but his friend Chiaki wasn’t so lucky. Suddenly, Chiaki appears in front of him and tells him in order to keep living he must help the people around him. Can Hikari save people with his sketchbook and a 2B pencil?

Enjoyable and just a manga that is ultimately fun to read, “Genkaku Picasso” by Usamaru Furuya is a manga series that is imaginative, creative and delightful!

Usamaru Furuya, the mangaka known for various stories such as “Palepoli”, “Short Cuts”, “Garden”, “Kanojo wo Mamoru 51 no Hoho” and “Tokyo Magnitude 8.0” has a new manga series currently available from Viz Media titled “Genkaku Picasso”.

“Genkaku Picasso Vol. 1” revolves around two teenagers: Hikari “Picasso” Hamura is an introverted, creepy aspiring artist and Chiaki Yamamoto, a vibrant, popular teenager who knows a lot about psychology.While Hikari is no close with many students at school but people are in awe of his artwork, because his name in kanji is mistaken as “Hikaso”, he has earned the name “Picasso”.

While Hikari just wants to be left alone and become a well-known artist, as a member of the Riverside Club, he likes to draw pictures near the waterside.  Meanwhile, the popular Chiaki Yamamoto likes to read psychology books near the riverside and while they have nothing in common, they do share the same passion of sitting near the riverside.

But one day, a civilian helicopter crashed near the Tamagawa River Area and both teenagers were essentially killed, until Chiaki shared her life force to bring Hikari back to life.

Grieving for Chiaki, Hikari is shocked to find a miniature Chiaki with angel wings.  While no one else can see her, she tells Picasso that while he is alive, he is actually starting to rot and Hikari sees his arm with blackness.  She tells him that the only way the black can be removed from his arm is if he helps people, that is the only way the decay will stop and that is the only condition for survival.

One day, Hikari notices Sugiura starting to glow.  He immediately starts drawing and Hikari realizes that he has been gifted with a special ability to see the darkness within people and giving him special illustrating powers to draw what he saw and help the individual clear that darkness by entering his sketchbook.

So, as Hikari enters the sketchbook, he must save Sugiura, a strong willed model named Akane, a classmate named Manba and a teenager named Maria.

But being a non-social guy who is unable to relate with others, can Hikari (with the help of Chiaki) help these individuals and help remove the decay in his body?

Find out in “Genkaku Picasso Vol. 1”!

“Genkaku Picasso” was a blast to read! While it’s not a deep storyline, one thing that does stand out is Usamaru Furuya’s illustrations. You can tell that Usamaru tries to find a balance with his creative talent with his art sketches and his manga illustration and manages to find that right balance.

But it’s the storyline that is quite fun as well as Hikari “Picasso” Hamura is seen as a creepy individual but in fact, it’s because he is communicating with Chiaki and when he goes into the illustrations to help people, he is left unconscious and thus, is looked at his classmates as really strange.

The thing is that Picasso is a pretty interesting otaku who loves to draw, intensely to the point that his focus is undeterred. And because he is an introvert, it’s an interesting mismatch when you have Chiaki, who is so unlike him, helping out Picasso and seeing these two at work.

The storylines have been quite fun because Sugiura starts to realize something is unusual with Hikari and he managed to capture how he feels through his sketches, meanwhile his introduction to other characters don’t always go to well because of the way he misunderstands things.

And how he and Chiaki are able to work together to solve these puzzles to why there is darkness in the life of these teenagers, makes “Genkaku Picasso” a delightful, dark, humorous and entertaining manga series!

Overall, Usamaru Furuya’s “Genkaku Picasso” is delightful, wonderfully drawn and a storyline that will no doubt entertain you!

Highly recommended!

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