Genkaku Picasso Vol. 3 by Usamaru Furuya (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
May 14, 2011 by Dennis Amith
“Genkaku Picasso” vol. 3 and the entire series itself was delightful and fun, while this final volume will probably make you laugh but also make you cry. Because it’s only three volumes and the artwork and stories are so enjoyable, I give “Genkaku Picasso” my highest recommendation. It’s that good!
© 2008 Usamaru Furuya. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Genkaku Picasso Vol. 3
STORY AND ART BY: Usamaru Furuya (古屋兎丸)
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga
RATED: T for Older Teen
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2011
Having cheated death, Hikaru Hamura must save himself by using his artistic abilities to help others.
Enjoyable and just a manga that is ultimately fun to read, “Genkaku Picasso” by Usamaru Furuya is a manga series for those who want nothing too dark or too serious. It’s just right!
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”.
The story 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.
Both teens were involved in an accident when an airplane going down had crashed. While Hikari lived, Chiaki didn’t. But interesting thing is that after their accident, Chiaki still exists but only in Hikari’s mind.
Also, Hikari has been gifted with a special ability and that is 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.
But for someone as introverted like Hikari, he doesn’t want to help anyone…but Chiaki tells him that if he doesn’t help a person each day, his body will rot and like her, he will be dead. So together, they must help someone each day?
And for creepy Hikari, because of his kindness of helping people through his special ability, he is able to get something that he has never had… friends.
The original series was planned for two volumes but Furuya was given a chance to finish off “Genkaku Picasso” with three. So, “Genkaku Picasso” Vol. 3, is the final, emotional volume of the series.
Here is a brief spoiler-less summary of each chapter of “Genkaku Picasso Vol. 3”:
- Vision 9: Yuto as Asura (Part 1) – Sugiura’s friend Yuta has suddenly returned back to school for the festival with his mother. Everyone has wondered why Yuta quit school and as for Picasso and Chiaki, they see the image of Asura within him. Why is that?
- Vision 9: Yuto as Asura (Part 2) – Picasso and Chiaki quickly try to find out what is wrong with Yuta and why they find him as a mummified body in his heart.
- Genkaku Picasso Bonus: Picasso Frets Over His Future – Chiaki asks Picasso what he intends to do after graduating from high school.
- Vision 10: Sugiura’s Blue Rose (Part 1) – Picasso’s friend Sugiura likes Akane and both Picasso and Chiaki can see that, but for some reason, Picasso is able to see something within his heart and Sugiura wants to know how Picasso is able to know details of his life.
- Vision 10: Sugiura’s Blue Rose (Part 2) – As Sugiura tries to put off his emotions for Akane to the side, he tries to go for Kumi. But Picasso and Chiaki look to uncover things within Sugiura’s heart of what happened in the past between him and Akane.
- Vision 11: Hikari’s Story 1 – Sugiura confronts Picasso about his special ability.
- Vision 11: Hikari’s Story 2 – After Sugiura ends his friendship with Picasso, Picasso is now a very dark place….his heart and without Chiaki.
- Vision 11: Hikari’s Story 3 – Sugiura, Akane and friends realized that with Picasso’s special ability, he was able to help his friends not hurt them. And now they all try to search for him as he has gone missing.
- Vision 11: Hikari’s Story 4 – Picasso learns the truth about why Chiaki was helping him all along. Meanwhile, his friends try to save his life.
- Afterword: Usumaru Furuya – “Genakaku Picasso” talks about working on the manga series, why it only lasted three volumes and more.
“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.
With the previous two volumes and even part of vol. 3, we see Hikari (Picasso) helping others in need and despite Picasso’s creepiness (when he talks to Chiaki, who they can’t see, people think he’s talking to himself), these people he has helped out has become his friends.
And this leads us to the emotional vol. 3. Despite Picasso being a boy who likes to draw and as much as he seems uncomfortable of having these new friends in his life, the truth is that he has always wanted friends. But most importantly, we learn about Chiaki and why she was helping Picasso and what was in her heart.
Without spoiling this series, I have to say that this was an emotional volume that I really never expected to shed tears over. But I did. It was sad but yet in the end, I realized how awesome a manga series “Genkaku Picasso” was and instead of extending it with Picasso helping other people (as some series do for a long run), Furuya keeps things short, consistent and we get that major payoff at the end that ties everything together.
Because “Genkaku Picasso” is only three volumes long, I definitely give this manga series my highest recommendation. The artwork is awesome, the storyline probably had a lot to do with inner emotions that Usamaru Furuya had felt about his own childhood (which he does go into in the final “afterword” as he compares himself to Picasso).
But overall, “Genkaku Picasso” vol. 3 and the entire series itself was delightful and fun, while this final volume will probably make you laugh but also make you cry.
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