With a quirky protagonist and a powerful storyline, Mashle breathes new life into classic shounen archetypes.
Many manga, anime, and other medium stories often feature a helpless protagonist in the midst of a magical world, not to mention the endless list of settings within a school. Mashle: Magic and Muscles has both mixed contexts, marking a new development step in the hero genre in shounen jump.
Written and illustrated by Hajime Komoto, Mashle is essentially a triad follower, combining the words “magic” and “muscle” while incorporating the name of the main character, Mash. With an archetypal protagonist who has never appeared in shounen and a powerful magical backstory, Mashle instills a new life into shounen classics. Here’s the plot of the series, who the characters are, and where fans can read the series one way.
Protagonist Mash Burnedead is a young man without magical abilities living in a world where those powers are normal. Mashle essentially flips the plot of Harry Potter, about a muggle boy who is said to be stronger than any wizard he’s met. Attending Easton Magic Academy to please his grandfather, Mash aims to get into the school and rise in its ranks. He does so not with magic, which he lacks, but instead relying on pure muscle and physical strength.
Mashle’s plot is quite similar to animes like Black Clover and My Hero Academia, specifically in the school setting and seemingly powerless protagonist. Mash is similar to One-Punch Man’s Saitama as well as Mob Psycho 100’s Shigeo Kageyama, resembling the former’s personality with the latter’s heroism. Mash is nearly tireless in his relentless quest to prove his power, demonstrating it in a way as unruly as Saitama.
These similarities are only made clearer by the nature of Mashle as a comedy manga, which sometimes feels like a parody or satire of said manga. For example, when the police tried to arrest Mash for his lack of sign of a magic user, he easily blew away their magic attacks like a fly.
Mashle: Characters in the story
Several other Mashle tron characters exhibit the weirdness of a hero with no magical powers. One was Mash’s roommate, Finn Ames, who often reacted to his blunt antics in a dazed but serious fashion. Finn’s brother Rayne is one of the school’s most exceptional students, a rank Mash himself hopes to rise to.
Mash’s rival is Lance Crown, who hopes to become an exceptional Divine Visionary and change the rules of the magical world. Lance’s sister, who lost her magic after suffering a rare illness, could be sentenced to death for her impotence. Dot Barret, another rival of Mash, has a lively, passionate personality that makes him always want to prove himself. Lemon Irvine, on the other hand, was a relatively odd girl who asked Mash to marry her.
Read Where Mashle
Having just started operating in early 2020 and currently without an anime, Mashle is still far from a mainstream manga series. Even so, Mashle is available online for international readers. Viz Media and Manga Plus offer the series online. Viz also announced that the manga will begin publishing in June 2021 and is currently available for pre-order through retailers like Amazon. Hopefully by then, more readers will discover the magic, or irony omission, in Mashle.