A new manga dedicated to classical music arrived this week on Shonen Jump, PPPPPP. Will this title, different from the usual, be able to survive in the competitive environment of Jump?
Today’s week opens with a news on Weekly Shonen Jump and its simulcast platform, MangaPlus. In fact, Shueisha’s merciless ax recently hit Candy Flurry, the unconvincing battle shonen of Ippon Takegushi e Santa Mitarashi, leaving a free place for a new work.
The policy of “big results in a short time, or closure” has so far saved only a fraction of the titles of Jump, and now the relay passes to the rookie Mapollo 3 and his PPPPPP.
When the environment is so competitive, there are two paths you can take. One is to play it safe by proposing clichés. Candy Flurry did it, and she’s doing it now The Hunters Guild: Red Hunter, another manga at serious risk.
The other is to dare, and to propose something completely original and different, both from a visual and content point of view. This is what the mysterious Mapollo 3 (winner of the Jump Shinsekai Mangashō last year) did, presenting a musical work, with a unique style.
Writing music on paper is difficult on its own, but it is possible, as they have shown BECK and the transposition of Carole & Tuesday. So let’s see together if PPPPPP can be able to complete the enterprise, based on the first chapter made available on MangaPlus.
The poignant story of PPPPPP
Lucky it is the seventh of a heterozygous multiple birth, a premise in itself bordering on the unbelievable. Sons of a famous pianist, six children proved to be gods from an early age natural talents in music. But, however, this is not the case for Lucky, and as often happens in these events, he is disowned by his father and gives up playing.
It will be there mother, in poor health, to encourage him not to stop, embrace his love for music and enter a conservatory.
The manga tells a dramatic story, while still managing to keep the limit that does not make the reading tedious, albeit barely. To tell the music, Mapollo 3 uses the concept of “Visual music”, turning it into an image. It is not the first time that we have seen a similar expedient, which is mainly reminiscent of the recent one Food Wars! and has broad narrative potential.
The plot at first glance does not seem to have anything original: the hard work that beats natural talent is a topos of the shonen. But, by lingering, it is possible to see something more. Mediocrity, understood as the absence of natural talent, is perhaps not something to be left behind, but a real gift, which allows you to express yourself for what you are.
The designs are peculiar and a little old school: an extreme choice that polarizes the public, and in fact some negative comments have already arrived about it.
In general, PPPPPP is a daring project, which risks clashing with the tastes of the Jump audience. Yet, there is great potential expressed in this work, net of imperfections. We can only hope, therefore, that, even if he does not find a home in the competitive environment of the magazine, he will be able to have asylum in another newspaper.