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Let’s Talk Manga: Wonder School Boy

This old manga series from 1997 only ran for 8 volumes, but it’s a great manga. Wonder School Boy by author Youzou Shimizu, features high school student Tenji Tsubaki who doubles as a private detective because he’s trying to pay off some family debt.

One of his classmates, Kirin Tachibana, follows him one night and discovers his secret identity. She basically blackmails him to let her come and work with him as an assistant. Tenji is ‘the cool guy’ character, but often lacks the basic necessities to even get himself some food. However, there’s no denying his fighting skill. He’s fast, adept and uses a 500 yen coin to knock the living crap out of his opponents. Kirin is a strategy girl, picking up on a lot of nuances, but even she has the balls to back Tenji up in some contentious situations as she learns what it’s like to be a detective. Obviously, they pick up assignments through the agency they work at and as you can expect, trouble loves to follow them.

I first picked up this manga in 1998 or 1999, so at the time when I read it, my Japanese is nowhere as good as it is now. I’m currently reading it for the tadoku contest again and it is a completely different experience of reading the manga. LOVING it.

I would have LOVED to see this series turn into more, even an anime, but alas it never took flight. It might be hard to come by, but if you’ve got it, hang onto it. You might get lucky and find the series at BookOff. It’s a fun, laugh out loud read; I hope you enjoy it!

Publisher: Shogakukan, 1997