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Manga Review: D-Frag

Tagged as: Manga.

Written by darkness on February 20, 2015
D-Frag is about a school thug who learns that he's actually the least messed up person in the entire school. And he learns that the hard way when a strange girl puts a bag over his head, another one punches him in the face, a third splashes water on him and the fourth, a teacher, sticks him with a taser.

Despite sounding like something 'Murica does in its free time, it's actually a lot less disturbing and a lot more comical. It takes itself as seriously as Bobobo does--which is to say, there's a plot, and let's try our best to derail this train at every opportunity.

Some obvious elements crop up every now and again. It becomes clear that there's an element of harem in it--girls are inexplicably attracted to him. And yet, it's not quite harem, because it's quite inexplicable--the girls that "like" him are about as prone to insult him or otherwise harm him, or otherwise make his life utterly miserable.

And while the women are strange, the men don't get it any better. They're very much like the protagonist: they have a lot of "pride", but it turns out that they're more often than not incompetent as shit. And, like the women, they tend to have strange quirks that falls somewhere between casual admiration, obsession and creepy fetishism. Like baldness or wanting that bag that the girl keeps throwing over people's head.

Out of the insanity that is this manga, one could count the number of subjectively level-headed people on two hands. Of those that are "normal", on one. And throughout every shenanigan, the protagonist is prone to be a snarker or a victim--or both. There's just not enough sanity in the entire school for him to survive. Everyone from his classmates to his "thug life" friends to his club members to other club members to people from other schools is in some way off the walls balls.

And, of course, there's the usual manga stuff. Chibi deformities, boob jokes, and the like.

I... wouldn't quite recommend this manga to the average reader. It's a good read if you're into breaking suspensions of disbelief as often as possible. And the arcs are sort of well-paced. But everything from the characters to the plot itself can be so ludicrous that nothing feels coherent. There is character development in there somewhere, to some extent, and other good literary tools--they're just all buried under nonsensical hearsay. After reading as far as I did, I still look back and ask why I even did that in the first place.

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February 20, 2015
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