Flash Review – The Hunters Guild: Red Hood

It’s a dangerous world out there. Werewolves stalk the lands, and if you haven’t built yourself for combat, they’ll handily pick off a village’s population one-by-one. Because humans don’t like anything higher than them on the food chain, they founded the Hunters Guild, which oversaw the extinction of dragons 500 years before, and now plots the extinction of werewolves in modern days. Until that day arrives, werewolves will continue terrorizing vulnerable hamlets, including that of young Velou. When a werewolf steals the life of the village mayor, who fathered the boy, he picks up his rifle and sets out to join the guild under the guidance of Grimm, one of its most prominent members.

This Manga Is Just Really Good:

Usually when a series is set on the guillotine, it’s done rightly so. Nobody wants to read crap, so Shonen Jump does away with all that icky stuff and determines what’s icky based on what the readers shout is icky. Generally, this works, but generally is not a synonym of always, because this manga is actually really, pretty swell. Its first couple of chapters is this killer 2v2 between Velou and Grimm and two werewolf brothers, and then it follows up with an initiation arc of Velou training to join the guild. There’s the occasional stumble, where it makes huge reveals just like that and carries on that bad shonen habit of characters pausing mid-battle to explain how they altered physics, but that’s the worst this manga does: stumble. I’ve seen manga rise up and then fall flat on their faces. This manga is great. Not incredible, but it had the potential to be incredible, given time, because it has some wild ideas at the end that might’ve blown my mind one or two hundred chapters in, and because it’s throwing them up from death row, it’s as though this series is giving the world middle fingers.

The Verdict of Shonen Jump’s Ranking System:

While I’m typically in favor of the magazine’s voting system, its glaring flaw is that it ranks series by popularity, not quality, which aren’t one and the same. If they were, underrated wouldn’t exist as a term, and it’s with great dismay that I deem this manga underrated, and a deep shame that it didn’t poll higher. There’re plenty of other series in circulation I wish would have their plug pulled, but a sizable fanbase out there salivating for mediocrity is keeping them on life support. But that’s the way of the world. The good die young, and the unworthy veg out on hospital beds until they turn stale and grow mold.

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