Cover Image: Mashle: Magic and Muscles, Vol. 1

Mashle: Magic and Muscles, Vol. 1

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A bit of a spoof off Harry Potter, with students attending a magical wizarding school, participating in a game suspiciously similar to Quidditch, and apparently everyone has a scar- except for the main character. Harry Potter meets One Punch Man, this parody  will give you a good chuckle while still being packed full of action sequences. In a world full of magic and those who wield it, Mash is the only person who doesn't seem to have any. He makes up for it with his super strength and must it keep a secret that could cost him his life. In the meantime, we get to watch Mash bulldoze his way through wizarding school, just making it through with sheer luck and muscle. Looking forward to the next volume.
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This was a fun Hogwarts parody.  In a world when those who are magicless are killed, can a boy who has no magic (but has been weightlifting and fighting trained since birth) survive and succeed in the the world's premier magic academy?  As others have mentioned, this does read like a mashup of one punch man and Harry Potter.  Silly, diverting, and worth a read.
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This book was trying to do a spin on Harry Potter but in a unique and amusing tongue in cheek sort of way. Mash, the main character, is not able to perform magic in a world full of magicians. This is illegal and those who cannot perform magic are put to death. Mash's adoptive father really cares for him and instructed him to train his body so he could defend himself if/when necessary against magic users. Turns out Mash is so strong that he can defy physics in some cases. He's able to deceive the magic school headmaster into thinking he can do magic due to his strength. Mash has a strong sense of right and wrong and refuses in a stoic and somber way to be pushed around or let anyone do so to people he cares about. Some parts of this book were on the border of being lame and amusing, especially with the copycat parts from Harry Potter but it was okay.
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There's nothing particularly new going on in this manga. Take Mob from Mob Psych 100 and Asta from Black Clover, mash them together to make a chill, likeable, not-very-bright magicless protagonist, put him in Hogwarts with Dumbledore on his side, and let the politics begin. Quite derivative. Despite that, however, I honestly had fun reading the first volume of Mashle. Our hero's name is Mash Burnedead, which is just... a bonkers name. The best and the worst, that one. I love it. He eats nothing but creampuffs and has One Punch Man levels of strength. I don't know what else to say, other than it's some fun fluff that will help tide over manga readers waiting for the next volume of their series of choice. 
(NetGalley provided me with a free digital ARC of this title in return for an honest review.)
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Bringing a Fist to a Magic Fight Seems Doable – Mashle: Magic and Muscles Vol. 1 [Manga] 

What Did We Just Witness?!

Mangaka: Komoto, Hajime
Publisher: VIZ Media
Genre: Action, Comedy, Magic, Shounen, Supernatural
Published: July 2021 - Ongoing

Born into a world of magic without the ability to cast a single spell, Mash was raised by his father to live in peace at the outskirt of the kingdom. Ever since his existence became known to the magic security corps, he was left with no choice but to enrol into a magic school and become a Divine Visionary. For Mash graduating from magic school might be the only way that this society built on magic will accept him. How will someone with no magic get through magic school? We just assume he will haveto punch his way to the objective.

--- Spoilers Ahead ---

Discussion Time
Hey, youuuuu! You better pump those irons! After you are done with that, we prepared cream puffs, and you can find them at the dining table when you get back home. And please, don’t break the door this time and stay home. 

The story is about Mash being forced into a situation where his father’s life and his are on the line because of his inability to cast magic. The kingdom they live in prospers with the development of magic which creates a policy where a person incapable of such ability will be sentenced to death. Thus, Mash has to become a Divine Visionary so that he and his father will continue their peaceful life. 

The artwork has an eclectic style of simplicity and seriousness. That approach was well-suited to the comedic element of this story by implementing strength into magic activities.

Why You Should Read Mashle: Magic and Muscles

1.	Is He…?

During the first chapter of this series, our first impression is that Mash-no, not the waifu from Fate Grand Order, is highly similar to Saitama from One Punch Man, except that he is a very good kid. When he realises he has done something wrong, he does feel bad about it and accepts that it is his fault and his sense of justice is innocent, kind, and strong. 

2.	Characters

The whole setting of the academy Mash enrols into has a social status disparity among the students and the lecturers. We’re talking about the rich sons, for now in this volume at least, of high profile people in the kingdom who act as bullies toward the commoners. 

Because of Mash’s background, his friends are mainly in the same situation as he is, and their shy personalities can be said as if they have trouble making friends they could trust. The chemistry between them felt right as they helped each other grow even though they have unique strengths, weaknesses and circumstances. Protect the weak and maintain strength.
Why You Should Skip Mashle: Magic and Muscles

1.  Harry Potter Much?

If you are a Harry Potter fan and you think this volume insults the magical world by bringing in physical capabilities to smash through your fantasy, this may not be for you. The whole point of this series is to bring laughs out of the readers. Think of this as bringing a knife into a gunfight that somehow works smoothly, as if the goddess of victory smiles upon you. So cheer up. You may like this series.

Final Thoughts

Mashle: Magic and Muscles is an exciting series where readers can take an opportunity to experience what it is like to live and get through in a magical world without the ability to cast a spell. It is filled with many laughing moments that make us question ourselves that did what just happened in the most ridiculous ways. The ways Mash solved the problems may seem dumb to some readers, but at the same time, you can’t mess with the laws of physics. Remember, you can’t escape physics, so you might not want to run from this series if you want to laugh and let the story brighten your day.

By. Nobodies17
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Before I begin this review I would like to thank Viz Media for the chance to review this volume.

This story had elements of other Manga influence such as One-Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100, with a hint Fantasy Film Elements of Harry Potter and that was a pretty fascinating observation. It played on the strength that other stories have introduced (Black Clover, My Hero Academia). Mashle: Magic and Muscles Volume One brought great gags, comedy, and humor into the fold, something that was needed in this current environment due to COVID-19. The Creator's greatest strength was balancing humor and action, his script was solid.

The characters are well thought out, they offer great homages to Fantasy Films and it doesn’t take itself seriously in certain situations. With the way, it is going, Mashle: Magic and Muscles could become a big hit both in Weekly Shonen Jump and in the United States, there aren’t many stories of that caliber out there on the market currently. Another strength that this series has is the Artwork, some would remark that the art style is too plain or has a Webcomic style but it is good for what the writer is trying to tell. If you’re looking for a light-hearted story that has action and good comedy then this is the perfect book for you.
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Mashle: Magic and Muscles Vol 1 is a witty Harry Potter parody crossed with One Punch Man. It’s hilarious!

Mash is young and massively strong. But he has no magic powers in a world that requires them. When Mash disobeys his father to pick up a cream puff in town, he is forced to enroll in magic school. Without any magical skill, he must use his muscles and trickery to ascend to be the top student at his school. Or face death. But remember, this is a comic manga...

Mashle: Magic and Muscles Vol 1 is just silly enough to be a welcome diversion from real life. It is sure to induce some chuckles, if not full belly laughs. I’ve got to bamboo my way to reading Vol 2 as soon as it comes out. 5 stars and a favorite!

Thanks to VIZ Media and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This book is definitely what would happen if you took One Punch Man and sent him to Hogwarts. And the result is super entertaining.

For Libraries: I'm not seeing an content concerns for this in a teen collection.
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This was a surprisingly enjoyable read for me! I went in thinking it was going to be a typical shonen title, and while there wasn't anything new that this story did it was still quite entertaining. I will be keeping an eye out for the next volume of the series!
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Mashle: Magic and Muscles Volume One tells the story of a boy named Mash Burnedead who lives in a world where magic is a normal part of everyday life… but Mash doesn’t have any magical power.

Mashle: Magic and Muscles Volume One
Written by: Hajime Komoto
Publisher: Shueisha, Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 6, 2021

Mash Burnedead lives in the forest with his 75-year-old adoptive father. Mash doesn’t have any magical power, which is not a good thing in this world, because one’s social status is determined by their skill level. While his adoptive father was born with magical power, he was never any good at it. In this world, it’s easy to tell if someone doesn’t have magical powers, because they don’t have a particular mark on their face. Over the years, Mash’s adoptive father has encouraged him to train to become strong. It becomes blatantly clear throughout the volume that Mash may have brute strength, but he lacks any common sense.

One day, Mash is told by his father not to go into the city. However, Mash wants cream puffs, so he sneaks out to get some. Unfortunately, Mash is caught by the magic police. His father comes by at the right moment and takes him away, but they’re followed to their home. The magic police intend to kill Mash, but he uses his superhuman strength to deflect the attacks launched by the authorities. Mash manages to grab one of the wands and throw it… which surprises the authorities, because they’ve never seen a wand used that way as a weapon before.

The leader of the authorities makes a deal with Mash. If he enrolls in a magic school and becomes the Divine Visionary, he’ll let the charges against Mash and his adoptive father slide. Of course, this idea seems rather absurd, since Mash doesn’t possess any magical power. How could he possibly pass an entrance exam for a magic school?

Mash applies to the prestigious Easton Magic Academy, and we see him, along with the other applicants, go through the exam. Mash ends up making it past the first round due to sheer luck. The second round is a maze, which has magical traps set up in it. The proctor has made up his mind that he’s going to flunk Mash, ao he also sends a lower-class girl into the maze to try to distract Mash. Well, Mash uses his brute strength to defeat the traps, and also crashes his way through the maze to reach the finish line in time. The proctor tries to flunk him, but the headmaster says Mash can move on to the interview portion. In fact, the headmaster takes charge of the exam at this point. The headmaster treats Mash kindly at first, but also puts Mash to a couple of tests during the interview. In the end, Mash is accepted.

The rest of the volume focuses on Mash during his time at Easton Magic Academy. As expected, Mash is having to do assignments in ways that don’t involve magic. With the flying lesson with the broomstick, he ends up throwing the broom and jumping onto it in a way that makes it look like he’s flying, although he isn’t. Unfortunately, this little stunt catches the attention of Tom Knowles, who is the captain for the dorm’s Duelo team. Duelo is a sport played at the school, and you can basically think of it as a simplified version of Quidditch from the Harry Potter franchise. He tries to get out of it by saying he doesn’t know how to fly, but Tom forces him into it. In the end, their team wins by a dumb stroke of luck provided by Mash.

And Mash also has to deal with some bullying from the students who come from a higher social status, and they bully Mash’s roommate into helping them out. But Mash uses his brute strength to not only beat up the leader of bullies, he also buries the vice-principal. Oops! The headmaster summons Mash to let him know that the Bureau of Magic caught wind of his actions and have asked for his expulsion. However, the headmaster defies this request, because he feels that it’s unforgivable for the caring to be at a disadvantage in the world. The headmaster of this school seems to have a similar disposition to Albus Dumbeldore from the Harry Potter franchise.

After reading this first volume, I can’t help but feel as if this series is a little on the derivative side. It comes across that Komoto decided to use a similar concept to My Hero Academia (someone without a required trait trying to enter a school that is designed for people who have that trait) and combine this with ideas and concepts from the Harry Potter franchise. I don’t want this perspective to color my view of the series, though, because I hope that Komoto finds a way in future volumes to make Mashle: Magic and Muscles feel like it’s own thing and not feel like it’s simply throwing together concepts from other franchises in an attempt to make a new story.

When it comes to the character design, there’s something about Mash’s design that’s making me think of another character I’ve seen before, but I can’t place my finger on who it is. In that respect, it makes Mash’s design feel like it’s not original, either. Most of the other characters who appear in this volume don’t have this problem, though.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time believing how Mash is making it in this magic academy without any magical ability. So far, his only “successes” come from pure, dumb luck. It’s weird, though, because I can easily buy into something like One-Punch Man, which has kind of a similar comedic tone to it, but I’m having a hard time buying into Mashle: Magic and Muscles. I intend to continue reading future volumes to try to give this series a chance, though. Maybe it’ll surprise me and start coming together more as the story progresses.

Even though I wasn’t immediately impressed by Mashle: Magic and Muscles, I think readers who enjoy absurdist comedy mixed with a fantasy setting and elements might find something to enjoy with this title.
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While the “overpowered protagonist” trope is something that’s been used to death in manga, there are a few series that do it right, from Mob Psycho 100 to One Punch Man (oddly enough created by the same person). Mashle: Magic and Muscles is one of those series that does this extremely well, causing it to be a mix of Harry Potter, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and the aforementioned One Punch Man with a main character that’s equally oblivious yet likeable, and a premise that’ll make it an instant Shonen classic.

In the world of Mashle, magic is commonplace; in fact, those born without the ability to cast magic are hunted down and persecuted. Enter Mash Burnedead, an adopted child who lacks magical aptitude in a world full of wizards. That said, he makes up for the lack of magical brains with brawn… so much brawn, in fact, that he’s ridiculously overpowered. After a confrontation with people who want to kill him, he’s given an ultimatum; become Easton Magic Academy’s Divine Visionary or perish. What transpires are magical adventures… with someone who cannot use magic at all.

Now, I’ve been reading and reviewing Muscles are Better Than Magic!, and personally I don’t like the protagonists due to how cocky they can be at times. Mash operates similarly to Yuri as both are buff men who can shrug off any magical assault that comes their way. However, while Yuri is too smug and a flat character to carry the series’ premise, Mash is a legitimately fun character. He’s a bit dimwitted when it comes to traditional magical studies, but cares for his friends and dips into the Shonen protagonist stock tropes without it feeling too schlocky. In an epic example, he nearly pummels the series equivalent to Dumbledore in order to get admitted to the Easton Magic Academy but never loses his cool or resolve.

The way battles and fights work in this series is hilarious, with most characters baffled by the unorthodox ways Mash circumvents his lack of magical prowess to do magical things. In a way, it feels like a gag manga but excellently blends comedy and action, and this first volume is only a taste of what’s to come here. It’s as sweet as the cream puffs Mash eats, and I implore every Shonen Jump fan to read this immediately.
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This was hilarious.  I laughed out loud in real life.  The main character is likable and so are the other characters.  It reminds me a bit of mob psycho... the dry personality and a bit like one punch man where he is super strong.  The editing and type setting is on point.  I can hear the book while I read it. :)
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Imagine if Saitama from "One Punch Man" went to Hogwarts, you get Mashle: Magic and Muscles. With a very simple premise, it excels in its comedy - outlandish as it is charming. Mash - our main protagonist - is at the center of it all with his non-descript features clashing with his physical prowess to the point where he renders magic useless: deflecting a power beam like a dodgeball, breaking three-meter thick walls, and intimidating magic words on a test. This is all complemented well with the various reactions every side character witnessing his might - reactions I honestly screenshotted for my own comedic pleasure. That is not to say Mash is just a blank slate, as he is principled with his might just like Mob from "Mob Psycho 100;" albeit dense, Mash is no push-over as he is willing to fight for what is right and just. All the better when you see the headmaster of the academy advocating for Mash's success over Mash's expulsion.

I have pointed a lot of comparisons to the work of ONE, yet I think it's for the better. There is a self-aware charm to the manga that anyone who loves ONE's work can easily get into this. Not only that, Hajime Komoto (the mangaka of this title) includes his "path to Weekly Jump serialization" in self-deprecating detail:
-9th 10th Grade: "Witness the rise of a megatalented [sic] newcomer who happens to be my age. Fall into despair and give up."
-4 Years of College: "Apply for to get hired by some 40 different companies. Watch contemporaries get offers with big-name companies. Fall into a depression and go clamming."
-The Doubt Phase: "Know my parents will be against it...tell myself, "you only live once" while secretly quitting my job (Sorry, Dad. Sorry, Mom)."

There is so much charm in this series that I cannot recommend this series enough. Sure it may be simple in its character development and setting, yet there is so much room for good comedic fun to return to.
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Mash Burnedead is the worst of all possible things: a person without magic in a kingdom where people without magic are killed. In fact, someone tried to kill him as an infant; it's just that apparently "leaving a baby on a roof" isn't really a sure-fire way to get rid of one these days. In Mash's case, a man with limited magical skills picked him up and raised in him the woods at the edge of town to be absurdly physically strong - because hey, if you can't use magic, you should at least be able to beat a guy to a pulp.

Weird plot contrivances aside, this is one of the funniest books I've read recently. Mash continually throws people for a loop, sometimes because he can't remember if a door is push or pull and so he just rips it off, sometimes because he's super good at fake flying on a broom, and sometimes just because he's really friggin' weird. It all comes together as a Harry Potter parody with overtones of <i>One Punch Man</i> (or <i>Mob Psycho</i> for the art), and that's a much better combination of things than you might think. 

Also at one point someone yells out, "What the physics?!" and for some reason that really tickled me. 

Anyway, this is a goofy, fun, and occasionally self-aware comedy. Humor may be subjective, but I'd still suggest giving this a chance.
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I didn't realize until most of the way through that this is SUPPOSED to be a riff on Harry Potter.  So for half of this book, I was upset that it was so close to Harry Potter... Main character Mash is a combination of Mob from Mob Psycho 100 and Saitama from One-Punch Man.  Take those two characters together and send him to wizarding school, and that's Mashle.
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Thank you Viz Media and NetGalley for allowing me to preview this book. 

This is a story of a magicless young man who goes to magic school.  

Reminiscent of Black Clover and Seven Deadly Sins with their over-the-top action and abilities along with a Harry Potter vibe.

There is definite themes of magical and political prejudice. Those born rich and have more magical ability look down upon those poor, powerless, and magically disinclined. 

Mash is super strong. His physical feats are super human. He is also the character that cares deeply but is deadpan all the time. In my mind, his voice was monotone. You can see how he cares through his actions and not his words.

All in all, an interesting read.
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I'd seen this book a few times on Instagram, so when it showed up on NetGalley I knew I had to read it. Overall, I enjoyed it. It has a very "Harry Potter" meets "Mob Psycho 100" feel for me, and even though those influences felt pretty heavy (especially on the "Harry Potter" side), I loved reading it.

The humor was by far my favorite part of this story. Some of the scenes felt a bit rushed for me, perhaps relying a bit too much on its influences to keep the narrative moving, but the comedy always hit its mark with me.

Unfortunately, I don't think this title would sell well in my particular store at this time. Our manga selection is still new and growing, but if this series picks up in later volumes I would definitely reconsider it.
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I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who found this book to be a wonderful cross between One Punch Man and Harry Potter. For those unfamiliar with either of those titles, imagine a himbo with more muscles than brains or magical abilities hilariously thrust into a boarding school for magic and somehow getting by rather well on his himbo muscle powers. I'm looking forward to see what gainz Mash gets up to in the next volume. (I received a free copy of volume 1 from the publisher via NetGalley.)
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Mashle is a wonderfully creative twist on the magical boarding school! Mashle not be expressive but his feelings come across wonderfully in every panel. Just the right amount of questions about the world and Mashle that make me want to keep reading to find out!
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This book was a lot of fun. I laughed out loud more than once. I really enjoyed how it took two familiar tropes (the magical school trope and the “I’m gonna be the very best like no one ever waaaas…” trope) and did its own unique spin on them. The way Mash used his muscles was both clever and entertaining. I’d definitely read the next book in the series..
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