After reading the first few chapters of Build King I was hooked. It instantly feels like a classic Shonen manga, and is similar to Dragon Ball, One Piece, or Naruto. If someone told me that it was from twenty plus years ago I would have believed them, but it was actually serialised between November 2020 and April 2021. Somehow this went completely under my radar as it was coming out, and it seems like I’m not the only one as the series was sadly cancelled after twenty chapters. Thankfully Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro was able to give the series an ending with five additional chapters in the third collected volume.
The story follows brothers, Tonkachi and Renga, who live on Hammer Island and dream of becoming builders to make the world a better place. Tonkachi is incredibly strong, and aims to build peace, while Renga is very good at construction. They make a good partnership and set off from the island to achieve their dream, meeting other people and facing struggles on the way.
It’s a typical Shonen manga, and even though it’s about two builders, they still end up in plenty of live or death situations and have to fight a whole bunch of bad guys along the way. There’s all the tropes you’d expect from the genre. The first two arcs are really great, and a lot of fun to read. The pair find a way to help their home island from house eaters, and travel across the sea in a sentient house. Before reading this manga I didn’t think it was possible to care about a sentient house, but this series manages it.
As the story gets closer towards the ending it does start to get very rushed and muddled. There’s a lot of talking about vigor and special abilities and none of it really matters as the story doesn’t get that far. It’s a shame that the series didn’t get more time to explore and expand on these ideas.
Still, it is a lot of fun to read and if you’re a fan of Shonen manga then this is pretty decent. It’s still satisfying, even though the story is far from over. I enjoyed it while it lasted and will hope that maybe in the future the story will live on.
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