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Araiso Private School Student Council Executive Committee / Wild Adapter
Cover of Wild Adapter volume 1 as published by Tokuma Shoten
ワイルドアダプター
(Wairudo Adaputā)
GenreAction, Mystery, Film Noir
Manga
Araiso Private School Student Council Executive Committee
Written byKazuya Minekura
Published byTokuma Shoten
Original run1999 – present
Manga
Written byKazuya Minekura
Published byTokuma Shoten
Ichijinsha
English publisher
MagazineChara
Zero Sum Ward
Original run2001 – present
Volumes7 (List of volumes)
Original video animation
Araiso Private School Student Council Executive Committee
Directed byShinji Satoh
StudioNippon Animation
Released March 29, 2002 July 26, 2002
Episodes2
Original video animation
Directed byNaoyuki Kuzuya
Music byKenji Fujisawa
StudioAnpro
Released March 26, 2014 September 30, 2015
Episodes2
 Anime and manga portal

Wild Adapter (Japanese: ワイルドアダプター, Hepburn: Wairudo Adaputā) is a Japanese manga series by Kazuya Minekura set in Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan in the mid-1990s. There is also an alternate universe dōjinshi[1] and two episode OVA called Shiritsu Araiso Koto Gakko Seitokai Shikkobu (私立荒磯高等学校生徒会執行部 Araiso Private School Student Council Executive Committee). Wild Adapter was also adapted as a two episode OVA in 2014, which is set in the universe of the manga series.[1]

Overview

Although originally serialized in a boy's love anthology magazine, the content of the manga mixes seinen action and mystery with shōnen-ai themes and thus does not fall clearly into either category. The volumes are stand alones, each with its own storyline and theme that fit into the broader arc of the general plot,[2] which has Kubota and Tokitoh, the main characters, investigating a mysterious drug, 'W·A', and finding out about Tokitoh's past before his amnesia. As such, the overall series is largely character-driven, rather than action-driven, and other events and issues are shown as part of the lives of the main characters. The storytelling is done through a different side character for each volume, and the author has described the series as "the lives of the protagonists as seen, and described by an onlooker".[3] There is plenty of violence and bloodshed in the manga, which also deals with serious issues, and a theme for each volume, such as the cult of religion, the power of words, the struggle for survival. The yakuza underworld serves as a setting for the series, but it is not the main focal point. Rather, it is the interactions between the two protagonists, and the exploration of their characters.

The artstyle of the manga is stark black and white with clean sharp lines, and there is less shading or greytones. Keeping in line with Minekura's style the characters are highly detailed, with emphasis on facial features, especially the hair, and anatomically accurate bodies. The backgrounds are also highly detailed and portray the Tokyo urban landscape very realistically.[4] A unique feature of the manga has all the pages and spaces outside the panels coloured black, a technique usually used in manga only to reflect a past event or a flashback.[5]

This work was originally serialized in Japan in Chara magazine, starting from 2001, and was published by Tokuma Shoten.[6] Since 2011, it is published by Zero Sum Ward of Ichijinsha.[6][7] The series is licensed in North America by Tokyopop, the first volume of which was published in January 2007. There are 6 volumes which were originally published between 2001 and 2008. The series is also published in English by Chuang Yi, in German by Carlsen Comics and is published in East Asia.

Story

Main article: List of Wild Adapter chapters

"W·A," later identified as "Wild Adapter," is the name of a dangerous drug which transforms its users into an animalistic state; the users exhibit superhuman strength and a berserker mentality until the drug causes his or her organs to explode, effectively killing them. The corpses left behind by W·A are covered in fur and sport cat-like claws. The police are baffled by W•A even as they investigate the remains of W·A users, and the Yakuza wants it. Two powerful rival yakuza groups, the Izumokai and the Toujougumi are fighting to figure out and gain control of the source of W·A, a task made harder by the fact that no user of W·A have managed to stay alive after consuming the drug.

Amid this, 17-year-old Kubota, the first of two main protagonists, have somehow managed to stumble into the position of Head of the Izumokai youth group, despite not being a gang member before that. He is aided by the second-in-command, Komiya, in his yakuza jobs and it is through Komiya that he knows of the existence of W·A. Komiya is killed by the rival Toujougumi gang when investigating W·A, and Kubota quits the gang after Komiya's death, but not before taking out twelve high-ranking members of the Toujougumi gang, and disappears from the yakuza world.

Soon after, Kubota picks up a stranger with amnesia whom he names Tokitoh, and they start living together. Tokitoh has no idea of his identity, or why his right hand is a furry, clawed paw identical to the animalistic bodies of dead W·A users, yet he is still alive. Kubota and Tokitoh then set out on a mission to investigate W·A, hoping to discover Tokitoh's past at the same time. The manga details their quest to investigate every victim of W·A, and following up on any leads provided by Kou, a drugstore owner who is Kubota's current employer, or Kasai, Kubota's detective uncle. These tips however are usually red herrings or traps and lead nowhere.

In the process, Kubota and Tokitoh often get mixed up with the yakuza who are just as eager to seek W·A. Sanada, leader back of Izumokai gang and Kubota's former employer is fascinated by Kubota, and constantly keeps tabs on him. Sekiya, leader of Toujougumi just wants to get his hands on W·A. In their various clashes with the yakuza Kubota and Tokitoh rarely emerge unscathed, but they always manage to survive and make it out somehow, ready to follow the next lead.

Characters

Kubota Makoto

In volume one of Wild Adapter, Kubota is 16. He becomes leader of the Yakuza's Izumokai youth division when he is offered two guns; one of them is dangerously defective and the other is safe and functional. He chooses the functional gun and executes the youth division's previous leader who was revealed to be a spy from the rival Yakuza. Kubota leaves the Izumokai after only seven months, and a year later, re-emerges as Tokitoh's protector.

He is seen as calm, collected, and focused, as well as cool, callous, and aloof. He is cruel and insensitive, but at the same time, childish and sweet. To both friends and enemies, they find him terrifying at times—whether because he can insensitively break a man's arm, or because of his smile. He is never seen without a cigarette, and his favored brand is Seven Stars.

Komiya, in volume 1, says he has no logic to him. He says, "Interested in nothing, yet fiercely curious about everything. Acts like he doesn't care, but with so much desire in his eyes. Only caring for himself, but completely masochistic. Needing nothing, clinging to everything. Chaos existing inside tight order...All of these fevered colors merging into black...and disappearing. He's just like this city."

Kubota is extremely possessive of Tokito, and is a very talented mahjong player.

Tokito Minoru

Tokitoh is first introduced as a boy running from pursuers. He collapses, unconscious, in an alley, where Kubota finds him soon after leaving the Izumokai. Tokitoh's right hand is that of a beast's—and that of deceased W·A users—and it occasionally causes him immense pain. He keeps it covered by a black glove. He has no memory of his past before Kubota picked him up, other than flashes of a menacing figure who calls him "Minoru." Tokitoh is loud, impulsive, stubborn, and tactless at times, but he is straightforward, kind-hearted, and a very loyal ally.

Kubota, along with several other characters, refers to Tokitoh as a "cat," or "stray cat." Tokitoh calls Kubota "Kubo-chan."[8] Tokitoh is highly protective of Kubota, and gets jealous easily when he thinks someone else is closer to Kubota.

Yakuza

Izumokai

Toujougumi

Sekiya Jun is the leader of the Toujougumi Youth Division, and becomes the daikou when Kubota kills the previous leader as his condition of leaving the Izumokai at the end of volume 1. In his one major confrontation with Kubota and Tokitoh in volume 2, Sekiya tells them that he knows about W·A, at least, and makes it clear that he suspects Tokitoh is also involved. He acts suggestively toward Tokitoh and has a stereotypically homosexual attitude; he speaks with a lisp and refers to himself with the feminine "atashi" (rather than the more masculine "ore," "jibun," or "boku"). Saori calls him an "okama"—an offensive term for a homosexual man.

Police

Friends

Executive committee

Wild Adapter's characters first made their debut in one of Minekura's earlier works, a dōjinshi titled Araiso Private High School Student Council Executive Committee. In Executive Committee, Kubota and Tokitoh are high school students who are on the executive committee, a kind of juvenile police force.[9] The stories in Executive Committee are largely silly and plotless, such as resolving mysteries over a cheat-sheet for an exam, or acting as bodyguards for a spoiled teen idol.

Executive Committee is also a two-episode OVA.

References and notes

  1. ^ Minekura, Kazuya (2006). Shiritsu Araiso Koto Gakko Seitokai Shikkobu(1). Tokuma Shoten. p. 193. ISBN 4-19-960108-2.
  2. ^ Diaz-Przybyl, Lilian. "Let it be known..." Tokyopop. Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
  3. ^ Minekura, Kazuya (2006). Wild Adapter volume 5. Tokuma Shoten. ISBN 4-19-960161-9.
  4. ^ Common scenes are of buildings, the skyline, complete with billboards of real brands and logos.
  5. ^ It is unclear if the black pages are used to signify the events of Wild Adapter being in the past, or if it is simply for asethetic reasons.
  6. ^ a b "Kazuya Minekura's Wild Adapter Manga Gets Video Anime". Anime News Network. March 25, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Saiyuki Reload Blast, Wild Adapter Manga Slow Down Due to Creator's Health". Anime News Network. July 27, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  8. ^ Tokitoh is the only person who calls Kubota 'Kubo-chan' in the manga. This makes it obvious when Tokitoh is talking, and also shows how close they are, as opposed to others who go by the more formal 'Kubota-san' or 'Kubota-kun'. This detail is sometimes lost in translation.
  9. ^ Minekura, Kazuya (2006). Shiritsu Araiso Koto Gakko Seitokai Shikkobu(1). Tokuma Shoten. pp. 193–194. ISBN 4-19-960108-2.