|This post is written by Saladine|
Title: Hammer Session!
Author: Koganemaru Yamato, Yatsu Hiroyuki
Artist: Tanahashi Namoshiro
Year Published: 2006
Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Magazine
Licensed in English: No
Genre: Comedy Action Romance School Life Shounen Slice of Life
Scanlation Latest Release: Chapter 23
Status in Country of Origin: 11 volumes (Complete)
Age Rating: 15+
Rating: 9,0 / 10
“Is he a criminal who killed many civilians?”
“Or a terrorist who injured many people?”
Thought the fellow criminal inside an escort truck toward a North Kanto Prison, who see a person being accompanied by four cops with the face being covered with a leather bag. Cannot bear his curiosity, as they drove into the prison, this former yakuza tried to open mask of the covered-in-the-face-leather-bag prisoner. Surprisingly, inside the leather bag was a kid! As the kid express his gratitude, he pointed out the yakuza Christian side. Astonished, the yakuza ask the kid explanation. The kid only point out the tattoo of the fish in the yakuza shoulder, which have correlation with the name of Jesus Christ. Seeing a supreme power of observation, the yakuza mind began to wonder what sort of crime this kid does.
“Curious curious, whats inside that leather bag?”
“Amaze by my awesome sense of deduction!”
As they began chattering, the truck that roads to the prison suddenly smash the other car, creating a car accident. Seeing the damage door in the prisoner’s truck, all the prisoner began to quickly escape from there. All of them, except the kid. Noticing such feat, the yakuza wonder why the kid halts his escape. It was later noticed that the kid tried to help the driver out of the car. Running out of time, the gasoline has a leak which created an explosion. Surprisingly, as the kid crouch protecting the driver, he did not get any single injury in his body. The yakuza, felt with the sense of faith to god, believe that there are reasons for the kid to be alive in this world.
After assuring the life of the driver, the two of them began to run from the chase of the police officer. They began to run toward a school ground, to notice someone tried to burn the school down. Seeing this, the kid tried to put the fire down with fire extinguisher. Successful with the attempt, their action was noticed by the school principal. Three of them were bough to the principal office, with fear in mind knowing they were all a bunch of criminal and the principal would be very likely to call the police. Surprisingly, the principal was very kind, enough to serve cake for them. Confused, the yakuza ask the principal why he didn’t call the police. With the troubled face, the principal announces the burner was none other than the mathematics teacher in that school. He also would like to request the both of them to keep this from the police.
“Shameful apology, while bearing school responsibility “
Later known that the reason the math teacher tried to burn the school was because of overwhelming stress in handling his student. As he listens to the story, the kid tried to give a simple, yet seemingly trusted solution to handle the student. Only to notice, the solution he stated was just a tale, by understanding the principal heart. He was able to do so, because there are disturbance inside the principal heart. This concept was known as Defibrillator Education. The yakuza who stood watch at the moment, realize the real crime that kid committed. Yes, he was a swindler.
With the light in the principal office still on, the cops knocked the window outside to ask a few question. The question was regarding the 2 criminal that run from the prison truck, which are the first-rate swindler and the yakuza. Noticing this, the yakuza and the math teacher hide on the back of the sofa. Although the principal deny he ever seen the criminal, the cops point the man who sit in the sofa, which very similar to the one in the photo, seeing from the back. With a few guts, the principal notifies the cops that he was a new teacher in this school.
After successfully shielded the kid, he ask the reason behind the principal action. But it’s just as the principal said, he want the swindler to have a role in teaching his school, with the identity of the math teacher that tried to burn the school ground. Confused, the kid tried to warn the principal on his former crimes. The principal reply with a strong sentence “the antidote to cure the venomous snake bite, was made from the snake venom”. He would like for the swindler to cure the heart of the student. Seeing the determined old guy making request, the kid accept the job.
“Normal is not in my dictionary”
Hammer Session! is an unique story about a former swindler to take a role in teaching. This story revolved around the background of irregular teaching. Irregular, in this sense, does not have to sounds bad and mischievous. It just means that the teaching does not stop in one-way communication. The teacher involved in resolving the student inner conflict even after the school has ended, creating a bond of trust between them. Another irregular teaching story can be seen in “Great Teacher Onizuka”, “Gokusen”, and “Denpa Kyoushi”.
Koganemaru and Yatsu have clearly done their homework. Every aspect of the student conflict that the protagonist tried to solve is very logical, yet clearly easy enough to understand. It delivers exactly as its promises, without breaching the value of acceptable. But the most interesting things are the artist, Tanahashi. He was able to picture the suitable character, a good environment, great effect, and above all, the perfect expression. Of course, without neglecting the fan service we all love. Not to mention how the end of each chapter is able to captivate your heart, by making the reader ask question for the continuation of the next chapter. Truly, one could not bear but to wanting to read more.
The protagonist, although he does not have a name, has a breezy character that radiates optimism in every aspect. Playing the role as a math teacher with the name of Hachisuka Sensei, he managed to cover his entire flaw with logic and a handful of tricks up his sleeves. The way he acts is calm, nonchalant, yet somehow deadly enough to be drag into his pace. But I’m not talking about the stupid naive character without any seriousness in life, I’m talking about the character that was brimming with confidence, knows how and when to get serious, and have morals that guide his life. Truly, for a con artist, having things such as moral and etiquettes is very surprising. His intimidating way with word has charm me even further. When I look at him, the first thing that pops in my mind was “the joker”.
“Carry on stealing? What kind of teacher are you?!”
The concept called Hammer Session, the one our protagonist tried to achieve, is a meant to understand the student heart by various means. Every successful attempt, the student will be given a check to write how much the school should pay for the lesson. It would seem that the protagonist does not want a regular, every month, salary. He believe such thing does not gives thrill in his life, or cons, if you prefer to call it in such way. This sorts of method makes me wonder, why does he want such method of payment? Trying to understand, i arrived in conclusion in a matter of pride and moral. Pride as a professional cons in successful attempt, and moral to give the principal a chance of insurance if the protagonist itself tried to scam him. What most surprising, is that he’s the one who choose this method of payment. This also proof the credibility in taking a teaching job seriously.
“Money is not priority, i just love the thrills”
“Understand is the basis of my action. Then i move accordingly”
The heroine, Mizuki Ryouko, is a cheerful, beautiful, worrisome sensei. Her appearance is somewhat elegant and grace, but also fragile and cute. She always tried to warn the protagonist on the action he takes, but in the near future she also depends on him. After a series of story involving an alcohol, where she sees how a scam take place in a party, many suspicion is arose inside her. From there, she began to question the background of the protagonist. Later she knows that the protagonist is actually a former con artist.
“Leave school? What is your identity?”
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is actually one of the manga that I love. Every character in this story is very unique, with a detailed background that explain their every crude behavior. The story is also acceptable, in a sense that it was able to create the illusion of “Real” inside the manga. Not to mention how the artist draw them, with every detail involving the background, the screen tone, and the characters. I can see the dedication the author and the artist put in making this manga, truly the supreme work of art.
Even if i have one regret, it’s involving the scanlation speed. Although in the origin country the manga has been finished (they also have sequel too), the English scanlation was rather slow in working on it. Though, I cannot really blame them for this, they also have other priorities in their mind.