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All-Purpose Chemistry Club, Vol. 3

Sorry for the slight delay, as the end of the semester nears things have been a little hectic and I fell a bit behind schedule. Still, better late than never! So before we get to today’s review, have some news!

And now, onto the featured review of All-Purpose Chemistry Club, Vol. 3!

All-Purpose Chemistry Club, Vol. 3All-Purpose Chemistry Club, Vol. 3
by Sho Hidaka
DMP/Emanga.com, 212 pp
Rating: Teen (13 +)

After three bizarre volumes, Sho Hidaka’s comedy series,All-Purpose Chemistry Club comes to an end! Before it’s climax though, Ipponsugi, Akiyama, Boss and the rest of the gang must contend with talking eggs, relationship problems, health crisis and more!

With it’s third and final volume, All-Purpose Chemistry Club proves its dedication to the art of being nonsensical. Its commitment to a lack of plot and character development is on full display here, as Ipponsugi and the rest of the gang rocket from one barely coherent adventure to another. Encounters with sleepers who magically modify the world around them, giant snakes and more bizarreness from Boss blur together in an avalanche of gags and overreactions. In the end, nothing really happens. Ipponsugi’s relationship with Akiyama is essentially unchanged, the club’s friendly rivals are still friendly rivals, there’s no explanation for whatever Boss is, and readers will be left scratching their head as they wonder what they just read. As with the previous two volumes, there are some bright spots. A few of the gags are funny and Sho Hidaka’s penchant to throw everything at the wall does result in a few chuckles, but outside of those scattered moments this final volume is just as messy and forgettable as the previous two.Page from All-Purpose Chemistry Club, Vol. 3

The artwork follows suit, as clear visual story telling is nonexistent within these pages. Characters often look alike and it’s easy to become confused about who’s who. Toning patterns are splattered across the page, along with hyperactive overreactions which often distort and contort some already questionable anatomy. Speed lines and jagged edges abound as characters flip tables amid pages cluttered with voice bubbles and panels flow in some really odd directions, requiring arrows and word bubbles labeled with the letters of character names to help identify who’s talking to whom.

Getting to the end of All-Purpose Chemistry Club, Vol. 3 is less of an enjoyable moment and more like an achievement in endurance. While Japanese comedy has always been a bit hit or miss with me, rarely has it felt quite as much like a chore as it has with this series. The cluttered artwork, non-stop visual gags, similar looking characters and commitment to a lack of any kind of narrative makes for a forgettable and messy read.

All Purpose Chemistry Club, Vol. 3 is available now from Digital Manga Publishing and Emanga.com. Digital review copy provided by the publisher.

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  1. April 28, 2015 at 6:28 pm

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