The End of Teppu

teppu cover 1

Teppu, the female-centric MMA manga by OOTA Moare-sensei, will end in the August issue (July 7) of good! Afternoon. Or so various sources tell me.

Teppu is about a girl, Natsuo Ishido, and her entrance into the world of mixed martial arts. With this twist: she has a horrible personality. Gifted with an innate talent for physical sports that the vast majority can only dream about — and having incurred the wrath and envy of her brother and others for it, Natsuo grows as lonely, cynical, and petty as your average super villain. Enter a happy-go-lucky and truly talentless (but unnaturally clueless) girl who has actually made the hard work thing work, only ever having grueling exercises and her indomitable spirit to fall back upon. Hence born an epic rivalry.

Teppu has been my favorite manga for a long time, and there are so many things to love about it. I will write a longer post in the future, perhaps when it actually ends, but in short the character of Natsuo — quite polarizing even among Teppu fans — is the most incredible character I’ve read. It is liberating to hear her say “I hate people who have everything” and have that be all right. And to see her ridiculous wish-fulfillment dream, and to know both sides of her sadistic and masochistic tendencies. Natsuo is cool and horrible, talented and yet not quite successful. Her moments of envy, of self-hate, of being stuck in the past are incredibly relatable for those who know of them.

I don’t think another chapter can possibly resolve everything, but I know that Oota-sensei will do a brilliant job with it. And I am sad to see Teppu end, but ultimately I am relieved that, given his previous hiatus, Oota-sensei can take a break from manga.

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