Random Manga Theatre 16: Williams

Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.

This time: Williams, by Komi Naoshi

This week’s Random Manga is another oneshot, and that isn’t all because I forgot about this feature and had to make a mad scramble to finish it. No sir. Nope. Totally found this one randomly and decided it would make a good share.

Some of you may know Komi Naoshi from the totally-awesome-but-tragically-cut-short manga Double Arts, which will probably get featured here someday, and probably more recently for the tragically-generic romance manga Nisekoi, which definitely will not be featured for Random Manga Theatre. This is one of his several oneshots – there are at least three or four more, and all of them are fairly decent. It’s kind of a sad sign of the anime industry how he could only get serialized again with a boring and generic high school love comedy.

At any rate, we’re not here to talk about mediocre romance, we’re here to talk about shonen manga and chasing your dreams and all that shit. The eponymous William is the son of a nobleman, and is thus expected to become a productive member of noble society. In typical shonen fashion, he is badgered by all his caretakers to sit still and attend to his studies and whatnot, while he badgers them in turn by sneaking out of the estate and getting up to all sorts of trouble, mostly trying to skip town altogether.

You see, William’s favorite book is The Adventures of Aradoff Hopkins, an adventure novel with stories so outlandish that it’s taken the city by storm. Having been locked up in his estate for his entire life, Williams dreams of going on his own adventure, utterly convinced that Aradoff’s escapades as detailed in the novel are true stories. So he sneaks out of his house yet again, followed by his caretaker Connie, off to find the man who supposedly chronicled Aradoff’s tale.

Verdict: I Wish It Were A Series
Recycling even the verdict from last week? I would never!

In all seriousness, though, this is pretty good. It has all the setup for a full series, with William trying to retrace the steps of his hero, but it wasn’t picked up by Shonen Jump. The ending of the oneshot works rather well, though – it’s the right way to end something as short as this, with everything coming full circle. Assuming you don’t hate all shonen, I heartily recommend checking out both Williams and the rest of Komi Naoshi’s stuff (except for Nisekoi).

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