Ottoman Manga is another addition to the superhero troupe. Yet, what makes it unique is its indomitable insistence on a married couple. A typical superhero show would have a young teen fighting villains for justice. Not here, nu-uh. The protagonist, Souya, is an exhausted individual working as a marketing designer in his company. His true dream is to be a Mangaka, to write a manga that puts out hope. But is it ever that simple?
The story revolves around the enigmatic and romantic married couple, Souya and Yuuka. Upon an accident, Souya’s body is possessed by an alien entity who wants to rest. Getting a second chance in life due to this chance encounter, he can surpass his humane limits and live as the superhero he always admired.
Such an out-of-the-world experience does not stop here. The life of Souya and Yuuka gets a rollercoaster treatment as various groups target them. The story has everything, from action to comedy to even very cliched romantic antics.
A gateway to other series
The manga has similar elements to many well-known series, playing such a central role that it feels like a lie to not admit it as an advertisement. Here are 4 instances that feel like “Wah isn’t this from xx series?”:
- Zom 100: Souya finds himself in the same situation as Tendou. Trapped within a rigorous work schedule, both of them overwork themselves for a measly pay. Each with its ambition, it is quite evident that both series have a similar start.
- Parasyte: An alien stuck within a human body. Where have we seen this before? In Parasyte, both the human and the alien were dependent on the other to live, while such is not the case in Ottoman. Souya and Gibaru require each other but they are not dependent on the other for their lives.
- Kaiju no. 8: Epic battle suits? Check. Both Kaiju no. 8 and Ottoman have full alien suits that cover the host and provide them with super physical buffs. While Kaiju’s main appeal was the suits and weapons, the Ottoman’s main appeal seems to lie in the effects of their weapons.
- Fullmetal Alchemist and Harry Potter: If Philosopher Stone reminds anyone of anything, it’s probably these two series. The Ottoman manga also has a similar concept to Philosopher Stone, and while it was easy to infer these two series, they went ahead and explicitly mentioned the two. It’s a clear indication the manga drew inspiration from the mentioned series.
Is it another Ripoff or a Standalone genius in the making?
The manga has a very generic structure: a motivated protagonist with a cute agent of motivation fighting against enemies to safeguard the love of his life, his wife. The story so far has given very little importance to its side characters and has continued to spam all details onto its protagonist and deuteragonist.
The story is unique in the sense that the protagonist has no other motivation than to protect his wife. Taking the wife out of the picture, he has no sincere desire to sacrifice himself to safeguard the planet. The story fails to develop its characters. The characters are there just because they need to be there. Besides the protagonist, everyone else has lackluster motivating plot points.
The story has incredible potential and can be one of the next-gen top 3. However, as long as it continues its current pace and progression, it will need more than its story to get there. Nonetheless, credit where it is due, the story is a breath of fresh air after having continuously received series with Justice as its center.