- Mangaka : DORANEKO, Relucy, Kouji Onodera
- Publisher : Seven Seas
- Genre : Comedy, Fantasy
- Published : April 13, 2021
It’s somehow always presumed that brains are above brawn. There is this preconceived notion that being smart is leagues better than just being strong. While there may be some truth in that on certain occasions, that is not always the case. Sometimes muscles alone can topple over everything, literally. As long as there’s enough mass, then there is no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle. That also applies to magic and spells, and that’s exactly what Muscles are Better Than Magic is trying to prove to us. Here’s our review of the first volume!
Instead of succumbing to sadness and self-pity after learning he has zero affinity with magic, Yuri strives to forge his own path in this world ruled by the wonders of magic. He trains day and night to hone every muscle fiber in his body in the Forest of Death. He has gone beyond the point of no return and has achieved a body that’s so muscular it has gained incomprehensible might. Heck, Yuri’s muscles are so great they can nullify magic and even simulate a magic attack. That magic attack, of course, doesn’t actually use any magic power. Nuts, right? His peaceful life, however, comes to a halt after meeting a self-proclaimed peerless beauty, Filia the elf. Now, the two join together and explore the world.
1. The Glory of Muscles
If we haven’t said it enough, this manga is all about the muscles! Yuri’s body will put any body builder to shame. He’s literally a big chunk of flesh that can obliterate just about anything. This, however, doesn’t mean that he just flaunts his assets everywhere he goes, though he definitely tries to do so. He can somehow limit his mass and make his muscles shrink to an acceptable size. Of course, he can summon his glorious bulk any time he needs to. Be it for fighting monsters or putting the strongest knights to shame, it’s just a matter of flexing to Yuri. When all is said and done, Yuri is surprisingly not cringey. He just loves his body and is proud of it, but he never thinks of himself as superior to others. He’s actually kind of adorable when flexing, and that is one of the unique charms of this manga.
2. So Absurd, It’s Actually Funny
Everything about Yuri is absurd. His attitude, muscles, and strength. He basically defies all kinds of logic. In fact, he’s so bonkers that even an elf with a mighty high self-esteem kind of seems normal compared to him. While that may not necessarily sound that great on paper, Yuri's absurdity makes a fine gag. His absurd dedication to his muscles is often the butt of the joke, and it always comes at an unexpected moment. His harmlessness and simple-mindedness actually accentuates the joke, making it naturally funny. That being said, there are basically no dull moments with these two.
1. Nothing Serious
If it’s not yet that obvious, then we confirm with tears in our eyes—mostly from smiling and chuckling—that Muscles are Better Than Magic doesn’t and probably won’t take itself too seriously. It doesn’t have any serious plot, if it actually has any, nor does it have any complicated problems. Even Filia and Yuri’s journey isn’t for anything valiant. They’re not out to hunt some big bad or to save the world. They’re really traveling for the sake of it. While that’s not necessarily bad, it may not be to everyone’s liking. So if you’re looking for something thought-provoking or some great plot, then this manga may not be for you.
Muscles are Better Than Magic is an entertaining light novel, and the manga is even better. After all, we can finally appreciate Yuri’s majestic muscles every second of the reading experience. It is, however, important to note that this manga doesn’t really have any serious story or whatnot. It’s a good mindless read. If you’re looking for something nice and fun to read after a tiring day, then this is a good choice. If you’re looking for something ground-breaking, then you may want to move along.
Have you read Muscles are Better Than Magic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!