Posted by K-Off on 14 September 2016 with categories: Girl the Wild’s, Manga Shelf, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Sumikko no Sora-San, Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko

Well, this is going to be interesting. I made a decision to review as much regular manga that I can, so even shonen comedies shouldn’t be beneath me. I generally make a point of actively avoiding talking about comedies, because what do we know, there’s only so many ways to say something just isn’t funny. But screw conventions, if I have to write 4 sentence reviews then so be it.

Here’s every single manga (with an SK webtoon) that I’ve read this week, along with three or four among them that I’ll cover from here on out. I’ll be writing separate reviews on the latest chapters of the manga that I’ve decided to cover here on out from this list, where I can get more in-depth.

Seitokai Yakuindomo Chapters 1-392

Seitokai Yakuindomo

Seitokai Yakuindomo Chapters 1-392

I admit it here, Tozen Ujiie’s works have been a “guilty pleasure” of mine for quite some time now, to the point that as far as his 4koma are concerned, I’m convinced that the man is a comedy genius. For the uninitiated, his style of humor is stupidly crude, consisting primarily of dick jokes and enema gags – it’s anti-PC humor at its finest, but I don’t like it just for the sake of it being different.

I’m someone who can appreciate both spectrums of comedy, be they lowbrow dick jokes or “highbrow” humor – so, what actually grabbed me with SYD more so than any of his previous work was its quirky cast, and Ujiie’s really creative word-play on the Japanese language to come up with clever puns. Though I often lose his comedic intent through translation, it’s pretty neat when I can catch onto something. A story is nowhere to be found in SYD, but I see it as the equivalent of a Japanese comedy skit in manga form, where on the other hand Puchi Puchi Tan Tan has a little bit more cohesion as a story (at the cost of consistency in comedic tone). I look forward to talking about this and learning more about Ujiie’s wordplay.

Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san Chapters 1-30

Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san

Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san Chapters 1-30

You know when you read a new shonen manga, and it instantly feels like an illustrated storyboard for an anime? This is about our protagonist as he deals with a ghost girl who lost her memories and (for the sake of To Love Ru level of fan service) can strip her ghostly clothes.

Yeah I hate this very much, maybe if the fan service was toned down by 100% I could appreciate the light-yet-brandless level of comedy offered here. The main character is also stupidly overpowered, so there’s no reason for me to care about anything at stake. Quite possibly the extreme spectrum away from the average spineless harem male lead. But oh well, this is bound to get an anime adaptation so I’ll probably have to talk about it then (I predict it’ll come out in Spring 2018).

Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko Pages 1-414

Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko

Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko Pages 1-414

Here’s another anime material 4koma that for some inexplicable reason plays out every single stereotype imaginable – generic character traits, childhood friend plotline, aloof romance, tomboy gags, gloomy-yet-intelligent female friend to the female lead (think Ruri from Nisekoi), and so on. At least Nisekoi’s cast was diverse, this is just full of dull, whelming characters.

But what is simple and generic isn’t so bad every now and then, I can compare this to Kono Bijutsubu wa Mondai ga Aru where it has moments of quirky moments that at least make it worth keeping up on. As much as formulaic manga like this bug me, it’s undeniable that it has quirk going for it, as this formula works for the general audience every time, without fail. 

Girl the Wild’s Chapters 1-257

Girl the Wild's

Girl the Wild’s Chapters 1-257

About a bullied guy who is trained in martial arts under the wing of an all-girls’ MMA high school. Essentially an action-harem story with top notch art. But, should this get a pass just because it’s a manwha and not a manga? Obviously not, it goes through the numbers of a fighting manga beat by beat afterall – but yes on the other hand.

Reason being, I find the Korean style of humor very charming. It’s somewhat much more physical humor and cruder than Japanese comedy, which typically relies on word play alongside character archetypes – and as much as I like clever word play, Japanese character archetypes have admittedly worn me down.

In addition to that, it’s amazing just how much more visceral the fight scenes feel in webtoon form with every color and special effect available at the artist’s disposal. Often times the impact is greater than even a lot of other fighting anime. This, combined with strong and fun character relationships, make for one of my favorite webtoons to look at right now.

Kiss x Death Chapters 1-38

Kiss x Death

Kiss x Death Chapters 1-38

This is about an alien who pilots our main character, and fights another group of aliens who take over the bodies of high school girls – brought to you by Yasuhiro Kano, the one who gave us Pretty Face. I’ll be the bearer of bad news to say that KxD has none of the energy of Pretty Face.

It frequently takes itself way too seriously during confrontations with the alien villains, as if we should care about what’s happening for some reason? To illustrate, the main character’s alien is sort of interesting because he’s a cold straight man, but Kano has a bad habit of introducing us to characters he wants us to care about right when they become relevant to the plot (the main character’s middle school friend for example). Then Kano dumps a load of background story in the exact moment that they’re introduced and calls the character development finished. There’s no buildup or clues to future conflict, everything is a series of non issues that the omni-intelligent alien can and eventually does solve. Its painfully simple plot (the alien just needs to defeat all 4-5 alien girls in succession) may make the story easy to follow despite Kano’s poor writing here, but there’s just no depth to the story, and not enough comedy to justify it as in Pretty Face.

Sumikko no Sora-San Chapters 1-14

Sumikko no Sora-San

Sumikko no Sora-San Chapters 1-14

Last but not least is my favorite slice of life manga nowadays, about a philosophizing girl named Sora and a pet tortoise named Plato who is convinced that she is Socrates, his mentor (Her name in Japanese, “そら-です” sounds like “Socrates” apparently). Firstly, I love philosophy. I even considered minoring in it in Uni and took 5 quarters of upper division philosophy courses, so this series is right up my alley. While this manga doesn’t involve any complicated modern philosophical concepts, it is armchair philosophy at its finest, with each chapter giving some kind of adventure in the countryside with Sora and her philosophizing tortoise, as a means to illustrate the various philosophical concepts that Sora and Plato ponder. Really refreshing to see a genuinely meandering “slice of life” without any bland romantic subtext.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Masky says:

    “Anime material” makes it sound like its written to be anime material or something :D

    Anyhoo, I like Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko, but then again, I don’t read yonkoma slice of life much and I read them mostly to pass time. Only one I remember reading besides it was Yandere Kanojo

    • K-Off K-Off says:

      I don’t like the way chapters are released, the story doesn’t flow in “episodes” like a normal yonkoma so the 1 page-per-release format cuts me out of the pacing.

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