Girl Saurus DX

girlsaurus

Shingo gets called out for a confession. However, the girl confessing to him turns out to be morbidly obese, and she confesses in a bizarre way that downright scares him, causing him to try to run away. Being rejected in such a manner, the girl is incredibly furious, causing her to go on a rampage, sending Shingo to the hospital for a month. He returns, covered in physical scars, but also in emotional scars, in that he’s now traumatized into fearing all women. However, he still wants to like girls, and hence decides to do his best to get stronger and overcome his gynophobia. This leads to him joining the boxing club, at the advice of the school nurse and club adviser Hijiri, however it turns out that Hijiri just wants to use Shingo to play around and possibly make money, as that’s the type of woman she is. This is made more interesting due to the fact that the boxing club only has girls. And shockingly enough, it includes the girl that sent Shingo to the hospital, who he learns is named Haruka, who after being rejected joined the club to lose weight and made a miraculous transformation into a beautiful girl, though one still incredibly strong, and one still angry at Shingo, at least at first. Over time she seems to fall back in love with him, and discretely tries to make him fall in love with her as well. And she’s not the only one. Another club member, Nozomi, who looks a lot younger than she is, also falls in love with him and tries to seduce him, often completely unsuccessfully. Similarly, Akira, a tomboyish girl also falls in love with him and tries to get closer to him, though her rich family background sometimes gets in the way. An incredibly clumsy transfer student, Hotaru, is also moved by his kindness to her and joins the club also trying to get closer to him. And in addition to these, Shingo also seems to be surrounded by a whole host of other women. It would be an incredibly lucky situation for most guys, however, for Shingo with his gynophobia, it turns out to be hell.

***

This manga is divided into two, Girl Saurus and Girl Saurus DX, which is a direct continuation and as far as I can tell doesn’t have any differences to the first series, and hence it’s perfectly reasonably to think of both as a single manga, and hence give them a combined review. The manga sets up a very simple plot, a guy gets gynophobia and is then surrounded by a bunch of girls in love with him. It has very little depth, however it sets up a series of interesting small episodes that are heavily oriented around Shingo’s gynophobia for the most part, though also being quite varied beyond that, and are incredibly comedic, which is the core draw of the manga. There were some areas that I didn’t much like at all, such as anything relating to Tsubasa or Arahata, and hence consider everything related to them a major miss, but overall I would have to say there were quite a bit more hits than misses. There’s an interesting cast of characters, though to some degree it starts suffering from over-saturation in the number of characters as it goes on, which combined with the fact that there is very little character development makes the characters start feeling somewhat similarly flat towards the end. Still, the ending felt right in regards to the characters involved and very true to the series, though I wish it had gone just a bit further to give it more impact. I would also like to note that the series is incredibly cute with amazing art.

A manga with little plot or development, but a solid cast of characters and a hilarious premise used quite well enhanced by really good art.

8/10

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Aizawa-san Zoushoku (Aizawa-san Multiplies)

aizawasan

Aizawa Shino is generally seen as the school idol. She’s beautiful, smart, atheltic, kind, etc. Mizutani Souta has been watching her for some time, and seems to have fallen in love with her. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s shocked when she asks him out. It also doesn’t change the fact that right after being asked out by her, three more girls that look just like her end up confessing to him as well. And it turns out that they’re not siblings. Rather, the Aizawa family seems to have some strange thing, where girls after reaching puberty when they get very emotional they end up multiplying, with the copies representing one of their emotions. These copies of Aizawa are even given named based on what they represent: courage, Yuki, pervertedness, Shiki, and bashfulness, Hami. Now this is all sorts of strange, but what really is important is that Shino confessed to him, and to that Souta gives a favorable reply. Hence, they begin going out, with Aizawa’s copies assisting them moving their relationship along. Though it doesn’t seem Aizawa is done multiplying just yet.

***

This is another manga by Shiki Seiichi, the author of Fujimura-kun Mates, and it similarly is strong in all the same areas. It’s a mostly slice of life story with a solid helping of romance featuring a realistic protagonist and a bunch of somewhat strange heroines. There’s no overarching plot or anything serious going on behind the scenes, even considering the supernatural phenomena. Rather, it’s just a bunch of amusing episodes of the main couple slowly advancing their relationship. However, that’s not to make light of how good it is, because I feel the manga nails this perfectly. The twist with the copies works quite well in fleshing out Aizawa’s character tremendously well. Furthermore, all of the Aizawa’s are quite cute in their own ways, to the point that there not being many characters outside of them doesn’t feel like an issue at all. Furthermore, there’s tremendously solid relationship development. This may be a bit slow, but because the stories themselves move relatively fast and the comedy is on point, it’s ultimately very enjoyable to read. Ultimately, I wish the manga was longer and they went further with things, as I felt like there was still quite a bit more left untapped with this premise and I would have really liked to see their relationship develop even further. Still, the manga was quite good for what it was, and the ending did wrap up most everything that absolutely needed to be done in the manga, with the possible exception of never clearly explaining why Aizawa fell for Souta in the first place. The art was pretty good too, though there weren’t that many shots that seemed to try to take advantage of that.

An incredibly solid laid back and comedic slice of life romantic comedy with an interesting supernatural twist.

8/10

This actually reminded me of Inside Out to a degree.

Kamen Teacher

kamenteacher

Kyokuran high school is seen as a trouble school, that due to its various issues may well be on its way to shutting down. In such circumstances, two new teachers have been sent to this school: Akira, the main teacher, someone with very strong endurance and an easygoing personality; Juumonji, an assistant teacher wearing a mask who in his special lessons beats sense into his delinquent students. Together, they are part of the Kamen teacher program, the last hope for dying schools, and with their unique brand of teaching, they’ll save this school as well.

***

This is another manga by the author of GTO that shares a very similar premise, in that it involves a teacher dealing with a problem class through unusual means. However, it doesn’t really have any aspect that seems improved over GTO, so it largely feels like a lesser version. The core of this manga is the gimmick in that there’s a teacher in a mask who is ridiculously strong and can easily beat up students, which he uses to beat his class into shape. However, this ultimately ends up feeling tremendously flat compared to GTO, because his class is a simple class of delinquents and all of them are quite simple. Hence, dealing with them involves simply using force. There are some complexities added to this to a degree, but overall that’s it. Hence, the overall class of characters weren’t that interesting, rather everyone seemed pretty flat, teacher included, and there wasn’t much development either. That combined with the individual plots being hit and miss resulted in a manga that was quite dull at times. There were some great moments, such as those involving the arc with the scammers, however a lot of these great moments actually felt somewhat out of place, and really overall the plot felt random. The ending was pretty solid, in that it wrapped things up quite well. Still, the buildup wasn’t good enough to make it that impactful. The comedy was decent. The art was decent, though with the designs, characters, framing, etc. wasn’t as enjoyable as GTO.

Quite similar to GTO, which is a solid foundation, but not really better at anything and worse at quite a bit.

7/10

Fujiyama-san wa Shishunki

Fujiyama-san wa Shishunki

Fujiyama is quite tall (181cm) and Kanba is pretty short (160cm). They’ve known each other since they were children, but in middle school they seem to have separated and gone off with a separate group of friends, despite both being in the volleyball club. Still, one day Fujiyama suddenly asks her out, and she accepts. Though they both want to keep the fact that they’re going out a secret, their relationship still grows and evolves.

***

This manga is a very light laid back fluffy romance manga, though something that does make it reasonably interesting is that it’s more grounded and less cheesy than most. It like most mangas in the genre is somewhat episodic with a number of smaller stories that are amusing and comedic, though usually in a somewhat childish and heartwarming manner. An issue I have with it though, is that while there did seem to be some solid, if somewhat slow, development towards the beginning, at some point it just sort of stopped and there wasn’t much character or relationship development beyond that for most of the rest of the manga, which made things feel quite slow and repetitive. That is up until near the end, where there was some very solid progress. However, the last chapter itself, felt totally pointless, in that it was mostly a series of empty shots of places throughout the manga, which works in anime as the credits roll, but doesn’t really seem to work all the well in manga. Rather, I feel that ending it on the chapter right before that would have left a much stronger impact in line with the tone of the rest of the manga. The art I wasn’t fond of. The style was fine, in that a more moe art style wouldn’t fit with the more grounded tone it was trying to portray, but such a style is difficult to get right and here it felt quite a bit too rough most of the time.

A lighthearted and pretty standard young romance. 

7/10

Kyou no Yuiko-san (Today’s Yuiko-san)

Kyou no Yuiko-san

Tomoyo and Yuiko are two high school students that are going out. At least, they think they are. Tomoyo isn’t very aggressive and Yuiko is quite shy and even somewhat anti-social, so their relationship is moving at a snail’s pace. Still, they go pretty well together so they make it through.

***

For the most part this manga is incredibly laid back slice of life with the romance already established before it starts out. So there’s no major conflicts occurring or anything of the sort. Nor are there any major issues between them in regards to their relationship either other than it moving quite slow. Hence, the manga is more of an episodic series showing off a bunch of events that the two characters share. The protagonist has a completely flat personality, which doesn’t really develop much either, but the heroine is quite interesting with her being quite anti-social but slowly chanigng as time goes on in part due to Tomoyo’s influence. This is all interesting to watch in a laid back way because she and both of them together are quite cute and the events are also often reasonably humorous. I felt the ending was quite a bit rushed though, in that it involves a time skip, though not a major one, after which Yuiko has changed tremendously, which leads to a bunch of melodrama, that gets resolved in the end, but I feel the happy ending wasn’t impactful enough for the melodrama leading up to it and would have liked to see something stronger. Hence, the final impression I got wasn’t as happy as I would have liked, as I felt the ending being in line with the tone of the rest of the manga should have been more fluffy for lack of a better word.

A slow and laid back manga about an interesting and cute couple that gets quite off tone and rushed towards the end.

7/10

Golden Boy

goldenboy

Kintarou was a law student, but dropped out right before graduating. Instead he became a drifter, biking around Japan in the pursuit of true learning, which can only be gotten through experience. Through his journey, he meets many people, learning a lot from them and in return, though they may not realize it until after he’s gone, leaving a deep impact in their hearts as well.

***

This manga starts out interesting with an episodes structure with the premise of him going to take different jobs to study and meeting lots of interesting people and dealing with them in interesting ways before leaving. These stories were all pretty interesting, with a good amount of character development on not Kintarou but the ones he effects, and were also quite amusing in that Kintarou managed to be tremendously impressive. As it went on, it was starting to get a bit repetitive, but I feel there was still quite a bit more that could be done. However, the author decided eventually to take it in a different direction, where it focused less so on Kintarou, with him being out of the picture a good amount, and more so on a more complex overarching plot. However, this arc is quite simply boring and not entertaining in the slightest. It gets more interesting when in the middle of this it begins a flashback that’s supposed to reveal how Kintarou came to become who he is, and this also starts out quite interesting. However, it also becomes quite strange, seemingly going in a random direction without much of a point, up until the end, where it suddenly ends. I have seen some abrupt endings but this is by far the worst. It just suddenly stops in the middle of a flashback, with not even the flashback having reached its conclusion, but not having even linked the flashback the future at all, where none of the plot threads were anywhere near being resolved either. It very much is a situation, where the author just went “screw it” and just stopped. Though to be honest, it was clear long before than the author had stopped caring. Rather than being anywhere near how the manga started, it turns into pseudo-philosophical nonsense for pages and pages without meaning. On top of that, there are fewer and fewer panels per chapter with lots of single image pages without purpose. It very much felt like the author didn’t want to be writing the manga anymore, but felt forced to for whatever reason, and thus didn’t have the motivation to put in a lot of effort. Unfortunately, despite its opening up so well, because the ending and everything leading up to it were so downright awful, the whole manga ultimately ends up leaving a sour taste. It would have been much preferred to end it at a high note before the barrage of garbage. The art while not that great and quite rough had a lot of personality for lack of a better word, even towards the end.

A manga that starts out quite interesting, but veers off track completely into complete garbage.

6/10

So I hear the anime stops before it gets dumb. Great choice there.

Luck Stealer

luckstealer

Kurusu is known as Luck Stealer, one of the top assassins in Japan. His success is due to a special ability he seems to have where if he touches someone with his bare hands, he absorbs their luck, wherein if someone has completely lost all their luck, they will undoubtedly meet their end quite soon in an unfortunate accident. Hence making him perfect for untraceable assassinations. However, he’s an unusual assassin, in that he only kills those that have committed crimes deserving of death, and refuses to kill any innocent bystanders. This is because he didn’t take on this job purely for the money, fame, or anything of the sort, but rather because he needed a very large amount of luck, but based on a vow to his deceased wife, Rika, absolutely would not harm innocents to get it. The reasons he needs so much luck, is that it seems his power got transferred to his daughter Karin in a twisted way, where her luck is constantly being depleted, resulting in her being at constant risk of death if Kurusu doesn’t give her regular luck infusions. Hence, Kurusu does what he must for the happiness of his daughter. However, his power seems to be something that others are very interested in, most dangerously an ancient religious cult dedicated around it, and determined to take control of it.

***

This manga has two aspects that are interesting, though they don’t connect that well. The first is the premise of everything being centered around luck stealing, which leads to what is essentially a unique combat system, and with how Kurusu deals with various situations. However, the issue with this system is that it can’t really have much depth to it, or at least the author was unable to develop it in such a way, and hence while it was tremendously interesting at first, it got quite repetitive as it went on in terms of assassination missions as there’s not much to it, nor is it especially flashy, and the aspects of the story surrounding it weren’t interesting enough to hold up the story. This is especially true in regards to the religious cult that eventually becomes the core focus of the story, wherein once it became the focus the story got quite slow paced and ultimately came to a pretty weak conclusion. So overall, a very interesting premise, but one that dragged on a bit too much.

The other interesting aspect is the relationship between Kurusu and Karin. Father daughter relationships are quite rare as far as I can see in manga, so seeing this was incredibly interesting, felt incredibly well done, and was all around tremendously amazing. Similarly, the set up for the relationship with regards to the extended flashback with Kurusu and Rika was also quite amazing, and definitely the high point in the series, though it was also tremendously different from the rest of the manga. It was one where tragedy was set up from the beginning, but framed in such a sense made it all the more intense, and ultimately had a tremendous amount of impact, to the point of holding up the manga single handedly. It also presented some problems however, in that it essentially prevented any relationship development outside of the bounds of the bond between Kurusu and Karin, as that would feel faithless to her, regardless of what happened, and I feel that that ultimately had a negative impact on the rest of the manga. Still, it was still definitely worth it despite that as it was the best part of the manga. The ending regarding how they all end up relationship was fine, in that it felt like everything was resolved, but it still felt kind of sad and hollow in a way. The art was decent.

A manga with an interesting premise but one that doesn’t have much depth to it, and an utterly fantastic arc in terms of relationship and character development that casts somewhat of a shadow on the rest of the manga.

8/10