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From Viz: Sachie Wakamura just lost her mother, and her estranged grandfather has shown up to take care of her. The only problem is that Grandpa is the head of a yakuza gang! Sachie tries to continue living her normal life, but she can't run far since Rakuto, one of the most popular guys in school, is part of her grandfather's gang and her new protector. Soon, Sachie finds herself falling for her bodyguard. But she's the granddaughter of Rakuto's boss, so she can never show her feelings for him. Can Sachie find a way to fit into her new family and seize her chance at romance?
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I picked it up because I wanted a light, enjoyable read but I ended up hating nearly every second I spent on the series after about the 10th chapter. By then, though, I was committed and decided to finish it anyway.
There is little to no character development, everyone is just the same as they are in the beginning even though a very long time passes. Relationships are very forced to the point of being painful. The content of 10 volumes could be condensed into 1 without even being rushed, which makes about 9 of those volumes filler fluff. The art's okay at the very best but what made me begin to dislike it is the deadness in their eyes. They're so lifeless. Then the characters are far too perfect, like their flaws are superficial and subject to change at any time. Perfect characters are hated characters. People have flaws, often very deep flaws that cause others to hate them, so I believe characters should display these traits as well.
The story was average, slightly worse than average actually. Most shoujo like this at least have some development. The pacing was very slow, though I don't mind as much of life plods along as well.
Anyway, I believe the mangaka could have done much better with the premise, which is why I'm giving this series such a low rating. Originality is an absolute must when dealing with such a cliched plot. I look forward to better series from this author, though my expectations aren't very high after reading this.
I really like this series
I personally really like this series. Though I'm relatively new to manga (and the shoujo genre, which is my favorite), it may be too cliche for some, but I still think the characters have depth, even though they may not have "evolved" yet. (It took several volumes before the characters truly started to evolve in Ouran, for example.) I can easily envision situations and how these characters would react, which to me is a sign of good character development (if you can think like the character). Perhaps it was easier for me to like it because I didn't start it until there were 4 volumes released and I could sit and read them all at once.
I like the artwork. Quite often you see the heroine with a particular standard 'look' with occasional changes for a specific situation, but Sachie has many different looks, hair and clothes, which I've enjoyed. Rakuto and Azuma are always good eye-candy.
As for the story, it is a bit more episodic than other series I've read (meaning stories don't often bridge many chapters). I'm not sure if that's a hinderance to some readers or not.
I like the fact that it's not particularly a school-based storyline; as much happens outside of school as happens in it. It's about Sachie learning what it really means to be part of a Yakuza family, which isn't limited to school.
I can easily feel how torn Rakuto is between his feelings and his fears of ending up like Jin; how confused Sachie is with Rakuto's radically changing personality; and how miffed Azuma is being caught in the middle of them. And then there's Asagi Raizo-san, who is as shrewd and sly as they come.
Even if the whole storyline is fairly predictable in its eventual outcome, I still really look forward to reading more books/scans of this series.
This series started with a strong female lead and a unique setting. A few volumes later and that female lead seems to have lost all of her strength and turned into nothing more than yet another cliched shoujo heroine. The setting is also wasted, as it is used for nothing beyond being a secret that is always in danger of being exposed. The end result is entirely generic. I think I could have tolerated this series better if it had just started out generic, but when I think about what it *could* have been I can't help but feel a little cheated.
I love this manga. It is basically a typical shojo/romance manga with a Yakuza twist. The characters are interesting and the art-work is pleasing.
Waste of your time and it's potential
Nothing happens for 9 of the 10 volumes despite the relatively large amount of time that is supposed to have passed over the course of the series. There was potential there but there just isn't any development which makes the typical shoujo cliches more annoying than they usually are.
The problem with this manga
Is that there's nothing special about it. It's a generic shoujo manga with a Yakuza family, and it's also really disjointed, busy and inconsistent. For instance, right at the beginning every man in the family, Rakuto included, instantly falls at Sachie's feet, eager to please. She's a nice kid and all, but even though she's their ojou, I can't imagine it happening just like that. She never really does anything to earn it; she just kind of acts like a normal person, and they're all "Ojou! You're so amazing! Here, have our love!"
The great plus point of this manga is the unique setting, and it's just screaming out for chapters and chapters about how Sachie gets to grow into her place there, gets to know more people (aside from prerequisite love interest), her thoughts and emotions (other than being flustered over pretty boys), learning new things, looking from new perspectives, and earning the trust of the people around her. All that is just wasted on chapters and chapters of Rakuto saying sappy things, and she never gets used to any of it, either.
So overall, kind of a disappointment. I wouldn't have been quite so harsh, because it wasn't THAT bad, but like Kevadu said, it was just so promising! I kind of feel a little cheated somehow.
... Last updated on November 13th, 2011, 10:03pm
Couldn't put it down
While I was reading it, I couldn't put it down. Stepping back from it, however, I find it lacks a certain sparkle. The characters don't seem to be fully there. There just seems to be something lacking in their makeup. Having said that, I did find the main character's personality a nice change from the typical shoujo heroine, but it was inconsistant throughout the series. Overall, I found this a refreshing manga, and one that I will read to the end. The characters are all nice, and it is comical in places. Sadly it just misses that magical element
... Last updated on July 7th, 2010, 10:44am
Really liked it!
Although it's the typical shoujo, i really really liked this manga! It went by so fast that i feel sad it's over now =(.. I do agree with the other's about how it could have been better. I mean there's so many situations the mangaka could've played with but nevertheless, it was a great read =). Awesome!
Sweet and fun ^^ I only got a little disappointed with the end. I sure wanted something more lovely-dovey. Still,it was a good ending. Oh! And going through these 10 vols was a breeze. Pretty amazing for its length. Ah! And it reminded me of Hatori Bisco's work at times, which is probably a reason why I felt so at ease reading it.
Please dont' compare this manga to Ouran Host Club or Gokusen. Wakamura Sachie is totally different from Haruhii or Kumiko. Arakure, on the inside, is just another shoujo consists of a girl pinning after a guy, a handsome and popular and smart guy, but afraid to tell him due to whatever reasons. Then angst follows.