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Silly, pretentious manga
This is the sort of manga that desperately tries to be deeply meaningful and poetic, and completely fails at it. Or rather, if your definition of poetry is "lots of incomplete (but pretty) thoughts strung together on a page," then I suppose you could say this manga is quite successful. There are a lot of missing elements in this story, missing elements that should not be missing: Important moments of character motivation and development are skipped, the plot and back history are left sketchy, and generally all the things which work to ground a story and help readers become invested in the plot and characters are treated in a superficial way.
Let me briefly talk about the first chapter to give you a flavor of what I mean. The story begins with our heroine waking up next to a man she can't remember while her on-again, off-again sex friend stands outside her window, calling for her to come out and play pachinko with him. How often does she have one-night stands? Why does she do it? The story doesn't say. After they play pachinko (a few days later? who knows?) our heroine goes to sleep in a grassy field and the lead male trips over her. The narration tells us that was how they first met, during their mutual suicides. Suicide? The girl was just drunk and the guy was going for a jog... When the girl wakes up, she decides she's in love with the lead male because he has a white neck (or something) and begins stalking him at his boxing gym. The lead male eventually asks her why she keeps coming to the gym, she asks him why he boxes, and they both get a bizarre tragic past infodump. (The heroine's little brother randomly fell off a cliff one day and she's all torn up inside. I'm not kidding.)
And that's pretty much it, that's their relationship. Said infodump represents the sum totality of the character development both hero and heroine will receive throughout the course of the story. The rest of the manga consists of the heroine following the lead male around and supporting his dream. (Becoming world champion is the only thing that will make his sad past go away, you see.) There's lots of "meaningful" narration about not looking down, having hope, etc., but no real plot to get in the way of all the feelings. Is this starting to sound like bullshit to you? Because it should.
The manga wasn't entirely terrible. Having a boxer as lead male instead of the usual popular/famous guy was a nice change of pace. It was also nice that the characters weren't 15, and that they weren't embarrassingly stupid or naive. The artwork was good, too. Unfortunately, all the positives weren't enough to outweigh the negatives. There were enough people who loved this that I'm not going to say you shouldn't check it out; you'll know right away if the storytelling is for you or not. It definitely wasn't for me.
when i was done reading this....i couldnt help but think "wth did i just read?" it certainly is among the WORST mangas ive ever read yep it is that terrible its like the author was trying so hard to make it deep and sentimental and crap but failed miserably i dont recommend this to anyone who values his/her time
I like a lot of stuff that this mangaka has done, but this? Really, it's pretentious and unforgivably boring. After getting halfway through one volume, I dropped it. Lousy characterization, half-arsed art, and pseudo-psychological b.s.
I like deep, psychological josei. This isn't it.
like a weight..
that anchors itself to your heart~ it's deep and mature, and way more than i expected! the love they have is refreshing, and i'm quite surprised how i liked it due to the fact that they had nothing physical, and the guy was somewhat hard-standing, although i think that had more to do with it leaning towards the girl's perspective. it does just end, and to anyone it might seem like it is substance-less, but it's really not.
i loved the interactions between not only the main characters, but between all the others. and the art was pretty. not breath-taking, but pretty, with a more realistic spin on it.
i for one liked how the main girl was 'loose'. i've been looking for a lead with her characteristics.. i was beginning to grow so tired of the same confidence lacking lead who doesn't even know what a kiss is..
to me, it's one of those stories you can come back and read again and again and find something new every single time you re-read it.
This is a very touching manga. I suggest this to be labeled as "psychological" too. Although she loved him very quickly in the story, I can see why, since they relate to each other so much. Both main characters went through a lot, and found each other because of it.
Even though I'm not a fan of stories that end abruptly (not so sudden, though, but I didn't notice that it ended until I saw the bottom), this manga is a different story. It ended with a good character development, so I was happy about that.
Another thing that I want to point out is that there is plenty of romance in this story, though not as straightforward as other shoujo manga.
... Last updated on July 3rd, 2008, 10:45pm
The artwork is beautiful and compelling. The charactersí expressions are particularly striking. The storyline isnít cliché, but it also isnít easy to follow. There is very little incentive to actual read whatís going on when the characters meet in such a happenstance sort of way. There is no background on these characters, and because of this they lack all depth. From one chapter to the next, the characters interact and learn about each other, but the reader is never actually shown any of this. By the last chapter, the leading lady knows everything about her man, but the reader knows nothing and hasnít a clue when anyone revealed anything about themselves. I gave this a 5 because the artwork is great and itís not a typical shoujo, but itís not much of a story either. I would love to see future works by Okazaki Mari, but with another writer working on the script.
Don't bother reading this story. It's made in a weird way that I don't get what the mangaka is trying to say. The art is good though... but I never did appreciate boxers or boxing for that matter.. so maybe I am a bit biased. Not my kind of story. Never gotten the reason why a loose woman should be a heroine...doesn't that destroy the idea of setting up examples and stuffs? And I hated that fact that it was classified as shoujo...even though there is a romance in it though not as much. It should be categorized as seinen! yeah!
much better than the summary makes you think...
..indeed. I skipped reading this for months, then I actually downloaded it out of boredom and... well, I got hooked. Totally. Now I'm a big fan of all this artist's works. Art is good - different from shoujo canon too -, not "pretty", but nonetheless very effective and even pleasant 'cause it blends so well with the content and storytelling. Actually, storytelling it's the strongest point, and this holds true in all the other works done by this mangaka: she always manages to put an original, unique spin even if and when dealing with clichès . Try it out ;).
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