Synonyms: Nokemono and Hanayome, A Reject and the Bride
Published: 2006 to ?
Score: 7.041 (scored by 89 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThis series weaves a strange, surreal, and often dark comedy resplendent with ruffles and lace. It is on the surface a farce about a young girl travelling with her lover, some sort of bear-type creature, but as to be expected of Ikuhara it's multi-layered. The series is being endorsed by Baby the Stars Shine Bright, the leading name in Japanese lolita fashion, and the characters often wear clothes based off of those from the company.
I thought I’d review this one for the other Ikuhara-fans…
Unlike his other, more well-known works like Utena and the more-recent Penguindrum, this is definitely a strange… And when I say “strange”, I mean “strange even for Ikuhara”…
Basically, it’s about a young, run-away girl (Sera) who’s escaping with her lover (a guy who dresses in a bear-suit because his body is covered in scars… Think “Kuma” from Persona 4… Y’know, the zip-up bear-suit…). They’re being chased down by a detective and a bunch of policemen, being that the girl’s father doesn’t want her leaving with a man… Why? Because, as we know in Ikuhara’s work, he loves controversial topics: her dad’s a creepy “lolicon-esque” dude who has a strange affection for his daughter…
That’s pretty much a rough description of the “plot”…
We also have, on the side, a group of revolting (not as in “EEW! REVOLTING!” but as in “REVOLT!!!”) children, whom are all clothed in various animal suits. This group of children is a murderous-bunch who want nothing to do with adults, chanting “Kill the adults” and whatnot. It’s… strange, to say the least.
Personally, it was quite hard to “get into” this story.
So, how about we begin rating…?
Confusing as hell, but I love the controversial stuff Ikuhara enjoys writing… In past works, there’s been sibling incest, homosexuality and now we have father-daughter incest: one of the biggest taboos known to man. It’s common in some cultures for siblings to “marry” (mostly less-advanced ones. If you take a sociology or anthropology class, you’ll learn this), but father-daughter incest is almost a world-wide taboo… Of course, Ikuhara displays it in a comedic sense, where when we meet Sera’s father for the first time, he acts like a total lolicon… Then, after he drugs and hypnotizes her, instead of doing what we might think he’d do (because you may or may not watch too much hentai, right? You know the old saying: “I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is going…”), we find that he’s hypnotized her into playing (YOU GUESSED IT!) Wii Tennis together…
Anywho, regardless if you’re offended by taboos or not widely-accepted sexual-interests, Ikuhara really does know how to make it so his controversial-works aren’t as offensive as they sound…
And, as for Nokemono to Hanayome, it’s not like you’re seeing a father creeping on his daughter completely like in, say, SankaRea or various hentais. Despite this weird father-daughter thing going on, we also have this creepy Father (as in a Catholic Father) guy, whom is about to marry Sera and the bear-guy (Marry in the sense that a priest, Father or pastor would “marry” a couple… you know…). Well, you know what, I’ll leave it up to you to find out the rest of this absurd cast of characters… If you think this sounds interesting or weird enough that it’s “peaked” your interest: be my guest. Read it if you want, but you’re not missing anything if you don’t read it. It’s just fun to see other works Ikuhara has gotten his hands on.
In short, if you’re an Ikuhara-fan, try it out; if you don’t know who he is or don’t care about him, don’t read this. It’s weird. I’m a fan of his, and I thought it was a little TOO bizarre…
Although, some of the art kinda reminds me of something Johnen Vasquez might do (“J.T.H.M.”, SQUEE!” and the ever-so-popular “Invader Zim”… American artist…). Same with some of the content… Like, some of the random, violent moments.
Okay, it’s kinda like a mix between “SQUEE!” and the anime movie “Dead Leaves”… If you can wrap your head around a mix between those two, good job.
Honestly, it’s… Okay. It isn’t BAD, but… it isn’t good. The males are all basically old-school, cliché-looking shojo-characters. The females and children are all kinda… weird-looking. It’s not that I don’t like the art, but it seems really… Uninspired? For instance, the FLCL manga has really strange art… But it’s strange, quirky and GOOD at the same time… This art is just kinda… weird. The artist (who is not Ikuhara… He doesn’t draw manga .-.) can MAKE good art, that’s for sure… But, IDK… It seems kinda half-assed… At least FLCL’s weird art doesn’t feel half-assed.
Agh, don’t get me wrong… It’s not BAD, per se… The artist isn’t just scribbling around and making blobs. They make presentable art, but… It feels that some nice art could have made this manga better. Nothing seinen or anything like that… It could be GOOD and quirky, but the lack of shadow, real forms and dark-to-light transitions (not shadows, but dark-to-light…) kinda ruin it… Sometimes the frames seem to mesh together in a gigantic mess of black or white, and it’s sometimes hard to follow one frame to the next… Y’know what I’m saying?
A higher point in this manga, IMO. However, as the art, they seem kinda uninspired… Like, you know how Tite Kubo wrote the plot for Bleach in fifteen minutes? It almost feels the artist of this manga did the same. It feels like he sat down and scribbled out a few characters, calling it good and giving them all names and that was it… We literally have NO backgrounds on ANY of these characters, and we don’t find out why the hell Sera and this bear-dude are running away, or what they’re even doing in a car in the first place… It wasn’t until chapter like, three or four where we’re given a bit of story; or ever PLOT, for that matter.
I really do ENJOY it, but it really could be BETTER… I’m not saying it’s bad, so don’t get that conclusion. It’s just… not something most people would read any day. It has a certain level of quirkiness that if you’re a fan of Dead Leaves, FLCL or Penguindrum’s less serious moments, you will enjoy this somewhat. Still, after 12 chapters, nothing has happened, really… and that leads me to-
Overall: 6.5/10… which I’ll round to the nearest number… which is a seven… so… 7/10
Again, not bad, not great, nothing really special. You may enjoy it, though, and that’d be great ;P I’m not saying that “this is the final verdict and you must obey!” at all. I’m just being honest to myself here… I want to say “OOOOHHH IKUHARA-SAMA, YOU’RE SO FABULOUS-MAX~ 10/10desu!” but I’d be lying to you, myself and everybody else on MAL… Well, Ikuhara is awesome, but this manga gets no 10/10 from me. I’ll save my 10/10s for something better ;T like Penguindrum 2 (OMG, JK…).
So, give it a shot if you will, but if you’re looking for something controversial, look towards Ikuhara’s other works. If you stumbled across this manga because it’s considered “shojo” (honestly, it’s pretty much just “WTF” and “comedy”…), look elsewhere… Or if you want a quirky, controversial shojo manga, just read Maria Holic (or watch the anime which, IMO, is better than the manga… I don’t recommend season two, however. It was “meh” at best…).
Anywho, I’ve said enough. Nothing great, nothing bad… Just… weird. The end…
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