Published: Nov 29, 2008 to ?
Score: 8.091 (scored by 785 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
slice of life
SynopsisHikari Kohinata is a cheerful 15 year-old girl who lives near the ocean and she spends much of her time diving as a result. On her first day of high school, she meets a teacher who also likes scuba diving. There's also a 16 year-old classmate, Futaba, who gets dragged along in Hikari's maelstrom as soon as they meet at school. Most of the manga so far details the relationship between the two girls, which quickly seems to move into romantic two girl friendship-territory.
It's no surprise when an author's new work resembles their old. But a good author doesn't just make clones, but rather outs a new spin on their work while maintaining the same overall feeling and style of the old, resulting in something both fresh and satisfying for fans of the previous work. Amanchu! falls neatly into this category.
Amanchu! has very much the same happy atmosphere and optimistic and romantic view of the world as Aria, but there are some subtle but noticeable differences in the story and characters.
Starting with the story, let's compare and contrast with Aria. They both follow a group of young girls pursuing a hobby, but Amanchu! is much more focused on this than Aria is. Aria had gondoliering as a backdrop but focuses more on the world and characters around it. Most of Aria is made up of individual stories exploring and developing these things, with gondeliering serving as the driving force for the story, but not the focus. In Amanchu!, most chapters revolve around scuba diving, in a somewhat more connected way. You continually follow Futaba as she becomes accustomed to the strange world of diving, and learn a lot about it on the way. There are some independent chapters, in which characters are developed further, but most are about or build up to the focus of the story: diving. Now, is it enjoyable? Of course, it's a Kozue Amano manga! Even if you're like me and know nothing about diving, it's fun to read due to the narration of the characters and the sunny feeling of it all. Like Aria, it's sentimental in the best way, even little things become wonders, which is Amano's specialty after all.
Contributing to the sense of wonder is the art which is nothing short of fantastic. The characters are all drawn very beautifully, but more important and affecting is the scenery. Like Aria, each scene is beautifully rendered, so much so that some pages will cause you to just stop and stare for a few moments. The art is almost like a character itself, or at least, it has as much presence as the characters. Gorgeous artwork and a wide-eyed narration work together to craft scenes that will leave you breathless.
Now, the characters. Both main characters, Futaba and Hikari (or Dotty and Pikari), bare some resemblance to Akari, the protagonist of Aria, but they are not clones. Hikari has the same uplifting affect as Akari does, but her personality is quite different. She's much more energetic, while Akari was cheerful but mostly serene. Hikari is a little ball of genki, and a lovable one too. She's an oddball, and doesn't have very good social skills, but manages to cheer people up anyway through sheer optimism and energy. Her dynamic with Futaba is very adorable, and similar to Akari's relationship with...well, everyone she meets.
Futaba, on the other hand, provides us with the innocent and rose-tinted narration most of the time, but she's actually much less confident that Akari, which is what sets her apart. Futaba is what I'd call a "naive newcomer," bewildered by the strange new feelings that diving brought to her. She has an innocent and wide-eyed view of things, which as mentioned earlier is one of the things that makes Amanchu! enjoyable. Also, as mentioned before, she lacks confidence, which is where Hikari comes in. In a very cute "romantic two-girl friendship," Hikari is what gives Futaba the confidence to overcome her fears and explore new things, and also makes her disposition and outlook quite a bit brighter.
Really, the diving and the relationship between Hikari and Futaba work together to create this manga. They interplay flawlessly and the result is a very enjoyable manga.
You may be wondering why I keep making comparisons to Aria. Well, the fact of the matter is they are very similar. But, what I want people to realize is that you won't feel like you're reading the same story twice. They'll definitely have the same effect on you, but they're different stories each with their own merits. Still, even though Amanchu! hasn't quite reached the level of Aria yet, if you liked one, you'll definitely like the other. And if for some reason you haven't read/watched Aria, you can still enjoy Amanchu! anyway, it will take you into a bright and sunny world and brighten up your worldview, even if just for a few minutes. read more
Amanchu! is Amano Kozue's newest manga after the Aria series, so any Aria fan would be thrilled/enraptured to read the next series this fantastic mangaka has created.
The main characters both have a sunny disposition that effects those around them, and the storytelling gives the same relaxed feeling as Aria. Plus, the settings take place mainly around water or water related activities!
Kozue Amano is the author of both Aria and Amanchu!
Both have a main theme of enjoying life and being very uplifiting/happy in general.
Both series' main "attractions" have to do with water. Aria has gondola tours while Amanchu! has scuba diving.
Aria and Amanchu both center around a protagonist girl who finds the happiness and joy in the little things of life. Both Akari and Pikari show that happiness can be found in anything you do, just as long as you look for it. Kozue Amano is the author for both manga, and it is apparent in both her works that she can portray the average day-to-day life of teenage girls as something spectacular through just her story telling and character development. I don't find it possible that one would like aria and not Amanchu!
Related ClubsAmanchu! Fan Club, Amano Kozue Neko Club, Anime Animals/Creatures, Aria - FanClub, Deviant Hearts, Iyashikei, NihonQc, Scooter Girls, The Kozue Amano Club
External LinksMangaUpdates, Wikipedia